"I don't think we need to critique, I think we just need to vote," Katy Perry gushed
When Mara Justine finished her “American Idol” audition, a towering take on Rihanna’s ballad “Love On The Brain,” all three judges — Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan — just stood and applauded.
“I don’t think we need to critique, I think we just need to vote,” Perry said with a grin, at the outset of Monday’s episode, the second of a two-night premiere for the “Idol” reboot on ABC.
And just like that Mara, a 15-year-old phenom from Galloway Township in Atlantic County, was on to Hollywood with her coveted Golden Ticket.
Reality TV stardom isn’t exactly new for the South Jersey girl, whose full name is Mara Justine Platt. Mara appeared on “America’s Got Talent” season 9 in 2014, as an 11-year-old phenom singer and reached the Top 12, even belting out Perry’s own ballad “Unconditionally” in the process.
And Monday, she was finally standing before Perry at her New York audition, as the pop superstar joked about Mara’s age.
“Holy crap, I gotta go, she was born in the 2000s! I haven’t met anyone from the 2000s!”
“If you gotta go where does that leave me?” Richie fired back.
“This show is older than you,” Perry quipped.
“Idol” auditions should continue for another week or two, and then we’ll see if Mara can follow in Season 14 finalist and New Jersey girl Jax’s footsteps and make it through to the live rounds. It seems like she has the pipes to stick around a while. Go Mara, go!
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