ABC’s American Idol returned on Monday evening with the Top 11 taking the stage to showcase their incredible talents with songs hand-picked by the idol judges panel. Nicolina Bozzo had to decide between performing Adele’s “Someone Like You,” Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” for her performance.
Of the three picks chosen by the Idol judges, Bozzo chose to sing Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” as she feels she relates to it most.
“I love them all a lot,” Bozzo said of the song choices, adding, “I was super honored that they think that I can handle those songs.”
Ahead of her performance, while chatting with Idol’s associate musical director, Phredley Brown, and Idol’s vocal coach, Adriana McPhee, Bozzo shared that she connects with Clarkson’s chart-topping tune the most.
“I’ve had a lot of trouble with my relationship with my mom, and you know a lot of that was really toxic and I am proud of myself now for how far we’ve come, so I feel like that’s a good reflection,” Bozzo said of the track.
The Toronto native admitted her song choice was a bit “out of the box” for her.
“it’s very rocky and feisty,” she acknowledged. “I was surprised a little at that one, but it was like a pleasant surprise.”
Joined by a full band and solid production, the 18-year-old Canadian then belted out the lyrics to the iconic Clarkson hit in front of a live audience.
Bozzo put her powerhouse vocals on full display with her show-stopping performance that also had the audience off their feet singing along.
Following her performance, host Ryan Seacrest challenged Bozzo to guess which Idol judge picked the song for her to perform.
“I think that was Ms. Katy Perry,” Bozzo guessed before Seacrest questioned her choice.
“So, in my first audition she asked me if I had any Kelly in my lineup of songs and I was like ‘no ma’am I do not.’ So, I think this was your way of like slipping it in,” Bozzo said.
Much to Bozzo’s surprise, Perry was not the judge who chose her song.
“Unfortunately, that is not the case and I did not pick your song,” Perry admitted.
Ultimately, Lionel Richie was revealed as the judge who picked the Clarkson song for Bozzo to perform, before the Idol judges praised her performance.
“So, it’s the fire, I wanted fire from you and we know you can stand still and blow the whole room away, but can you make the stage presence work? And you just saw that you lit up the room,” Richie gushed of Bozzo’s performance.
“Well Lionel’s right, we haven’t seen you in that kind of high-energy, I mean, even during the song I was telling Katy, I was like ‘this thing kind of feels like pop-rock right now.’” Bryan added. ”It was fun seeing you in that light and seeing that you can kind of head bang a little bit. So, great job!”
“If you can sing it as good as Kelly Clarkson and then put your spin on it, I mean, you showed us something different,” Perry added.
With a record-breaking 19 million votes cast for the Top 10, Bozzo ultimately advanced to the next round.
American Idol airs every Sunday and Monday at 8/7c on ABC.