Jessica Meuse

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Jessica Meuse
Jessica Meuse.jpg
Background information
Birth name Jessica Rose Meuse[1]
Born (1990-10-19) October 19, 1990 (age 24)
Round Rock, Texas, United States
Origin Slapout, Alabama
Genres Southern rock, blues rock, folk rock, country rock, alternative rock
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2011-present

Jessica Rose Meuse (born October 19, 1990), also known as Jess Meuse, is an American singer from Slapout, Alabama, who finished in fourth place on the thirteenth season of American Idol. She has been singing in public since she was ten years old, and self-released a debut album, called What's So Hard About Bein' a Man in 2011. While competing on American Idol, she became the first person in the history of the series to perform an original song during the finals.

Early life and education[edit]

Meuse was born in Round Rock, Texas, on October 19, 1990, a daughter of Charles Edward and Sheila Arlene (Strobel) Meuse.[1][2] She moved several times as a child, since her mother worked for the government. As a way to be more outgoing as a pre-teen, she recorded CDs and gave them to friends. While living in Zephyrhills, Florida in 2002, she attended St. Anthony Catholic School in nearby San Antonio, Florida. It was there, at the school's talent show, that she acknowledges performing publicly for the first time.[3] When she was in the seventh grade, she moved to Slapout, Alabama, where she joined the Montgomery Youth Orchestra, eventually becoming principal second violin. She also played shows of her own at various festivals, fundraisers, schools, and public events. In addition to the violin, she plays both guitar and piano.[4]

She attended Auburn University at Montgomery, where she majored in liberal arts.[5]

Musical influences[edit]

Meuse states she is, "influenced by virtually every genre of music."[4] More specifically though, she has called her style "a blend of southern rock with alternative and rock n’ roll."[4] Mary Colurso of has described it as "rock...infused with country and metal."[6] Meuse's musical influences include Coldplay, Miranda Lambert, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Stevie Nicks, Death Cab for Cutie, Bruno Mars, and Shinedown.[4]

Music career[edit]

At age eighteen, she began writing music. Her first song was called "What's So Hard About Bein' a Man" and developed from feelings of anger.[7] She went on to self-release a CD by the same name in 2011, and has written around sixty original songs. Most of them have focused on dark and serious subject matter.[4][6]

In October 2010, Meuse won the Stars of Alabama Artist Showcase, a statewide music competition that was judged by professionals from Montgomery, Atlanta and Nashville.[7] In October 2013, Meuse was featured by the Alabama Media Group in the Birmingham Sessions, an online showcase for musicians around the Birmingham, Alabama area.[6] She auditioned for The Voice before her American Idol run, but did not pass the judging rounds of the mentors.[8]

American Idol[edit]

Encouraged by her friends, Meuse auditioned for the thirteenth season of American Idol in Atlanta, Georgia. She performed an original song called "Blue-Eyed Lie" and was accepted by all three judges.[9] Meuse initially joined Matthew Hamel and Clark King for the Hollywood group round, but the three of them struggled to work well together and chose to part ways.[10] Meuse then joined a group with Nica Nashae, Cara Watson, and Stephanie Hanvey. They sang Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)".

For her final Hollywood week performance, Meuse chose another original song called "Done."[11] The judges could not decide between putting Meuse or Jesse Roach through to the top 30 and had them do a sing-off. Meuse sung "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd and was sent through.[12][13]

All of the contestants reprised their audition songs for top 8 week, giving Meuse the opportunity to sing "Blue Eyed Lie" again. This made her the first contestant in the history of American Idol to sing an original song during the finals.[14] For top 4 week, Meuse was originally going to sing another original song, called "The Hell You Put Me Through" - all of the contestants were going to sing originals for one of their performances that week. However, the producers changed their minds late in the week, and gave the contestants a short amount of time to choose a replacement from a very limited list of songs. Meuse chose Pinks's "So What."[15][16]

Meuse's fan base is known as "The Meuse Mafia." She has jokingly referred to her experience on the show as being like the Hunger Games, and in one episode, she braided her hair in the same style as Katniss Everdeen.[16][17]

Meuse had never been in the bottom 3 or 2 until the top 7 results, when she was in the bottom 2 along with Dexter Roberts. Roberts was eliminated from the competition. The following week, Meuse was again in the bottom 2, but CJ Harris was eliminated. She was eliminated on May 8, 2014 and came in fourth place.

