How is Mikalah Gordon feeling these days?
How about "exuberant," which happens to be a word the high school junior learned during a vocabulary lesson last week?
The 17 year old Las Vegas born singer has found her success,as well as her fanbase,on the hit show American Idol's Fourth Season.
Gordon, the daughter of Rocky Gordon and Victoria Cavaricci, was born on January 14,1988, and raised in Las Vegas. She performed with the Helen Joy Entertainers from the ages of 6 to 14, and once sang at the White House.
However, September's "American Idol" tryout in Las Vegas marked the first time she had auditioned for the megapopular talent search show.
When she learned that she had made the initial Las Vegas cut, "I was so excited," Gordon says.
Gordon adds that when she received word several weeks ago that she would be announced as one of the show's 24 finalists, her biggest challenge was not telling anybody about it.
"Obviously, I have the biggest mouth in the world," she said last week during a telephone interview, "so keeping it under wraps was hard."
Cavaricci says she's always known her daughter is talented. However, she admits she's surprised that Mikalah is receiving such high-profile recognition at such a young age.
"She's very funny, she's very witty and she's not intimidated, so I knew that she would be successful at some time in this type of career but, certainly, not at this age," Cavaricci says. "And certainly I didn't think `American Idol.' "
"It's just amazing," Gordon says. "We had some photos shot yesterday and it was so -- surreal is the most perfect word. Yet, it's fabulous. It's everything you want."
"Exuberant" is a good word, too, and one that Gordon learned last week. While away from her classes, "I have to do three hours of schoolwork every day," Gordon says.
And, she jokes, "what a feeling it is to be doing a photo shoot one minute and, the next, doing my vocabulary work."
"You say, `What is this? This is not the life of a star!' But know what? It's still great."