(On Heart of Illinois on ABC) Local musician Leah Marlene voted off in the first round of the Season 20 finale of American Idol. Locally and nationally, many people have shown their support for the Town of Normal native’s long journey to the last episode.
Bruce Springsteen songs played during the first round of performances. Leah Marlene the first performer. She sang her version of “Cover Me” from Springsteen’s Born in the USA album from 1984.
At the start of the second round, each finalist’s trip to their own hometown brought up. Marlene started this round again with a montage about her return to the Town of Normal last Tuesday. It started with her going to Parkside Junior High School and Normal West High School. Where friends met her in the hallways. As she sang with the school choir and caught up with old teachers, yellow decorations hung on the walls. The next day, she went to see her family and ate dinner with them before her performance downtown that night.
Derry Grehan, her dad, told her, “I couldn’t be more proud of you.” “You’re the best daughter any dad could ask for.”
The montage ended with her arriving downtown in a private car and performing live in front of thousands of people.
Marlene told the crowd, “This has the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me in my whole life.” She shocked by how many people were there.
After the montage, Marlene sang a song she had written called “Flowers” for the judges. Ryan Seacrest, the show’s host, said that she wrote the song for her younger self. Which is reflected in the song’s message of being strong. The judges praised Marlene’s performance and how she had grown during her time on the show, which made her start to cry.
When Seacrest asked Marlene how she felt, she said, “I’m just so overwhelmed. “Two years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me I was here. I never thought I’d get out of that situation. And now I’m up here singing this song to people who are in that situation.”
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