Mara Justine taking high praise, American Idol journey in stride

AMERICAN IDOL – NYC Auditions. (ABC/Eric Liebowitz)

Follow Justine on Twitter | YouTube

Mara Justine is no stranger to the bright lights.

Despite being just 15-years-old, Justine has had quite the journey. The young singer first appeared on Maury’s Most Talented Kids when she was 10 before eventually taking center stage on America’s Got Talent at the age of 12. Today, Justine is off to another new adventure in front of a national audience, having received a golden ticket to continue her American Idol run.

“It is truly a blessing,” Justine said. “American Idol is giving me the opportunity to share my love and soul through my music to millions of people watching at home. They have made my dreams come true, and I would’ve never imagined something so amazing to happen to a girl like me.”

Ironically enough, Justine captivated audiences on America’s Got Talent with her rendition of Katy Perry’s ‘Unconditionally’ and now gets to perform right in front of the pop superstar.

To make matters even better, it was Perry who gave Justine the biggest accolade following her audition in which Justine performed Rihanna’s ‘Love on the Brain.’ Perry proclaimed Justine as having “top 10 talent,” meaning she foresees the Galloway, N.J. native sticking around for quite a while on the show.

“It meant the world to me,” Justine said. “I have looked up to Katy Perry for so long and to have her tell me I am top 10 material, I totally freaked out. It made me cry even more.”

Perry’s comment followed up a standing ovation from the three judges, including Lionel Ritchie and Luke Bryan. It was a moment that shocked Justine, and one that she says she will never forget.

“It was such an amazing and humbling feeling for them to stand up for me because my whole life I have been dreaming about this audition,” Justine said. “I went into this audition room telling myself that whatever happens, it was meant to be, but for them to stand up for me, it was an incredible moment.”

Justine, who began performing in front of audiences at eight years old, has drawn inspiration from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Janis Joplin, among others.

She will now continue on her American Idol journey with her next stop coming during Hollywood Week. This will be where the playing field gets cut down dramatically as singers perform twice, once in a group setting and the other a solo.

Justine started this competition off on the right foot with a dazzling performance and has put in a lot of work between that audition and her performances in Hollywood.

“I practiced a lot,” Justine said, placing a heavy emphasis on a lot. “My mother has always told me that if I work hard in life at what I love, that I can even achieve the stars.”

There’s a chance that she may very well achieve the stars… musical stardom, that is.

Follow Justine on Twitter | YouTube

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