Alyssa Wray has been a standout from her very first audition on American Idol. The 18-year-old is one of the singers hoping to make the top 7 during the May 2 results episode. Over the course of season 19, Alyssa has stunned the judges with her powerful performances.
The singer most recently performed “This Is Me” by Keala Settle from The Greatest Showman for Idol’s Oscars Night. So, who is Alyssa Wray? Here’s what you need to know about the season 19 contestant.
1. Alyssa made Lionel Richie cry.
For her American Idol season 19 audition, Alyssa performed “I Am Changing” by Jennifer Hudson. Lionel Richie was so moved by her amazing vocals that he was brought to tears. He had to leave his seat and turn his back to compose himself. Lionel, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan gave Alyssa a standing ovation. They all three sent her straight to Hollywood.
2. She’s from a very small town in Kentucky.
Alyssa lives in Perryville, Kentucky. She revealed in her audition video that only about 750 people live in her small town. “Growing up, I kind of did always stand out,” Alyssa said. “I’m a six-foot-two Black woman who has an outspoken voice. I’ve just always been colorful and outside the box, and I just romanticize everything.”
3. Alyssa auditioned for ‘Idol’ once before.
“I had auditioned by sophomore year (of high school) and did not get past the first round,” Alyssa told YourSportsEdge.com. The singer didn’t give up on her dream. She auditioned virtually as part of Idol Across America, and is now a season 19 finalist!
4. She’s besties with a fellow ‘Idol’ star.
Alyssa has posted a number of Instagram photos with her fellow Idol contestants, especially Grace Kinstler. They’ve clearly hit it off!”All you need is love…and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for showing @gracekinstlerofficial and I so much of it after last night,” Alyssa captioned a sweet Instagram photo on March 23.
5. Alyssa is currently in college.
Alyssa is a freshman at Northern Kentucky University. She is a music theater major. However, she’s not sure if she’ll return to school after Idol is over. “I’m still a little conflicted,” she told Cincinnati.com. “I have a lot of paths that are revealing themselves to me right now. But I love LA. I never thought I’d love LA as much as I do. I used to think I’d never come out to LA because I used to hate riding planes, but I love LA a lot, so that’s definitely on my radar.”