American Idol returns for its 16th season next month, and two Philly contestants have made the cut for the singing competition’s season premiere.
The premiere will feature performances from Dennis Lorenzo, a singer and guitarist out of Philly, and Langhorne’s Catie Turner, who also sings and plays guitar. The two will audition for American Idol’s star-studded judging panel, which features singers Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan.
According to a biography on his Facebook fan page, Lorenzo comes from West Philadelphia and began singing as a young child. His music is inspired by his late father Dennis L. Parker, who was murdered in Philadelphia in 1995. Influences include Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder.
A third area contestant, Mara Justine of Galloway, NJ, will be featured on the series second episode on March 12. Justine was previously featured on American's Got Talent in 2014, where she was eliminated in the finals.
The upcoming season marks a revival for American Idol, which ABC picked up following Fox’ cancelation of the series at the conclusion of its 15th season in 2016. ABC announced the series’ return in May last year.
That there are Philly-area contestants this year is interesting, considering the show skipped over us on their auditions tour last summer. Instead, area hopefuls had to travel to audition cities like Pittsburgh, Boston, and Annapolis.
The show last held auditions in town in 2015. Prior to that, American Idol stopped in Philly in 2008.
The season premiere of American Idol airs March 11 at 8 p.m. on ABC.