You might recall Kenzie Hall as the Salt Lake City auditioner who told the American Idol judges she was “pretending” to be OK when she was really quite nervous.
Hey, there was good reason. Kenzie didn’t even know she’d be trying out for the show that day.
Kenzie, 16, of Draper, Utah, told FOX13 in Salt Lake that she had heard American Idol was visiting Salt Lake to audition singers, but had always thought she’d like to make it on her own rather than kick-starting her career with a TV show.
Her mother had other ideas.
“My mom actually woke me up at 6 a.m. the morning of the auditions and said, ‘Hey, get in the car. You don’t know where we’re going,’” Kenzie recalls in her Road to Hollywood video.
“I had my guitar in the back. And she’s like, ‘You know a couple songs, right?’ We showed up and she says, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re auditioning for American Idol. I’m like, ‘Thanks, mom.’”
Kenzie, as personable an Idol singer as you’ll find, ends her story with a laugh.
Why not? Things went incredibly well in the audition room.
She sang John Mayer’s “I’m Gonna Find Another You” and performed it sort of playfully.
Jennifer Lopez’s response: “You have everything going on.” Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban both expressed surprise at how good Kenzie is at such a young age.
Kenzie told FOX13 she’s been singing most of her life, but performing only for about a year.
As for her choice of audition songs, John Mayer is one of her biggest musical influences, she says in her Idol video.
“I would say I’m unique as an artist because I’m not what people expect,” she adds. “I’m not just a bubbly pop-country singer, or anything like that. I’m actually a blues singer. And an introvert.”
Kenzie is also one of the Idol contestants who have already released music.
In her case, it came in the form of a five-track EP released in June on iTunes.
The EP is called “Hands On” and includes four original songs and a cover of “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
I’ve embedded four performances by Kenzie below. You can check out more on her YouTube channel.
For profiles of more than 90 other Season 13 contestants, head here.
“Don’t Go Away” from her EP
“Can’t Hold Us” cover
“I’m Gonna Find Another You” (John Mayer cover)
“Oh, Darling” (from Alta High School Idol competition)