Avalon Young American Idol 2016 Finalist: Her Journey So Far [VIDEOS]

American Idol Top 14 finalist Avalon Young seemed destined to end up on stage from the day she was born. Her mother named her after the song “Avalon” by Bryan Ferry, and the young singer has been living up to that naming ever since. The San Diego native picked up a guitar at the tender age of seven and has been working hard to achieve her musical dreams ever since.

Avalon Young performs on American Idol 2016
Avalon Young performs on American Idol 2016 – Source: FOX

Before her American Idol 2016 audition, Avalon Young was working as a server at a restaurant, which said, of course, was “not ideal, because I’d rather be singing my butt off every day.” The self-proclaimed tomboy doesn’t believe being a singer should be about what you look like. While unfortunately that is often not true in the music industry, Avalon hopes that people will care more about her talent than her clothes and hair. (Read more on Avalon’s backstory on her Top 24 profile page.)

Audition: The American Idol judges certainly didn’t mind 21-year-old Avalon’s laid back appearance during her audition. Her acoustic rendition of “XO” by Beyonce was so lovely, they were rapt with attention throughout her performance. Harry Connick Jr. praised Avalon for her “very different voice” and thought she was “terrific.” Jennifer Lopez said she loved the way Avalon sings, and Keith Urban was also a big yes vote for Avalon to head off to Hollywood Week.

Hollywood Week Lines of 8 Solos: We don’t have video of Avalon’s first solo in Hollywood Week for you, but obviously it was good enough to propel her through to the Group Round of the competition.

Hollywood Week Group Round: In Hollywood Week, we didn’t get to see all of Avalon’s time on stage, but we did enjoy her part in the Group Round. She really stood out as the lead in her group during her group’s performance of “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love” by Usher. Harry Connick Jr. told Avalon she could “be in the music video for that song right now” and she was a really talented singer.

Hollywood Week Solo Round: Although we don’t have video of Avalon in the second solo round in Hollywood, after such positive remarks previously from the American Idol judges, we weren’t surprised when she made it through to the Showcase Round.

Showcase Round & Final Judgement: During the Showcase Round, Avalon Young looked cool and collected on stage, giving a very pro performance of “Yo (excuse me miss)” by Chris Brown for the American Idol judges and a live audience. Once again, Avalon did not disappoint, even while some of the other strong competitors that seemed early favorites were struggling.  When it came time for The Green Mile final judgement, the American Idol judges couldn’t help but recognize San Francisco auditioner Avalon for her tremendous talent and grant her a coved spot in the Top 24.

Top 24 Semi-Finals Solo Round: ‘Skater chick’ Avalon Young hit the stage for her Top 24 solo wearing “baggy clothes” and sans makeup because that’s how she finds her confidence. Well, it seemed to work, because her rendition of “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber was spot on and had the audience screaming and clapping along during the whole song. Harry Connick Jr. told Avalon that she seemed to “be the most in tune with who you are in the moment” and that she was terrific and really strong. Jennifer Lopez said that Avalon “had the whole audience in the palm of her hand the minute you opened her mouth.”

Top 24 Semi-Finals Duet Round: For her American Idol Top 24 duet, Avalon Young was wonderfully paired with season two winner Ruben Studdard. Avalon was so excited to be paired up with a legend in her eyes, but felt pressured to live up to his standards. We think Avalon did an amazing job not only living up to those standards, but more than fulfilling our expectations of her during their duet of “Flying Without Wings” by Westlife. She even got a standing ovation from Keith Urban!

The American Idol judges were apparently thoroughly impressed, not just by Avalon Young’s Top 24 performances, but by her whole run so far on the show. The ‘tomboy’ singer was give a big yes to become one of the American Idol Top 14 finalists during the last ever season of the show.

Will Avalon Young make it through the next cut to be part of the American Idol 2016 Top 10? We’ll bring you all the latest American Idol spoilers on the next round of the competition as they happen!