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South Bend teen takes American Idol audition to national stage

NOW: south bend teen takes american idol audition to national stage

SOUTH BEND, Ind. ---  We're just three days way from the return of American Idol. And this time around, it's airing on ABC. 

One South Bend teen is taking her audition to become the next American Idol, to a national stage. 

And it all started back in August, with the Michiana Idol competition. 

Like any teenage girl, 17-year-old Tayah Smith's bedroom is her own bubble of hopes and dreams. 

"I have this poster right here, it's just a reminder how everything started with Michian Idol," she says proudly.  "[And these four posters], especially "dreams come true," because that's a big check mark, because my dream was to audition for American Idol and I did." 

It's a dream she holds especially dear, as she counts down the hours to the Idol premiere. 

It's one she's been yearning for, for over 10 years. 

"I would just sit and watch the show. I told my mom...I was like 'Mom, I'm going to be on the show one day. I know it. I feel it," Smith explains. "She was like, 'no, you're not. I'm not going to let you audition for something like that."

But now it's a different story and a different journey. 

"My adrenaline. I was just shaking. It was kind of crazy. If you watch closely you can see I'm shaking and my hair is shaking," Smith recalls.

Knowing that she will audition for American Idol, and appear on televisions all across the country is something she still can't wrap her head around.  

"It was like I walked literally into a movie," she explains. "I was like oh my gosh. This is actually not a dream, it's really happening, let me pinch myself."

It still feels surreal for Smith and her mom, Tricia.

But with the journey only beginning, it's finally starting to sink in.

"We got a call from a friend in Dallas, and they said, 'We were just driving down the street, and we're 99.9% sure we just saw Tayah on an American Idol Billboard," says Tricia. "We kind of freaked out in that moment."

And Smith hopes that these moments inspires the next generation: a generation of other little girls, staring up at the screens, hoping for the same success.

"Young girls out there watching the show, like I did growing up," says Smith. "I want to let them know, that you can pursue your dream no matter if people tell you that you can or cant."

With the premiere just 72 hours away, ABC57 News asked the Smith girls how they plan to spend the momentous day. 

"We are going to watch American Idol with the rest of America," says Smith. "We're super duper excited and hopefully all of South Bend, Mishawaka, Granger, and the rest of Michiana area tunes in and shares our excitement."

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