Sunday night during the Top 14 performance episode of “American Idol,” 16-year-old Mara Justine sang “The Greatest Showman’s” “This Is Me” for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. This Galloway Township, New Jersey resident gained notoriety on “America’s Got Talent,” and now she’s hoping her fans will follow her to “American Idol.” Was Mara’s performance good enough to send her through to the Top 10 of Season 16? Watch the “American Idol” video above and then read the judges’ comments below.
“Mara, I feel like you have come a long way as far as your body moving on stage and really owning the stage,” declared Katy. “I saw some new things physically that were amazing. The way you moved your arms, the way you hit the notes and the beats. I think you really didn’t arrive vocally until the middle of the song. I know you’re better than that, but I think you are growing in other areas.”
Luke chimed in, “Mara, you have taken us, the judging panel, on some pretty emotional rides. I wouldn’t say that I was completely emotionally invested in that performance, but we know you have this voice that will lift the roof off this place. Just keep giving us that.”
“The only thing I’m thinking about the whole time I hear your perform is, ‘At 16 years old, what was I doing?'” asked Lionel. “It was nowhere near the confidence. So all I’m gonna say to you is, I know what you’ve been through, I know the trials and tribulations, but you are bringing your inner strength forward in your talent.”
In his “American Idol” live blog recap, Denton Davidson noted, “She looks every bit the pop star but seemed nervous throughout the first verse. Her emotions seem to take over at times and Katy looks completely unmoved in the audience. Her big notes are hit or miss and overall this performance has to be put in the ‘okay’ category. I wasn’t thrilled with it.”
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