'The Comeback': Former FWB resident Aliana Jester to make 'American Idol' return Monday

Savannah Evanoff
Northwest Florida Daily News

Aliana Jester is making a comeback.

The former Fort Walton Beach resident and current Tampa resident was informed two months ago that she was one of 10 people chosen from contestants who made the Top 20 on the vocal competition show “American Idol” to return for a performance on "The Comeback" episode. Viewers will then vote on the best performance, and the performer with the most votes will join the current season.

More:Reflecting, looking ahead with former 'American Idol' contestant Aliana Jester

Also from March 2020:19-year-old FWB woman, Aliana Jester, auditions for ‘American Idol’

Jester barely missed making the Top 10 in season 18, which was predominantly filmed in contestants’ homes because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Fort Walton Beach resident Aliana Jester returned to ABC's "American Idol" for "The Comeback" episode.
The former Fort Walton Beach resident and current Tampa resident was informed two months ago that she was one of 10 people chosen from contestants who made the top 20 on the vocal competition show “American Idol” to return for a performance on "The Comeback" episode.

“We all get to do hair, makeup, wardrobe, which we didn’t get to have last year,” Jester said. “We get to sing on the big Idol stage, which we also didn’t get to do last year. So that’s something I thought was pretty cool. The producers made a comment that everyone really shines when they’re on stage. I feel like they wanted me to be able to show everyone that I could shine on an actual stage with an audience rather than with our families and — for me — in my garage.”

Jester’s performance of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “I’ll Never Love Again” from the movie “A Star is Born” will air on Monday night's episode at 7 p.m. on ABC.

Jester chose that song because she connects to it on a personal level, she said.

“I remember Katy Perry was telling me I should pick songs I connect to,” Jester said. “I recently saw the movie, and in the movie the song was written for (Gaga). When she sang the song, it was in remembrance of someone, so when I connect to it, it’s from more of a mental standpoint.”

Former Fort Walton Beach resident Aliana Jester’s first single, “Erase Me,” an R&B and soul style song, will drop in the next couple weeks.

Jester has another song she is especially connected to at the moment: her own. Jester’s first single, “Erase Me,” an R&B and soul style song, will drop in the next couple weeks. Her manager’s friend wrote the song and thought it would make a good fit for Jester’s voice.

“I think the writer was going through a tough time at the time when she wrote it, which, ironically, so was I,” Jester said. “The song is about her heart getting broken, and I also had my heart broken recently, which made it that more beautiful.”

Jester is “very excited” about releasing her first single.

“It’s really cool,” she said. “I got to see the process of it and how everything works. It was definitely interesting.”

Jester can't wait to see how her reappearance on "American Idol" impacts her vocal career, too.

“I hope that I get the exposure I didn’t really get to have last year,” she said. “I got a lot of messages that people didn’t know who I was until the live (performances), so I really hope people get to see my potential and passion for music.”

"The Comeback" episode of "American Idol" has been pre-filmed. Former Fort Walton Beach resident Aliana Jester said she feels “really good” and “really confident” about her performance.

The episode pre-taped. Jester said she feels “really good” and “really confident” about her performance.

“To me, I think it was the best performance I’ve done. I’m really looking forward for everyone to see not only my performance, but everyone’s performance. I think everyone did a really, really great job. I think it was a really nice thing for ‘American Idol’ to bring back 10 of us because it really gave us the opportunity to show the world the things we’re capable of.”