Syesha Raquel Mercado is an American singer, songwriter, actress and model. Mercado was second runner-up on the seventh season of American Idol. Prior to Idol, Mercado was on The One: Making a Music Star and she won Florida Super Singer. Her musical influences are Whitney Houston, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Zap Mama, Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, and Aretha Franklin. On June 25, 2009, it was officially confirmed that Mercado landed the lead role of Deena Jones in the United States national tour of Dreamgirls that also opened internationally in Japan. The tour began at the Apollo Theater on November 7, 2009.