Leah Marlene is going to Hollywood!
The 20-year-old musician, originally from Toronto, showcased her “tremendous voice” during an “early release” of her “American Idol” Season 20 audition.
Before blowing the judges away with her acoustic rendition of One Direction’s “Steal My Girl”, Marlene burst into the audition room like the “ball of energy” that she is.
The talented, quirky singer-songwriter currently resides in Normal, Illinois which had judge Katy Perry joking, “Honey you are not normal” about her “super fun and weird” personality- only the best compliment Marlene could have ever asked for.
Marlene grew up playing Canada’s national winter sport before giving it up to pursue music.
“I played hockey when I was younger and then I hit my head too many times and I had to give that up,” she said.
While following her dream to pursue music, Marlene attended Belmont, a private University in Nashville, for two years before becoming a “proud” dropout.
“I grew up in a house full of guitars and music. My dad is an 80s rocker so it’s always been around me,” the singer explained of her father, Derry Grehan, songwriter and lead guitarist with the Canadian band, Honeymoon Suite.
“I’ve been watching the show since I was really young. I was practically coming out the birth canal when Kelly Clarkson won,” she noted, adding that she’s been compared to “Idol”‘s Season 16 contestant Catie Turner.
Following Marlene’s audition, the judges provided some pun-intended commentary.
“Well, hit me in the head with a hockey stick,” Perry joked.
“Knock my teeth out,” Luke Bryan added.
Marlene had Perry feeling “all bubbly giggly” herself and left her wanting more. She proceeded to put on a second performance- this time performing an original song she wrote with two of her friends in Nashville, where the audition took place.
Marlene’s performances scored her a “yes” from all three judges and, in the wise words of Bryan, there’s “nothing about [her] that we’re gonna be able to predict,” as her journey continues.