Nanaimo teen doesn’t make American Idol top 10 but vows to continue singing

Nanaimo teen doesn't make American Idol top 10 but vows to continue singing
WatchSixteen-year-old Lauren Spencer-Smith had reached the top 20 then had to move home due to COVID-19. She then performed at her father's home on Sproat Lake.

Sixteen-year-old Lauren Spencer-Smith of Nanaimo auditioned for American Idol in Oregon last November and impressed the judges so much that she was invited to Hollywood to compete for the title.

“We had no idea that Canadians could even go on American Idol,” said Spencer-Smith in an interview with CHEK News Monday. “And we just decided you only live once, and to do the experience.”

She’d been contacted by a representative at American Idol who had seen a video of Spencer-Smith singing when she driving around with her dad. It was already going viral and she was encouraged to audition.

That’s when the life of the Grade 11 student at Dover Bay Secondary school got a little crazy.

She became a fan favourite and the judges, Lionel Richie, Katey Perry and Luke Bryon sent her to the top 20.

Then COVID-19 hit and the remaining contestants were sent home. But the show wasn’t over and each singer was sent a full kit of lights and video and sound equipment.

Spencer-Smith’s new stage became her dad’s deck overlooking Sproat Lake, which was seen by millions of people around the world.

“It was just fun to have your parents and your family and my dogs and everything on the deck watching me perform,” she said.

And it was a performance on the deck against 19 others a week ago that Americans got to vote on to decide the Top 10 in a show that aired Sunday night.

Unfortunately, Lauren’s name wasn’t called.

“I think when my name wasn’t called obviously that’s disappointing and you can’t take away from that, but I think that it’s still super exciting because all my best friends are now in the top 10 and I get to support them,” said Spencer-Smith.

She says being on American Idol was an experience of a lifetime.

“It was honestly just a hugely positive atmosphere with everybody on the show, and off the show, you make so many friendships and relationships with so many kinds of people,” she added.

So what’s next for Spencer-Smith? She says she’d like to go on tour with other singers she met on the show.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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