American Idol 2020: Shannon Gibbons audition “I’d Rather Go Blind”

American Idol 2020: Shannon Gibbons audition "I'd Rather Go Blind" | Etta James | Season 18.

March 2, 2020 by Marsha Dizon

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Shannon Gibbons (age 20) a musician and college student from Bellport, New York sang a stunning and emotional version of “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James.

“I’d Rather Go Blind” is a blues song written by Ellington Jordan and co-credited to Billy Foster and Etta James. It was first recorded by Etta James in 1967, and released in 1968. The song has subsequently become regarded as a blues and soul classic, and had been recorded by a wide variety of artists including Rod Stewart, Sydney Youngblood, The Allman Brothers, Dua Lipa, and Grace Potter, among others.

Shannon said she had been singing since she was four or five years old. Her family would watch American Idol when she was a kid, and she would get up on the coffee table and start performing for them. Music took her mind off her problem with depression, which haunted her ever since she was in Kindergarten.

Currently, Shannon said she is part of a band called The Omen, which is composed of middle-aged men, which she joined more than 2 years ago.

American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan were very much impressed with Shannon Gibbons’ audition. Katy Perry said that she won’t let anybody go through unless they’re as good as Shannon. She called it the “Shannon Standard.”

Shannon Gibbons was given a well-deserved Golden Ticket to Hollywood at the end of her audition and she couldn’t be happier.

When she was younger, Shannon said she dealt with a lot of mental health issues. She remembers having suicidal thoughts every single morning at age four. She said, “Depression has been something that’s been in my life for a long time and I’ve tried my best to, you know, always handle it myself. Music got my mind off it. I was chasing a dream, but also every single day I was having thoughts about not even being there tomorrow.”

Shannon said it was her family who helped her and encouraged her to go see a therapist. And when she did, her world opened up. “Everything that I worked hard for, it’s all coming together and I feel great now and I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. It’s just because I didn’t give up. I want the judges to see my soul and how much I really do feel what I’m singing.” She said she actually found her way after 20 years of craziness.

After Shannon’s soulful performance, Katy said, “This is why I keep coming back to the show, Shannon.”

Lionel said, “What we have now is an opportunity to step on your confidence and go up. That’s where you have to think of yourself. Now, if you came in this calm, obviously someone possessed your body. But I don’t know who you are inside, but just take this to the next level.”

Katy Perry commented, “I ain’t lettin’ any more people go through unless they’re as good as Shannon. I’m sorry I’m not just gonna do it.”

Luke Bryan agreed and said. “It’s our new barometer. It’s standard.”

Katy coined the term, “Shannon Standard.”

The judges handed Shannon her Golden Ticket to Hollywood. In a post-audition interview, she said that getting the Golden Ticket felt like a weight was lifted off her chest. Looking at her prized Golden Ticket, she commented, “I never thought I’d see this in real life, I’m just so happy.

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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