As the latest season of American Idol continues, it keeps offering new surprises for viewers at home. In the show's latest episode, contestant Andrea Valles was rocking an eye patch, and viewers at home and the show's judges were curious why she was covering one of her eyes during her performance. Although some may have thought it was part of her outfit, that wasn't actually the case.
Andrea explained the eye patch during an on-camera interview.
As Andrea explained during the April 4 episode, she was wearing an eye patch because had recently undergone a retina detachment surgery. She also said that she'd learned to accept that crazy things can happen. “You have to learn to push through and just roll with the punches," she said. Andrea didn't say whether she would be wearing the eye patch for the rest of the season or not.
In the latest episode, Andrea received plenty of praise from the judges for her performance of "Careless Whisper," which was a duet with Brian McKnight. She's become one of several fan favorites in the latest season and has earned fairly consistent praise from the judges for her performances thus far.
Who is Andrea Valles?
In addition to being a contestant on American Idol, Andrea is a Katy, Texas resident who briefly attended Lone Star College before dropping out in order to pursue music full time. Her parents are Venzuelan immigrants who settled in Salt Lake City, and she's participated in a number of other talent competitions prior to competing on American Idol, including Tengo Talento, La Banda, Reina de la Cancion, and Mucho Talento.
In an interview with The Houston Chronicle, Andrea said that her dream has always been to compete on American Idol. “I was nine years old in computer class," she explained. They had us do this project, and I drew myself on the American Idol stage. It’s been something I’ve seen since I was a little girl."
Andrea added that she always believed in herself, even when the path ahead of her was uncertain. “I knew that I was working toward something like it, but I never knew when it would happen," she explained.
In the interview, Andrea also talked about the great advice she's already received from the show's judges. After an early performance, Katy Perry told her not to "sell herself short," and that's a lesson that has stuck with Andrea.
“I feel like that was the best piece of advice ever because sometimes you go into things not thinking you have all of this potential. Ever since then, I’ve not been holding back and tasking risks,” she explained.
She also said that her experience working with a Texas wedding band called Drywater had helped prepare her for Idol.
“The way they run the band and their business, it’s literally like preparation for Idol. I’m not even kidding,” she said. “For our duet rounds, they have you learn a song in a day, make an arrangement in a day and rehearse it with your partner in a day. The next day, you rehearse it once and you perform for the judges. That’s literally what we do for Drywater."