Michigan singer Ada LeAnn at NBC’s “American Song Contest” on Monday
Ada LeAnn is in California and ready to sing her song for America.
The Lakeview High School teenager will finally take the stage for her nationally televised appearance on the “American Song Contest” at 8 p.m. Monday night on NBC.
“It’s all been mind-blowing, just over the top. We’ve all been in awe of everything going on with her in California this week,” her mother, Jennifer Garver, said. “She’s been wearing amazing clothes, been in rehearsals, walked the ‘purple carpet.’ Everything has been amazing. NBC has taken really good care of her.”
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LeAnn has been waiting to be a 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 Michigan’s sole representative, it’ll be time to see if LeAnn’s hometown of Battle Creek and the rest of the state will vote her into the next round after she drops her original song, “Natalie.”
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“A lot of kids at school have been waiting to see him and looking for him on Mondays for the last few weeks,” said Greg Black, director of LeAnn’s choir at Lakeview. “Then every Monday comes around and she’s not there. But I think they know she’s coming that Monday, so they’re excited.”
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As the contest’s youngest singer-songwriter, having turned 17 in March, LeAnn is competing for “Best Original Song” against a wide range of styles and experiences from all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the nation’s capital, as the NBC stage has welcomed up-and-coming performers as well as veterans like Michael Bolton and Jewel.
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By the start of Week 4, 12 states had already secured semifinal berths.
LeAnn will be among 11 artists performing on Monday. Then comes the vote. A panel of experts selects an artist to advance, and then more spots become available based on viewer votes and other expert picks. Local fans can go to www.asc.vote.nbc.com to vote.
“This is a huge opportunity for me,” LeAnn said before heading off to the show. “…At the end of the day, what I want is for people to listen 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 of it is to be noticed for my writing and to be recognized as an artist. I’m really excited about that part.
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How LeAnn Navigates High School, Singing Career
Ada’s mother points out that there hasn’t been all glamor and glitz this week for rehearsals, as she’s the only underage on the show.
“Not only does she have to do all the fittings and do the rehearsals, but she also has to be in school the whole time she’s there,” Garver said. “It was mandatory that she be at school with a teacher on Zom from 8 a.m. to noon every day and then on set at 1:30 a.m. Then she can only work so long on set, only x-amount of time, because she is a minor and when that time is up, she has to leave the scene.
“Just imagine being a 17 year old and doing all of this, it was quite tiring for her. She really had to juggle a lot more than the other competitors.”
Ada’s father has been in California all week with her during the process. Her mother had to fly out for the weekend to join them. Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Lakeview High School in anticipation of her getting a chance to sing.
“We are thrilled to see one of the members of Lakeview on a national stage to showcase their talents,” said Lakeview manager Cody Japinga. “Opportunities like this are not just important for the individual, but for the school as a whole. Many 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.