Leah Mason, a senior at Green Hope High School in Cary, was one of the two silver ticket winners from the Crabtree Valley Mall ABC11 Idol auditions in the fall of 2017.
That ticket earned Leah a quick pass of sorts with other silver ticket winners from across the country to sing in front of show producers in Nashville. Leah was the first to enter the room. She sang 'Tennessee Whiskey.' This song earned her a win in Raleigh.
She said she felt good about her audition, and received some feedback from producers who said she sounded great and had a good look, but surprisingly, none of the silver ticket winners made it through to another round of auditions.
"It was a little disappointing, I was a little bit confused because none of us getting through was shocking," Mason said. "Because you could hear people through the walls, and there were some really really talented people there. So, I was surprised I didn't get through, but everything happens for a reason! I'm grateful for the experience I got to have and I'm hopeful something like this will be able to happen to me again."
Mason wants everyone to know that you can't take rejection to heart, just use it as motivation to work harder.
She plans to audition for other opportunities if she gets the chance and will study music business management in college in Nashville in the fall.
She will watch the American Idol premiere with new eyes after her experience.
"It's just crazy to see it when you were there," said Mason. "You've been there especially when I see the one that went through in Nashville and seeing familiar faces. It's going to be weird! We're so lucky we have opportunities like this for normal people that wouldn't otherwise have a chance."
American Idol's season 16 premiere is Sunday, March 11 at 8 p.m. on ABC11. The show has launched careers of many contestants including several big names from North Carolina like Scotty McCreery, Kellie Pickler, Clay Aiken, and Fantasia Barrino to name a few.