Elise Testone Biography
Testone was born on July 29, 1983, to LuAnne and Victor Testone. She grew up in Kinnelon, New Jersey Testone attended Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, earning a bachelors degree in music in 2005.
Prior to Idol, Testone was a voice instructor in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, and she performed regularly, either solo or with one of several bands, in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2011, Testone and her band, the Freeloaders, won the Funk/Soul/R&B Artist of the Year award in the Charleston City Paper’s Music issue. Testone received additional recognition from the Charleston City Paper in 2011, winning the staff pick for Best Tribute for Elise Testone’s James Brown Dance Party.
Testone has performed as an opening act for various other artists, including Snoop Dogg, Nappy Roots, Seven Mary Three, and Kevin Costner’s band, Modern West.
Testone auditioned in Savannah, Georgia.
In the semi-finals, Testone performed Adele's "One and Only" and was one of five female contestants to advance to the finals based on viewer votes.
In the first round of the finals, Testone performed Whitney Houston’s "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and was the female contestant with the lowest number of votes. Between Testone and Jeremy Rosado, the male contestant with the lowest number of votes, the judges decided to eliminate Rosado. The following week, in the top 11 round, Testone performed "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green and received praise from the judges, with Randy Jackson proclaiming, “America, Elise is back!” Nonetheless, Testone was in the bottom three again. This was not well-received by the judges, as Jennifer Lopez explained, “I’m not happy. It’s not fair. Great performances should be rewarded. She was one of the best last night.”
In the top 10 round, Testone sang "Vienna" by Billy Joel and received a standing ovation from the judges. After spending two weeks in the bottom three, Testone was declared “safe” when the voting results were announced.