SML Idol

Being in SML Idol in Huddleston has been one roller coaster ride.

I’m still in the competition, but not without the support of audience members and contestants, and the “People’s Choice” vote.

Yep, you may have guessed it, I was eliminated Friday, but the audience decided to bring me back.

I’m hanging on by a thread in this competition after what happened at Heath’s Waterfront Grill Friday evening when I sang Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart.”

It was every singer’s nightmare.

I was halfway through the song, and I got inside my head. I blanked. I knew I knew the song, but I lost my place with the music, and the words didn’t come out.

I admitted out loud, “I don’t know where I am,” and the audience cheered.

I took some deep breaths, collected myself, and thank goodness, I found two contestants singing the song in the corner of the bar. I knew where I was.

I came back singing the chorus, strutting around the stage, singing to audience members and playing on the words of the song like, “Even when you fall apart.”

I was doing everything I could to go out having fun, and I did just that.

I thought the competition was over for me at that point, so I decided I might as well just enjoy myself.

Little did I know, an elderly woman and her family loved my performance. I’m not sure who else voted for me, but she specifically came up to me with a stack of votes saying they were going to try to get me back in.

Saturday night, I checked my phone and sure enough, it had worked. I was voted back in as the people’s choice contestant.

Even though I ran to the bathroom to cry for a minute after humiliating myself on stage, I fixed my make-up, walked back in there like nothing ever happened, and I enjoyed the rest of my night dancing with that sweet elderly lady and my friends.

My friend, Shelby Thomas, who is also in the competition, did “Love is Not a Competition,” and she advanced to the next round.

Shelby’s scores were enough to keep her around just like I said they would be; and just like she said would happen, I get to go back with her.

I can’t wait to show these people what else I have because, “I ain’t going out like that.”

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at

Ashley Hodge is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at