Another American Idol contestant with Canadian ties is heading to Hollywood!
Leah Marlene, who is originally from Toronto, currently lives in Normal, Illinois, but, as judge Katy Perry pointed out, there’s definitely nothing ordinary about her.
The 20-year-old stunned judges during her audition for the show’s 20th season when she sang an acoustic version One Direction’s 2014 single “Steal My Girl.”
As for her audition strategy, Marlene said, “My plan is to go in there and hopefully not trip.”
Well, not only did she manage to stay upright, she also walked out with a golden ticket to Hollywood after getting rave reviews and a resounding “yes!” from all three judges.
Marlene said that music has always been a part of her life and grew up in a house full of guitars, thanks to her “’80s rocker” dad. She added that she had a weird dress sense as a child and used to play hockey when she was younger.
“I hit my head too many times and I had to give that up,” she said, after her performance.
“Well, hit me in the head with a hockey stick,” quipped Perry.
“Knock my teeth out,” added Luke Bryan.
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Aside from her powerful vocals, for Lionel Richie, it was Marlene’s quirky personality that clearly stood out.
“A lot of times we have to dig people out, get them to find themselves,” he said. “You are so comfortable with yourself it is refreshing.”
In an Instagram post, Marlene said that she was humbled by the love and kindness she received.
“My number one priority coming into American Idol was to show up [and] be nothing but my fullest, truest, (goofiest) self,” she wrote.
View this post on Instagram
Canadian singers seem to be making their mark on the show this season — Marlene is the second contestant this season with Canadian ties.
Last week, Nicolina Bozzo, an 18-year-old university student from Toronto, sang a powerful rendition of Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to be Mine” and also got the coveted golden ticket to Hollywood.
“I felt your whole life story in that song,” said Perry.
“Sorry about that one,” quipped Bozzo, like a true Canadian.
“Everybody has their pain, and their sorrow, and their sadness, but it’s about connecting to the heart,” continued Perry.
We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on these two talented singers.
Watch Marlene’s audition below: