Vonzell attended high school at the Cypress Lake Center for the Arts. She holds a black belt in Sembact martial arts; her father is a martial arts instructor (affectionately known as "Master G"). Prior to auditioning for American Idol, she worked for the United States Postal Service as a Rural Letter Carrier and sung with local bands in Southwest Florida. In April 2004, she released a demo CD, My Struggle exclusively to her website. It was made unavailable while she was competing on Idol.
In 2002, Vonzell auditioned for the second season of P-Diddy's Making the Band, but was not selected for the group. Diddy has stated that he does not recall her, and during an appearance on Live with Regis and Kelly asserted that she was not well suited for a hip-hop group, anyway.
Of her first performance in the Top 12 (Dionne Warwick's "Anyone Who Had a Heart," February 28, 2005), judge Simon Cowell said Vonzell needed to do something memorable to make it far in the competition. The following week, Cowell called her performance of the Emotions' "Best of My Love" her first memorable performance of the competition.
On May 11, 2005, the top 4 remaining Idol contestants each performed two numbers for the themes Nashville Songs and Gamble & Huff Songs. Vonzell performed "How Do I Live" and Thelma Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way." Despite being in the bottom two that week, she made it into the top 3 when Anthony Fedorov was eliminated.
On May 17, 2005, Clive Davis selected Dionne Warwick's "I'll Never Love This Way Again" for Vonzell to perform, the judges selected Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" and her own choice was Donna Summer's "On the Radio." She was eliminated on the following night's results show-- leaving Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice to battle it out in the finale. She did, however, return for the season finale and performed "With You I'm Born Again" with Billy Preston.
|Week # - Theme||Song Choice||Original Artist||Result|
|Top 24||"Heat Wave"||Martha and the Vandellas||Safe|
|Top 20||"If I Ain't Got You"||Alicia Keys||Safe|
|Top 16||"Respect"||Otis Redding||Safe|
|Top 12 - Songs of the 60's||"Anyone Who Had a Heart"||Dionne Warwick||Safe|
|Top 11 - Billboard'' #1's||"Best of My Love"||The Emotions||Safe|
|Top 10 - Songs of the 90's||"I Have Nothing"||Whitney Houston||Safe|
|Top 9 - Broadway Musicals||"People"||Barbra Streisand||Bottom 3|
|Top 8 - Contestants' Birth Year||"Let's Hear It for the Boy"||Deniece Williams||Safe|
|Top 7 - 70's Dance Music||"I'm Every Woman"||Chaka Khan||Safe|
|Top 6 - Songs of the 21st Century||"I Turn to You"||All-4-One||Bottom 3|
|Top 5 - Leiber and Stoller Songs and Billboard Top 40||"Treat Me Nice"|
"When You Tell Me That You Love Me"
|Elvis Presley |
|Top 4 - Nashville Songs & Gamble and Huff Songs||"How Do I Live"|
"Don't Leave Me This Way"
|Top 3 - Clive Davis', Judges & Contestants' choice||"I'll Never Love This Way Again"|
"Chain of Fools"
"On the Radio"
|Season Finale||"With You I'm Born Again"||Billy Preston (feat. Syreeta)|
Vonzell is the CEO at her independent record label, Melodic Records. Before starting the company, she was the highest-finishing American Idol contestant not to receive a recording contract afterward. She also makes a cameo in the 2007 independent film Still Green, and has served as a paid spokesperson for the United States Postal Service, as she was a rural carrier before her Idol appearances.
In mid-2006, it was announced that Vonzell had a planned record. The record has gone into development hell, and since then not much has been heard about her record. Her representatives claimed that none of the "media's speculations" were true and that they just hit a few bumps along the road. A single from this mostly completed album was scheduled for release in late 2007. My Struggle, recorded under the name "Baby V," was released to iTunes on January 9, 2007.
On May 17, 2007 a fire erupted in Vonzell's Fort Myers, Florida home. Authorities suspect the cause to be an electrical malfunction in the attic. She was not injured, however, damage to the home was estimated at more than $200,000, and a family pet, a small dog, died in the fire. After discovering the fire, she called 911 from a neighbor’s home. The 911 call was received at 11:25 p.m., and firefighters from the South Trail Fire Department had the fire under control at 11:45 p.m.
Vonzell recently finished a brief stint at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center in Lubbock, Texas, as Glinda/Aunt Em, in Todrick Hall's retelling of the Wizard of Oz. Oz, the Musical sold out both nights. She starred alongside Season Two alumni Rickey Smith as the Tinman, and Season 4 Alumni Scott Savol, as the Lion, and Mikalah Gordon, as Dorothy.
In early 2007, My Struggle was released to iTunes. Track listing for My Struggle is as follows:
|1||Gotta Have Faith|
|3||Do Yo Thang|
|6||You Don't Impress Me|
|7||The One I Love|
|2007||Still Green||Chelsea||Supporting Character|
|2006||The Tyra Banks Show||Herself||Guest Appearance|
|2005||Live with Regis||Herself||Aired June 9, 2005|
|2005||VH1's Big in '05||Herself||Featured Artist|