‘American Idol': Former Kid Contestant Does Highwomen, Patsy Cline
American Idol did its part to entertain viewers across the country at home in coronavirus-related quarantine Sunday night (Mar. 15) with judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie giving their final votes for those who will advance to Hollywood.
One of the night's shoo-ins was 27-year-old Grace Leer, who explained that she might look a little familiar to some, as she auditioned for American Juniors (the "kid" version of Idol) way back when she was just 11 years old.
She made it to the top 20 on the show, but re-evaluated her direction shortly after. "When I was 14, I was faced with a choice whether to do music full time or to just be a normal kid, and I really just chose the normality of going to school and just being a normal kid. I think I've grown a lot since I've been 11," she explained. "Now I'm living in Nashville, I put a band together, and I'm doing country music, so I feel like now's the time."
She launched into "Crowded Table" by the Highwomen, eliciting audible "Wows" from the judges. When finished, Perry asked her, "Can you sing something, like, really sad country?" Leer obliged with a little bit of Patsy Cline's classic "Crazy."
"I love the texture of your voice," noted Perry. "I only saw a little bit of that kind of beautiful, authentic country yodel. I love it so much, I would never steer away from it. I mean, obviously it's the secret sauce of your voice. It's an instant identity, it's undeniably you.
"It sounds like a classic situation right off the bat, and it's not forced, and it's great and easy to listen to," added Bryan, before the three passed her on way to Hollywood.
This made Leer unexpectedly choke up. "It just means a lot to hear that from people like you, because you know how Nashville is," she explained. "It's competitive, it's saturated, and so to hear that...it just means a lot."
American Idol airs on Sundays at 8 PM ET.
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