Casey McQuillen turned in one of the best vocals we heard from anyone in the Omaha audition episode on American Idol.
She sang Demi Lovato’s “Skyscraper.” And, in a year when nearly everyone has been lugging guitars into the audition room, the fact that she performed a cappella was even more impressive.
Jennifer Lopez called her performance “angelic.” Keith Urban loved the “restraint” she showed during the performance.
And both agreed they didn’t need to hear her sing a second song — as many contestants do — before awarding her a golden ticket to Hollywood.
It’s just a shame that Idol didn’t fill us in on Casey’s background, because there’s a good deal to talk about.
She has released two albums — “Enough” in 2010 and “Passenger Seat” in 2011 — and both are available on iTunes. So are a pair of singles released in 2012, “Beautiful” and “I Want You to Kiss Me.”
She attends the Berklee College of Music and was selected to perform in two of the school’s most prestigious annual events — Singer’s Night and Singer’s Showcase — as a freshman.
She spent the last year singing with a wedding band — the Boston Common Band — which should serve her well when she’s asked to sing covers on Idol.
On Facebook, Casey describes herself as a singer-songwriter who taught herself to play guitar at age 13.
In her Road to Hollywood video, Casey says her Berklee classmates provide her with inspiration.
“I’m surrounded by unbelievable musicians all the time,” she says. “My friends are so good. They’ll be practicing or auditioning for things, and it just inspires me to do better.”
Working with more experienced musicians in the wedding band has also helped her hone her performance skills, Casey says.
“If anything makes me unique, it’s that I’ve gotten good at forgetting I’m on stage and just having fun,” she says. “Instead of being, ‘Oh, my God, this is so intimidating, so nerve-wracking, I try to think, ‘Look at what I’m doing right now. This is so cool and so fun.’
“I like to think I can deliver a fun performance.”
I’ve embedded four samples of Casey’s music below, including those most current singles. You can hear lots more on Casey’s YouTube channel.
For profiles of more than 90 other Season 13 contestants, head here.
“Girl on Fire” (Alicia Keys cover)
“Jealous of the Angels” (Jenn Bostic cover)
“I Want You To Kiss Me” (original)