Emily Piriz says she’s been watching American Idol since Season 1 and always dreamed of being on the show.
She got her wish during the Atlanta audition, where she sang Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best” and got a unanimous vote through to Hollywood.
Emily, 17, hails from Orlando, Fla., and describes herself as a singer-songwriter on her Facebook page.
And she’s been participating in music competitions for a while now.
She won an East Orlando’s Got Talent competition in 2011, earned a fast pass to The X Factor auditions in 2012 and tried out for Idol at least once previously, according to a video on her YouTube channel.
There’s also a video there of her competing in the Southwest Orlando Idol finale in 2012, which I’ve embedded below.
Emily told The Orlando Sentinel her previous attempt at Idol came when she was just 15.
“I wasn’t prepared,” she told the newspaper. “I was so young. I didn’t know what to expect.”
Things went better in Atlanta, though she had to sing a second song to win over the judges.
Given her longtime Idol viewing habits, you won’t be surprised to discover that she considers Kelly Clarkson one of her biggest musical inspirations. The other she mentions in her Road to Hollywood video is Pink.
“Both of them kind of have a raspy tone, but they can also do ballads,” she explains. “They can do almost anything and it sounds phenomenal.”
A senior in high school, Emily told The Orlando Sentinel she considers her sound pop-rock with a soulful, bluesy tone.
You can follow Emily on Twitter at @emily_piriz.
I’ve embedded some videos of Emily performing below. If you’d like to hear more, head to her YouTube channel.
“Paris Oh La La” cover in 2012 Idol competition
“Wrecking Ball” cover
“Pumped Up Kicks” cover