Lauren Mink is getting a second chance to become an “American Idol.”
Mink will make a return trip to Hollywood and is part of the show’s 12th season. Mink was welcomed as part of the auditioning cast Wednesday night.¿She auditioned for judges in 2012 in Savannah, Ga., and sang “Country Strong” from the 2010 movie of the same name. Judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez voted to send the 25-year-old Mink to Hollywood.
Although Mink failed to advance to the next round of the competition last year after her rendition of “Alone” by Heart, contestants sang a cappella and did not receive feedback from judges, but audiences were allowed to hear Lopez remark about a key change during Mink’s performance.
A new cast of judges, including Keith Urban, prompted Mink to return for another audition and earn a ticket back to Los Angeles.
“I wanted a second chance,” Mink said in a video interview on the show’s website. “When I first got my golden ticket (last year), I was just kind of muffled.”
Mink’s love for music began at an early age and continues today.
“Music inspires me,” Mink said. “Riding in the car with my dad is probably one of the earliest memories of music.”
The Winchester native described her music style as “quirky.”
“I also have a positive outlook on everything,” she said. “Those are the things that set me apart from other contestants. I think I would be an amazing next American Idol, just because, one, I think that I’m a good singer. It’s taken me a long time to say I’m a good singer and it’s taken a lot of people telling me I’m a good singer. I don’t feel like I’m cocky about it. I just feel like I’m very confident in who I am as an artist, and I think I’m also a good role model.”
Mink has been performing throughout Central Kentucky with the Lauren Mink Band. She has previously worked as the director of STRIDE, a program that provides educational and recreational opportunities for adults with disabilities.
The program received national attention, including an increase in donations, because of footage seen on the show of daily activities and the annual Music at the Manor fundraiser. Crews filmed in Winchester several months before the program aired under the guise of creating a promotional video for STRIDE.
Mink is a 2004 graduate of George Rogers Clark High School and attended Georgetown College.