By Rebecca White

American Idol reality TV star Tyanna Jones has been pursuing music since she was five years old. Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, the 16-year-old has had a rough upbringing and was even homeless at one point. Her American Idol journey was no less emotional. In our celebrity interview, the eliminated contestant says that the show “at times can get really hard. My faith and my beliefs have helped me through a lot of that.”

Behind the Scenes of Tyanna Jones’ American Idol Journey

Making it into the top five of the singing competition is no easy task and all of the contestants have had good weeks as well as bad weeks. Jones was no different. The Jacksonville native had her own rough patch during the middle of the show. The judges were constantly questioning her choices, even though she was a front runner and power house from the beginning of the competition. The performer says, “My rough patch was a result of all of my feelings at the time and the stress and frustration that comes with the show.”

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As an emotional artist, when Jones was eliminated she started to break down when the montage of her time on the show began to play. “I was watching how far I had come,” the singer shares. “It really showed me how much I’ve grown.” Even though she didn’t make it into the top four, Jones still sang a send-off song, Beyoncé’s “Who Run the World.” The performer says that Beyoncé is one of her main influences. “I have wanted to do that song for so long,” Jones shares. “I knew that I had to make sure it was one of my best performances because it was one of Beyoncé’s songs.”

Jones hopes to be a role model for her fans, just like Beyoncé and her other favorite artists have been to her. She hopes that “seeing someone their age get to do this and be here will inspire fans.” She plans to use her position on the summer tour to make an impact in people’s lives. “I know many of the people I look up to now were a part of this tour,” Jones says. “Now, I’m going to be someone people look up to.”

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After being eliminated, the singer feels like she has learned a lot from being in this competition. Big Machine Records founder Scott Borchetta has pushed her as an artist to find herself and truly understand what kind of music she wants to put out there. Similarly, the judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr. told her to continue being herself and she’d be successful. As she moves forward with her musical career, Jones says, “I’m not the type of artist that puts myself in a box. Whatever I can sing or do to connect with the audience, I’ll do it.”

You can keep up with Tyanna Jones on Twitter @iamtyannajones and www.facebook.com/IamTyannaJones!