Claire Jolie Goodman, a 16 year old high school student from Mount Prospect, Illinois sang an aria during her audition on American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
American Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan initially asked Claire if she has a pop song that she could sing. Claire said she could sing Mamma Mia, but the judges said it’s a Broadway song. (FYI Mamma Mia is actually a Europop, pop rock song by ABBA before it was turned into a Broadway musical.)
Claire then said she’d rather let the judges hear an aria she prepared, which Katy Perry thought was short for “Ariana Grande”, and which Claire corrected.
She sang the aria in acapella, with notes so high that Katy winced sometimes and later all the judges lip synced to.
Judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie gave Claire a standing ovation. However, all of the judges told Claire that her voice and style is not for American Idol but would be a good fit for Broadway. They all gave her “No” votes for American Idol but “Yes” votes for her to be on Broadway.
Claire may not have gotten a Golden Ticket to Hollywood but she was grateful for the judges’ appreciation of her talent.
Lionel Richie told Claire after her notable performance, “Let me tell you what I’m thinking so you actually know where you are. You are comfortable in that style of singing. I would never in a million years try to change you out of that. And so clearly, this is not your house. But your voice is incredible. And you need to take that character of who you are and make another pivot to the left or right and go do that. Because that’s where that voice should be.”
Katy Perry said, “If your big dream is to become a Broadway star, I think that’s what you should go for. We wanted to hear something a little more current from you and I’m not sure you are ready for that. I just think you’re not shooting for the right dream. If you’re gonna be a Broadway star, you go straight to New York City and I think you’d have a lot of success.”
Luke Bryan commented, “I wanna be real careful with you because you have tremendous gifts. You have a tremendous acting personality, it’s obviously ingrained in what you are. No matter what lyrics somebody writes for me, when I open my mouth, it sounds country. I cannot have it any other way. Do not pass Go, do not click 200 dollars, go to Broadway.”
When it was time to vote, Katy said it’s a No for American Idol but a yes for Broadway. Lionel voted in the same fashion. Luke said it’s a No for him but said it was very entertaining and “great job.”
Outside the audition room, Claire was crying when she said that she knows she’s not a pop singer and though she’s disappointed, “I think it’s more important that I’m staying true to myself, true to what I love to do, and I’m still gonna try to make it on Broadway. And I will tell them that American Idol sent me.”
American Idol Season 18 premiered at 8PM, February 16, 2020 on ABC television and will air Sundays at 8/7c. Ryan Seacrest continues his role as the show’s host and Bobby Bones returns as the in-house mentor. Despite budget cuts, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie come back as judges for their third season of the series.
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