Wednesday night’s episode of “American Idol” took viewers to Charlotte, North Carolina, where an adorable emerging star caught the attention of the judges.
Isabelle Gonzalez – who was nominated to audition for the season 12 of the show by her aunt – was personally invited to perform for the judge’s panel when Randy Jackson surprised her with a visit to her school.
Singing a soulful rendition of “Nothing Will Ever Change This Love,” 16-year-old Gonzalez wowed the celebrity judges, who showered the Alpharetta, Georgia resident with praise.
“I love you,” said Nicki Minaj, who made quite the fashion statement in a cotton candy pink wig.
Country crooner and judge Keith Urban chimed in with his own praise, saying “You’re a natural. You had the confidence to perform in front of us, that’s what it takes …you have to be born to do it.”
“You are so adorable,” said Mariah Carey. “People are going to fall in love with you because you are a star.”
With prompting from Randy Jackson, the four judges sent the ecstatic teen straight to Hollywood.
“I was on top of the world, I was overjoyed,” said Gonzalez of the moment she received the highly coveted golden ticket. “It’s something I’ve wanted ever since I started with music.”
Crediting her songwriter uncle and music teacher with her musical training, Gonzalez said she hopes to stand out from the competition with her unique style.
“My style is bluesy, jazzy and soul,” said the brunette teen, who said in a post-show interview that she’s inspired by Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson. “But I like pop and I add that twist to it.”
Smiling impishly, she told “Idol” producers how she intends to win.
“I’m the next American Idol because I want this!”