I remember the first time I saw Naima. It was the Wisconsin audition, and after a sea of performances, out came this vibrant yet emotional personality who explained her dreams. We watched as Naima told us she worked backstage doing groundwork at Summerfest, and the footage showing her scrubbing the toilets. In her package she exclaimed, “that should be me on stage!” Then we witnessed her beautifully deliver the classic Donny Hathaway song, “For All We Knew.” I knew from that moment that I would be in Naima’s corner.
Once Hollywood week came, it became apparent to me that Naima did not have the voice to take the American Idol title. However, she did have a charisma and beauty that was like no other contestant. She always appeared in full vibrancy. She dressed in her African traditional clothes (which we later learned she made her self) that showed her artsy back tattoos. Her dreads were always tied up top her head, and her face made up with red lipstick that complemented her skin. Her outfit was topped with her natural smile which lit up the stage each time she stepped upon it.