American Idol contestant Leah Marlene from central Illinois impresses the judges

CHICAGO (WLS) — Leah Marlene is an exuberant American Idol contestant from central Illinois.

She will perform on the hit show this Sunday.

ABC7’s Hosea Sanders interviewed the rising star, who shared how she felt when she first walked into the room and saw the famous judges.

“When I opened the door, I was just ready to party. I was like, this is fun, I’m just going to have fun and enjoy this,” Marlene said.

Marlene did her trials in Nashville, although she grew up in Illinois. Marlene spent much of her college years in Chicago playing traveling hockey.

Auditioning seemed natural for the singer, who says music is a family affair – her father is in an 80s rock band.

“Man, I’ve been watching the show since I got out of the womb, pretty much, I’ve loved the show forever… When I went to the audition, I felt like I was doing this for my people who I’ve been there since day one, I just hope I make them proud,” Marlene said.

Marlene has done more than make her family and friends proud; she managed to impress the judges, especially Katy Perry.

Marlene’s new album “Many Colors” has just been released. So, with Idol, she hits the high notes!

“It’s such a cool experience, I’m ecstatic. It’s the most fun I’ve had in my entire life, it was awesome,” she said.

For Marlene, sharing her music with the world is a dream come true.

“I love people, that’s a big part of why I make music, I love sharing music with people and connecting with people, and the idea of ​​having more plus people I’m passionate about doing this with,” Marlene said.

You can look for Marlene Sunday at 7 p.m. CT on ABC.

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