'American Idol': Contestant Grace Leer is a California country singer with strong Chicago ties

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "American Idol" is down to the top 10! ABC7's Janet Davies spoke with amazing Grace Leer, a California girl with country chops and strong ties to Chicago.

"I just want to do it for my life," Leer said. "I love singing. I love being on stage. I love making music."

Leer's been singing all her life. She became a school soccer star and answered the call of Nashville.

"I loved the storytelling of country music," she said. "I just loved the melodies."

Leer's father is an actor and model right here in Chicago. Her brother, Chris, is a men's soccer coach at Northwestern.

"I've come to Chicago just to hang out with my dad, he lives right downtown," she said. "We've done the Hot Chocolate run. I love Chicago as a city, it's awesome."

Grace was an "American Juniors" contestant - one of many early stages.

"I just remember her mom and I looking at each other going, what was that, wow ok she's got something!" said her father, Buzz Leer.

You may have seen Grace's dad cheering her on in the audience.

"Grace has been giving me chills and tears singing from the time she was three and I'm very passionate about her performing," he said. "Whether she wins or not, listen, we're gonna be proud of her not matter where she ends up."

"When I sing it's just such a passion of mine," she said. "There's really nothing else I wanna do in this world. It's just what I love."

American Idol continues Sunday night at 7 p.m. on ABC7.
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