Of all the musical reality shows out there, American Idol is the classic example.
The show debuted on Fox in June of 2002 and has remained a mainstay of American culture ever since.
To date, the show has run for 17 seasons and 593 episodes—and in that time, it has helped break all kinds of new, talented acts for the world to see. Some of the biggest stars that have come from the franchise thus far include Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Kelly Clarkson.
And every so often, a new audition makes the judges think they’ve found the newest megastar.
That was the case in this audition from the show’s 2019 season.
As the clip begins, the contestant introduces herself as Madison VanDenberg, a 16-year-old singer from Cohoes in upstate New York. Almost immediately, the judges can’t believe what they’re hearing—VanDenberg is so young!
As she explains, she’s been playing piano since she was very young and has been doing musical gigs for “all her life” all over the place. Once again, judge Lionel Richie is shocked by what he’s hearing.
After her introduction is over, she says she’s going to perform “Speechless” by Dan and Shay on the piano.
Right as she starts singing, judge Katy Perry’s eyes narrow in surprise at how incredible VanDenberg’s voice is.
From the beginning, her piano playing is perfect and her voice is absolutely stunning. Although there are plenty of precocious musical talents that go on American Idol, there’s typically one element about the youngest performers that is just a little bit off. For some, their control is a little bit off.
For others, their range isn’t quite fully developed yet, or their tone could use a little bit of work. In VanDenberg’s performance, everything is absolutely pitch perfect—and she soars between highs, lows and vocal runs with complete ease.
Before the song is over, all the judges are comparing their arms and showing each other how many goosebumps they have.
As she finally wraps up her song, the judges stand up and give her a round of applause.
When it’s over, Richie says that he truly can’t believe that she’s only 16… and that she rendered all of the judges speechless!
As Perry says, that was the first time she’s ever gotten goosebumps from someone’s voice on the show—and that VanDenberg is as good Kelly Clarkson. Judge Luke Bryan can only echo what Perry says as well, that he thinks he’s looking at the next huge star from the show!
Needless to say, the judges send her to Hollywood.
Although the show has been on for a long, long time, American Idol keeps finding new ways to surprise us.
Though we’ve seen some impressive teen contestants before, it’s rare to find someone so composed and so mature as VanDenberg was.
Though it’s unclear what else will happen throughout the season, we’re guessing that we’re going to be seeing more and more of her over the years to come. After all, it’s not every day that you hear a voice as soulful and technically perfect as hers was.
Congratulations to Madison VanDenberg on stunning all of the judges! Watch her full audition in the clip below:
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Source: YouTube/American Idol