If you watched American Idol’s audition episode from Salt Lake City, you might remember Kassandra Castaneda’s uncle more than the rest of her audition.
That’s because he was the one who had Kassandra slip Jennifer Lopez a note asking for a text or phone call.
“She opened it and she’s like, ‘Oh, well I have a boyfriend,'” Kassandra, 16, recalls with a laugh in her Road to Hollywood video. “It was really funny.”
Unfortunately, it might have overshadowed Kassandra’s very nice rendition of Adele’s “Chasing Pavements.”
Though the teen from Eastvale, Calif., sounded more mature than her years, Harry Connick Jr. didn’t think she was ready for American Idol. He complained that her performance was filled with too many runs
The other two judges were having none of it. Jennifer said Kassandra’s voice “is definitely worthy” of Hollywood. Keith Urban said she has the “raw talent” to “blossom” during Hollywood Week.
Musically, Kassandra says she draws some of her inspiration from Adele and Etta James because she admires the “soulful” quality of their voices.
“That’s really my favorite type of music to sing,” says the personable teen, one of this year’s online auditioners.
In fact, she thinks the fact that she’s young and likes to sing soul and the blues will help set her apart from the other younger singers on the show.
If you’d like to follow Kassandra, here’s a link to her Facebook page.
I’ve embedded three of her cover songs below. You can hear more by heading to her YouTube channel.
For profiles of more than 90 other Season 13 contestants, head here.
“Natural Woman” (Carole King cover)
“Glitter in the Air” (Pink cover)
“Break Even” (The Script cover)