When Jena Asciutto walked into the American Idol audition room in Detroit, Harry Connick Jr. asked if she performs in musicals and plays in school.
He might have been surprised by the answer.
Instead, Jena said she performed in a band from the time she was 12 to the time she was 16.
She quit about eight months before her Idol audition, but said she’s still writing her own music.
Jena sang “Rolling in the Deep” for the judges.
And while Harry offered some technical pointers, the other judges were impressed. Jennifer Lopez said she especially enjoyed the way Jena changed up the Adele hit.
The North Farmington High School senior says she draws inspiration from bands like Paramore and Incubus, groups she grew up listening to.
“I think my voice is the thing that’s going to stand out,” she says in her Road to Hollywood video. “Just because even though I’m really small, I’ve got a really big voice. And my writing abilities, too. Eventually, I do want to show the judges I can write my own music.”
To help prove her point, I’ve embedded some of Jena’s originals below. If you’d like to hear more, head to this YouTube channel.
For profiles of more than 90 other Season 13 contestants, head here.
“Press Down” (with band, Infinity Hour)
“Unbreakable Me” (original)
“Help Me” (original)
“Free Fall” (original)