It is happening again- Connecticut has another serious contender on American Idol.
The first episode of season 12 closed out Wednesday night with the story of Ashlee Feliciano, 20, of East Hartford. Built up as one of the best talents of the episode, Feliciano wowed the judges with a rendition of “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae. The judges’ reactions were near instant.
“I don’t think you understand what you just did,” said judge Nicki Minaj. “I’m so inspired by you, and I think so many girls will be inspired by you too.”
“I think it was really nice, I thought everything was really nice and clear,” said Mariah Carey. “The potential is great. it’s beautiful, you should be really proud of yourself.”
In an interview segment before the audition, Feliciano’s large extended family was profiled. Ashlee’s parents, Cesar and Hope Feliciano, talk about their three biological children (including Ashlee), and four foster children who are “medically complex.”
The fact that the show’s cameras recorded interviews and intimate family moments in what appears to be her home bodes well for Ashlee Feliciano. Connecticut Idol watchers may remember the extended interviews with Middlebury’s Katie Stevens at the beginning of season nine. Stevens went on to finish in eighth place.
After the audition, judge Randy Jackson called Feliciano’s large family in to join them. “You’re good people, and it definitely shines in her.” Jackson said.
“That girl just blew me away!” Minaj remarked as the family left the audition room.
Connecticut will be watching.
Watch the full clip below: