‘American Idol’ Uncovers Talented 20-Year-Old Shannon Gibbons With Important Message

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We’ve grown to expect a certain level of talent every season on ABC’s American Idol, but there are those aspiring young superstars who  stand apart from the rest. Whether it’s a unique tone, a vast range, vocal gymnastics or a way with words as a songwriter, they become the standard by which other potential competitors are measured. During the third night of auditions, that standard became New York’s Shannon Gibbons.

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But Shannon is more than a gifted vocalist, she’s also a survivor. In her introductory package, the sweet singer explained that she had long suffered from depression, even contemplating suicide at the age of four. Music became her sanctuary and, thanks to her parents, she sought the help of a therapist. Now, with her dreams within her grasp, she’s experiencing life in a new light.

“I want the judges to see my soul and how much I really do feel what I’m singing,” she said. “I’ve been through 20 years of craziness and I feel like now I’ve actually found my way.”

Stepping into the audition space, you might expect the 20-year-old beauty with mermaid hair to perform a current pop smash, but she selected Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” for her piece and what it told the judges is that this young lady is capable of singing anything. While Shannon delivered her soulful and gusty performance, filled with delicate and thoughtful dynamics, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie sat back in their chairs, seemingly forgetting they were at a competition and just enjoying the show.

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“This is why I keep coming back to this show,” Katy told her. “I ain’t letting any more people go through unless they’re as good as Shannon.” Luke added, “It’s our new barometer.”

And she’s off to Hollywood!