Ada LeAnn is in California and ready to sing her song for America.
“All of this has been stunning, just over the top. All of us have kind of been in awe with everything that is happening with her in California this week,” said her mother, Jennifer Garver. “She is in amazing clothes, been in rehearsals, walking the ‘Purple Carpet.’ It’s all been amazing. NBC has really taken good care of her.”
Who is Battle Creek’s Ada LeAnn?
LeAnn has been waiting to become part of the show, hosted by Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg, which premiered March 21 and is now in the final week of the first round of “Live Qualifiers.”
As the lone representative for Michigan, it will be time to see if LeAnn’s hometown of Battle Creek and the rest of the state will vote her through to the next round after she debuts her original song, “Natalie.”
“Lot of kids at the school have been waiting to see it and have been looking for it on Mondays over the past few weeks,” said Greg Black, LeAnn’s choir director at Lakeview. “Then every Monday kind of comes and she isn’t on. But I think they know she’s coming up this Monday so they are getting excited.”
How ‘American Song Contest’ voting works
As the youngest singer/songwriter in the contest, after turning 17 in March, LeAnn is competing for the title of “Best Original Song” against a wide range of styles and experience from all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the nation’s capital, as the NBC stage has welcomed first-time performers as well as veterans like Michael Bolton and Jewel.
Going into Week 4, 12 states had already secured spots in the semifinals.
LeAnn will be among 11 artists performing on Monday. Then comes the vote. A panel of experts select one artist to advance and then more spots are available based on viewer votes and further choices of the experts. Local fans can go to www.asc.vote.nbc.com to vote.
“This is a huge opportunity for me,” LeAnn said prior to flying out for the show. “… Ultimately, what I want from this is I want people to be listening to my music. It would be super cool to win the show, but even if I don’t end up winning the show, what I really want from this is to be noticed for my songwriting and to be acknowledged as an artist. I’m really excited about that part of it.”
How LeAnn navigates high school, singing career
Ada’s mother points out it hasn’t been all glamor and glitz this week for rehearsals, as she is the only minor on the show.
“Not only does she have to do all the fittings and do rehearsals, but she also has to be in school the entire time she’s been out there,” Garver said. “It was mandatory that she was in school with a teacher on Zom from 8 to noon every day and then on the set at 1:30. Then, she can only work so long on the set, only x-amount of time, because she is a minor. And when that time is up, she has to get off the stage.
“Just imagine being a 17 year old and doing all of that, it’s been pretty tiring for her. She’s really had to juggle a lot more than the other contestants.”
Ada’s father has been in California all week with her during the process. Her mom was scheduled to fly out over the weekend to join them. Meanwhile, there has been a lot of buzz around Lakeview High School in anticipation for her chance to sing.
“We are excited to see one of Lakeview’s own on a national stage to showcase her talents,” Lakeview Principal Cody Japinga said. “Opportunities like this are not only important for the individual, but the school as a whole. A lot of our students have big dreams. Opportunities like this show all students that they are capable of accomplishing great things.”
Bill Broderick can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @billbroderick.
This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: Michigan singer Ada LeAnn on NBC’s ‘American Song Contest’ Monday