If you had that nagging feeling of familiarity watching Amanda Mena perform on Night 2 of ABC’s “American Idol” Season 19, you’re not alone.
This 18-year-old horse handler originally made a name for herself on NBC’s rival reality TV show “America’s Got Talent” where she received Mel B‘s Golden Buzzer. At that time she was only 15, but her “Natural Woman” audition blew the roof off the theater and earned her a coveted spot in the Season 13 live shows. Amanda made it all the way to the “AGT” semi-finals, being eliminated just prior to finale week. With three more years of experience under her belt, can this Boston resident go the end and win “American Idol”?
SEE ‘American Idol’ Winners List (Seasons 1 – 18)
For her “Idol” audition (watch above), Amanda took a big risk performing The Beatles‘ “Golden Slumbers” in front of judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. Sunday’s episode opened right away with her performance and we didn’t get to see any of her backstory, but fans of “AGT” already know that she learned English as a second language after growing up in Dominican Republic. Amanda was bullied by her American classmates and she eventually found music as a way of connecting to those around her.
Before “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent,” Amanda competed in — and won — the American Spanish-language version of “The Voice,” titled “La Voz Kids,” in 2014. In other words, she’s a pro at this whole reality TV thing.
“You are one of a kind,” Katy told the teenager after her flawless audition of the classic Beatles song. The judges counted to three and then unanimously told Amanda, “You’re going to Hollywood!” That means she’ll next be seen in the Hollywood Week rounds, which will start as soon as the auditions wrap up next month.
Amanda is the second former reality star to audition on Season 19 of “Idol,” following Jason Warrior from Night 1. He’s a 25-year-old Chicago native who rose to fame two years ago on “The Four,” but his time on that show ended in controversy as he fought with judge Meghan Trainor and ended up having security called. Jason’s comeback story will definitely be one to watch as “American Idol” continues heating up ABC.