Eliza Catastrophe (age 28) of Spokane, Washington sang an unforgettable, original song titled “Sardines” during the Auditions round of American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
American Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie were amused with her song, especially Luke Bryan, who said he’d probably sing it when he goes fishing.
Eliza’s audition was made into a sing-along video. Her song sounded like a nursery rhyme with a mix of rock. Luke Bryan can’t seem to get the song out of his head. Maybe this song is a “Baby Shark” in the making, who knows?
The judges did not give Eliza a Golden Ticket to Hollywood, although they loved her quirky personality.
Eliza Catastrophe is a server at Fleur De Sel Creperie on the lower South Hill, according to KXLY. In the interview with KXLY, Eliza said she brought along cans of sardines as promotional items and gave them to the the American Idol judges.
Her love for sardines started way back in her childhood when her Dad burned the oil from the cans. To do that trick, she had to eat the sardines and she developed a taste for it.
“Sardines” was composed in just one day, according to Eliza. She said in the interview, “It annoyed my roommate so bad, he hated it and it got stuck in everybody else’s head.”
Lionel Richie commented after Eliza’s performance, “Let me just tell you I’m evaluating the fact that I don’t know where this beautiful Sardines Sardines fits. Not that you’re not entertaining. (Katy said, “Entertaining, yes!”). Entertaining you’ve got that down in spades. How you are vocally is going to be the part that I’m wrestling with. But it’s gonna be a No for me.”
Luke Bryan said, “Love your spirit. Just keep having fun being yourself but for American Idol, I’m a No.”
Kat Perry told Eliza, “You’re a character. And you make us laugh, and it’s unusual, it is super unusual. It is weird…It’s not right for American Idol but thank you for the snacks and the sardines.”
Eliza asked the judges, “But you guys like me as a person?”
They all answered yes, with Luke Bryan saying, “We love you.”
She asked the judges again, “Would you ever want to hang out socially?”
Awkward pause and silence from the judging panel.
In a post-audition interview Eliza, who a lot of online fans liken to Phoebe Buffet of “Friends”, said that her putting stinky fish into the room probably hurt her chances and it grossed Katy out. “I think that turned her off of me right away. I’m gonna blame it on that instead of anything else.”
Her rejection on American Idol does not deter Eliza, who said she will keep on singing forever. She’ll probably go back to playing $20 shows but she will definitely be working her way up there. “Maybe Katy Perry will be opening for me someday,” she said.
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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