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Syesha Mercado

Syesha Mercado in the American Idol Experience motorcade at Walt Disney World.
Background information
Birth name Syesha Raquel Mercado
Born January 2, 1987 (1987-01-02) (age 23)
Bridgeport, Connecticut,
United States
Origin Sarasota, Florida, United States
Genres R&B, pop
Occupations Singer, songwriter, actress, model
Years active 2006–present

Syesha Raquel Mercado (born January 2, 1987) is an American singer, songwriter, actress and model. Mercado was the third place finalist on the seventh season of American Idol. Prior to Idol, Mercado was on The One: Making a Music Star and she won Florida Super Singer. Her musical influences are Whitney Houston, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Zap Mama, Lauryn Hill, and Aretha Franklin.[1]

On June 25, 2009, it was officially confirmed that Mercado landed the lead role of Deena Jones in the United States national tour of Dreamgirls.[2] The tour began at the Apollo Theater on November 7, 2009 and it is scheduled to finish on July 25, 2010.[3]




Early life

Mercado was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on January 2, 1987[4] Her mother Zelda, a former Motown backup singer, is African-American and her father, José, is of Puerto Rican descent.[5] Mercado grew up in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida. She attended Booker High School for Visual and Performings Arts Theatre Program and Graduated with a Certificiate as a Performance Major in Sarasota, Florida where she appeared in various Productions. At the 2005 Florida Theatre Conference and the 2005 South Eastern Theater Conference, Mercado won "Best Supporting Actress" for her role as the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical.[6] Mercado also appeared as a contestant on the failed ABC talent show, The One: Making a Music Star in summer 2006.[7]


Mercado attended Daughtrey Elementary School in Manatee County.[8] Dreaming to become a gospel singer one day, Mercado signed a contract at age nine with the Take Stock in Children initiative, a scholarship program for "low-income families who show potential for college but are unlikely to be able to afford a higher education."[8] Mercado graduated from Booker High School in 2005, where she was in the Theater VPA (Visual and Performing Arts) department.[9] She currently attends Florida International University in Miami, Florida.

Personal life

Mercado is engaged to actor-producer and Florida International University classmate Hess Wesley,[10][11] and is best friends with former idol contestant Ramiele Malubay

The One: Making a Music Star



Week # Song choice Original artist Result
Top 11 "Chain of Fools" Aretha Franklin Advanced
Top 10 "If I Ain't Got You" Alicia Keys AdvancedA

‹The template Fnb is being considered for deletion.›  Note A: The show was canceled after Top 10 week.

Florida Super Singer



Week # Song choice Original artist Result
Top 5 "Think" Aretha Franklin Advanced
Top 2 "The Trouble with Love Is" Kelly Clarkson WinnerA

‹The template Fnb is being considered for deletion.›  Note A: Based on 3 Judges, text message and internet votes. 2,000,000 in total

American Idol


Mercado performing during the American Idols Live! Tour 2008.

She auditioned for American Idol Season 7 in Miami, Florida singing "Think" by Aretha Franklin where she made it to Hollywood with all three judges saying 'yes'.[14] When she arrived in Hollywood she had lost her voice and insisted on going on vocal rest. She was seen communicating through paper and pen to the camera throughout the week.[15] She sang "Chain of Fools" and was accepted into the top 24.[16] She was the only female in the top 3 and was voted off on May 14 allowing fellow contestants David Archuleta and David Cook a chance to compete in the finale and joining Kimberley Locke as the female contestants to get voted off in the top 3 to allow two male contestants to compete in the finale.

Despite good reviews from the judges, Mercado had been in the bottom three or two five times without being voted off, tying with season one fellow 3rd place finalist, Nikki McKibbin, for the most weeks spent in the bottom three or two. Some commentators, including American Idol judge Simon Cowell, believed her style was more suited for Broadway than pop music.[17]


Week # Theme Song choice Original artist Order # Result
Audition N/A "Think" Aretha Franklin N/A Advanced
Hollywood N/A "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" Bryan Adams N/A Advanced
Top 50 N/A "Chain of Fools" Aretha Franklin N/A Advanced
Top 24 (12 Women) 1960s "Tobacco Road" The Nashville Teens 11 Advanced
Top 20 (10 Women) 1970s "Me and Mr. Jones" Billy Paul 2 Advanced
Top 16 (8 Women) 1980s "Saving All My Love for You" Whitney Houston 8 Advanced
Top 12 Lennon/McCartney "Got to Get You into My Life" The Beatles 1 Bottom 31
Top 11 The Beatles "Yesterday" The Beatles 9 Safe
Top 10 Year They Were Born "If I Were Your Woman" Stephanie Mills 3 Bottom 22
Top 9 Dolly Parton "I Will Always Love You" Dolly Parton 8 Safe
Top 8 Inspirational Music "I Believe" Fantasia 2 Bottom 33
Top 7 Mariah Carey "Vanishing" Mariah Carey 3 Bottom 31
Top 6 Andrew Lloyd Webber "One Rock & Roll Too Many" Starlight Express 1 Bottom 2
Top 5 Neil Diamond "Hello Again"
"Thank the Lord for the Night Time"
Neil Diamond 5
Top 4 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "Proud Mary"
"A Change Is Gonna Come"
Ike & Tina Turner
Sam Cooke
Top 3 Judge's Choice (Randy Jackson)
Contestant's Choice
Producer's Choice
"If I Ain't Got You"
"Hit Me Up"
Alicia Keys
Peggy Lee
Gia Farrell

‹The template Fnb is being considered for deletion.›  Note 1: Mercado was saved first from elimination.