Episode Theme Song choice Original artist Order Result
Audition Auditioner's Choice "Blue-Eyed Lie" Jessica Meuse N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 1 A Capella Not aired Not aired N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 2 Group Performance "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"
with Stephanie Hanvey, Nica Nashae, and Cara Watson
Beyoncé N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 3 Solo "Done" Jessica Meuse N/A Advanced
Top 31 (10 Women) Personal Choice "Drink a Beer" Luke Bryan 7 Advanced
Top 13 This is Me "The Crow & the Butterfly" Shinedown 10 Safe
Top 12 Home "White Flag" Dido 3 Safe
Top 11 Songs from the Movies "The Sound of Silence" Simon & Garfunkel 2 Safe
Top 10 Billboard Top 10 "Pumped Up Kicks" Foster the People 8 Safe
Top 9 I'm with the Band! "Rhiannon" Fleetwood Mac 6 Safe
Top 8 Back to the Start Solo "Blue-Eyed Lie" Jessica Meuse 1 Safe
Duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"
with Caleb Johnson
Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty 5
Top 8[a] Songs from the 1980s Solo "Call Me" Blondie 6 Safe
Duet "Islands in the Stream"
with Dexter Roberts
Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton 10
Top 7 Competitors' Choice Solo "Gunpowder & Lead" Miranda Lambert 2 Bottom 2[b]
Trio "Compass"
with CJ Harris and Dexter Roberts
Lady Antebellum 9
Top 6 Rock 'n' Roll "Somebody to Love" The Great Society 6 Bottom 2[c]
Country "Jolene" Dolly Parton 12
Top 5 America's Requests Solo "Human" Christina Perri 4 Safe
Duet "Beast of Burden"
with Caleb Johnson
The Rolling Stones 7
Solo "Summertime Sadness" Lana Del Rey 11
Top 4 Love Songs "Since U Been Gone" Kelly Clarkson 2 Eliminated
"So What" Pink 6
"Yoü and I" Lady Gaga 10
  1. ^ Due to the judges using their one save on Sam Woolf, the top 8 remained intact for another week.
  2. ^ When Ryan Seacrest announced the results in this particular night, Meuse was among the bottom 2, but was declared safe, as Dexter Roberts was eliminated.
  3. ^ When Ryan Seacrest announced the results in this particular night, Meuse was among the bottom 2, but was declared safe, as CJ Harris was eliminated.

Personal life[edit]

Meuse has called herself a "very spiritual person" and has said that she is driven by her faith.[18] She has eight tattoos and designed seven of them herself.[19] She has two on her right arm - one of a phoenix and one of a dove surrounded by three stars. She has said that these represent spiritual rebirth and the Holy Trinity. On her left arm, she has a tattoo of the word "Faith".[20] She loves animals and has many pets that were rescued from shelters, as well as several that she found abandoned.[21]



Title Details
What's So Hard About Bein' a Man
  • Release date: 2011
  • Label: Independent
  • Formats: CD

Digital singles[edit]

Year Song Album
2014 "Pumped Up Kicks" Non-album single
"Blue-Eyed Lie"
"Call Me"
"Gunpowder & Lead"
"Summertime Sadness"
"Yoü and I"


  1. ^ a b Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.
  2. ^ Fred Bronson (March 20, 2014). "'American Idol' Season 13: Jessica Meuse Explains Her Songwriting Strategy". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  3. ^ Brian Michael Smith (April 10, 2014). "Jessica Meuse, American Idol Contestant With Local Ties". Dade City News. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Jessica Meuse. "Jessica Meuse - About". Facebook. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ Buffy Lockette (February 12, 2014). "AUM Idol: Student Jessica Meuse a semi-finalist on American Idol". Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Mary Colurso (October 28, 2013). "The Birmingham Sessions: Jess Meuse (video)". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Jessica Meuse. "About Jess Meuse". MTV Artists Platform. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ Mary Colurso (January 25, 2014). "Next stop, Hollywood: Alabama's Jess Meuse gets golden ticket on 'American Idol' (video)". Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  9. ^ Mark Franklin (January 24, 2014). "Hear more from American Idol’s Jess Meuse". Idol Chatter. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ Douglas Cobb (February 5, 2014). "American Idol Hollywood or Home (Review & Videos)". Guardian Liberty Voice. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  11. ^ Michael Slezak (February 12, 2014). "American Idol Recap: The Cutting Crew". TVLine. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Hollywood Round, Week #2". American Idol. Season 13. Episode 9. February 12, 2014. Fox. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  13. ^ "'It's a no!' Jennifer Lopez cries as she chooses the final 30 contestants on emotional episode of American Idol". Daily Mail. February 13, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  14. ^ Lyndsey Parker (April 3, 2014). "‘American Idol’ Top 8 Recap: Try, Try Out Again". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ Meuse, Jessica (May 12, 2014). Idol's Jessica Meuse: How She Stayed Positive Despite Tough Critiques, Which Mentors She Loved and Why She 'Lost Respect' for J.Lo. video with Michael Slezak. TVLine Google Hangout. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Liz Raftery (May 14, 2014). "Jessica Meuse: "American Idol Is Like The Hunger Games"". TV Guide. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  17. ^ Meuse, Jessica (May 9, 2014). 'Idol' Exit Interview: Jessica Meuse on why 'American Idol' is 'The Hunger Games'. Interview with Jake Perlman. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  18. ^ Meuse, Jessica (February 21, 2014). Jessica Meuse - What You Didn't Know - American Idol XIII Finalists (video interview). (Interview). What You Didn't Know - American Idol XIII Finalists Party. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  19. ^ Mary Coluruso (April 17, 2014). "Alabama's Jess Meuse on 'American Idol': Top 7 performance recap, with video and poll". Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ Meuse, Jessica (April 18, 2014). Jessica Meuse - Tough Reviews & Tattoos - American Idol Season 13 Top 7 (video). (Interview). Synergistic Productions. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  21. ^ Jessica Meuse; Angela Isbell; Steven Atkins (February 18, 2014). #thisisreal: Jessica Meuse (video). Retrieved February 22, 2014. 

External links[edit]