A local singer knows all too well what the contestants on "American Idol" are going through.
Mikalah Gordon was one of the show's finalists and calls Las Vegas home. 13 Action News sat down with her to get her take on the new season.
"This show changed my life. It's my entire childhood," said Mikalah. "I was 16 years old when I was on the show. I'm 30 now."
The judges were Randy, Paula, and of course Simon. We remember a local girl getting her shot on the national stage and Mikalah remembers being a teenage bundle of nerves.
"Now when I watch the audition back... was there a brush? Was anyone handing me a brush?" Mikalah joked.
It was a springboard to an entertainment career for Mikalah, who now performs at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. inside the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
"It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever sang at, and it's at the Cosmopolitan, and it's so fabulous," she said.
Mikalah also gave us her take on the new "American Idol" judges for this season.
"I'm obsessed with Lionel Ritchie. Hands down. I live for Lionel Richie," she said. "I feel like he is going to be amazing for the contestants. Very nurturing.Very exciting."
And for Katy Perry:
"She's really just gone with the times, and I think she has so much to offer."
While the headlines have focused on Idol's new judges and a new network, Mikalah says dropping a fresh crop of contestants in a pop culture environment that has transformed since 2005 could have some exciting results.
"It will be interesting to see with social media is so at the tip of our hands anybody can become famous now," she explained. "Anyone can put themselves out there."
And Mikalah will be rooting for her favorites right along with the rest of us.
"At the end of the day you just want to be the American Idol, and in that journey, in a very vulnerable journey, you make best friends with everybody you're with," she said.