‹The template Fnb is being considered for deletion.›  Note 2: When Ryan Seacrest announced the results for this particular night, Mercado was among the Bottom 3 but declared safe second, as the remaining contestant was eliminated.

‹The template Fnb is being considered for deletion.›  Note 3: When revealing the results, Seacrest simultaneously declared Mercado and Carly Smithson safe.

‹The template Fnb is being considered for deletion.›  Note 4: There was no mention of a Bottom 2 this week.

Post-Idol career

Mercado signing autographs during the American Idols Live! Tour 2008.

After her elimination, Mercado appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet and WSVN's Deco Drive.

Also, the week following the grand finale, Syesha sold a total of 18,000 legal downloads from itunes.[citation needed]

She completed the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008 which ran from July 1, 2008 to September 13, 2008. The songs she performed on the tour were "Umbrella" by Rihanna, "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys, and "Listen" by Beyonce.

In November 2008, she performed "One Rock and Roll Too Many" in the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade.

She was the guest host of the WSVN 7 yacht at the 37th annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat parade on December 13, 2008.

She sang the National Anthem for the Miami Dolphins vs the San Francisco 49ers on Fox on December 14, 2008.

On December 20, 2008 she assisted the Habitat for Humanity in building homes for struggling families in Miramar, Florida.

In February 2009, she participated in the opening of the American Idol Experience attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the Walt Disney World Resort.

On February 19, 2009, Mercado performed in her first live concert after the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008. It was her own concert where all the proceeds went to benefit the Amer-I-Can program, a gang-prevention program started by NFL great, Jim Brown. She performed 8 songs in front of a sold out audience of about 4000 fans ranging from ages 2 to 83.

She sang the National Anthem for the opening day baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 6, 2009.

She is currently working on an album in Los Angeles. She has stated that it is to be a Pop/R&B album. In addition to working on the album, in her free time she is taking acting lessons.

It was officially confirmed on June 25, 2009 that Mercado landed the lead role of Deena Jones in the upcoming United States national tour of Dreamgirls. On November 4, 2009, Mercado appeared on The Wendy Williams Show[18] to promote the tour which began on November 7, 2009. The tour is scheduled to end on July 25, 2010.


  1. ^ "Syesha Mercado". Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  2. ^ Headlines: American Idol Alum Syesha Mercado to Headline Dreamgirls Tour
  3. ^
  4. ^ Catlin, Roger (April 1, 2008). "Blacks on the Brink Eye on Idol". Hartford Courant (Connecticut): pp. D1. 
  5. ^ Syesha Mercado Personal MySpace
  6. ^ Handleman, Jay; Christine Hawes (February 14, 2008). "Her song continues on 'Idol'; Booker High alumna makes show's top 24". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida): pp. BS1. 
  7. ^ Handelman, Jay (July 18, 2006). "Sarasota singer sees key to stardom in TV series". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida). pp. BS3. 
  8. ^ a b White, Dale (October 2, 1996). "Fourth-Grader First to Accept New 'Contract'". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida). pp. 1B. 
  9. ^ Stacy, Mitch (March 14, 2008). "'Idol' finalist Mercado always seemed destined for big things". The Associated Press: pp. Entertainment News. 
  10. ^ Davis, Brenda (May 19, 2008). "American Idol: Syesha Mercado Mentions her Fiance Being A Graduate From College".,,20199561,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  11. ^ Becnel, Thomas (May 16, 2008). "'Idol' moments? Sure. Idle time? Yeah, right.". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida). pp. A1. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Holmes, January (February 2, 2008). "Local girl makes 'Idol' run". The Bradenton Herald (Florida): pp. 1. 
  15. ^ Berman, Craig (February 21, 2008). "Flu takes its toll on 'American Idol' women". 
  16. ^ Thomas, Becnel (February 20, 2008). "Sing from the soul, hope for the best; Inside the whirlwind of 'Idol,' one contestant strives for focus". Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida): pp. A1. 
  17. ^ Kaplan, Don (May 5, 2008). "Bulletproof - How Could 'Idols' Syesha Survive Five Weeks in a Row in Bottom Two?". The New York Post. pp. 83. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  18. ^

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Syesha Raquel Mercado (born 1987-01-02) is a singer-songwriter and actress. Mercado was the third-place contestant on American Idol season 7.


  • I love musical theatre and my dream is to do Once On This Island.
    • Rebecca Lynne Tan, "Swan song for Syesha", The Straits Times (Singapore), May 17, 2008.
    • On her future plans
  • I had too many bad comments from the judges. Too many, too late, at this point in time
    • Rebecca Lynne Tan, "Swan song for Syesha", The Straits Times (Singapore), May 17, 2008.
    • On how she knew she was heading home from American Idol season 7

External links

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