By the time Mara Justine wrapped up her cover of Rihanna’s 2016 hit, “Love On The Brain,”there wasn’t really much to say. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie were already on their feet. Katy put it very succinctly by saying, “I don’t think we need to critique, I think we just need to vote.â€
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During the lead-up to Mara’s audition, of course, there was some back-and-forth banter. Katy pointed out that American Idol’s now in its 16th season.
“It’s older than you,”she says during the segment, which taped in October but didn’t air until March 12. “Why are you auditioning now?â€
“Well,”Mara starts, “I remember when I was a little kid… it was my dream to audition for the show.â€
It’d be a shame if she spent all those years anticipating the day when she’d finally get to audition on this iconic reality show only to bomb it. But she most certainly didn’t, which is clear from the very opening notes in the video below.
The 15-year-old high school sophomore from Galloway Township, New Jersey, is certainly no stranger to singing on the national stage. You might have seen her in 2014 when she competed on Season 9 of America’s Got Talent at just 12 years old (and she got all the way to the Top 12 Finals segment before being eliminated).
And in 2012, she competed on “Maury’s Most Talented Kids,”the same year she won a more localized iteration of the “Got Talent”series, “Sea Isle’s Got Talent.â€
Since that win, she’s been working with singing coach Sal Dupree, who’s always there with words of encouragement as she pursues her dreams of becoming a professional singer.
Sal always told me, since I was a baby, he said, Mara, there’s going to be those days where you’re tired and you don’t want to get out of bed. You gotta get up… At the end of the day, when you’re at home and you’re there, you’re going to be so thankful that you did all this hard work. You’re going to be so proud of yourself.
Watch the audition that got this talented young lady a ticket to Hollywood in the clip below, and remember to share to spread good luck!
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