ATLAS TWP, MI — The Disney movie “Frozen” and a
The Atlas Township resident’s audition is set to air on the 8 p.m. Monday, March 19, episode of the rebooted
Linkowski wasn’t so keen on going to the store, but her mother, Tamara, felt they needed to go inside. She didn’t like the way she sang and began to cry at home, but the video took on a life of its own on social media.
Thinking the first message she’d received from the producer was a joke, Linkowski ignored it.
But a second call came and then a Skype audition, followed by traveling to Dallas for an audition, and a performance in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee, where she sang Jason Mraz’s song “I Won’t Give Up.”
Mraz is one of Linkowski’s favorite singers, along with Tori Kelly, whom she admires for taking her own path in the music business and not changing her sense of self.
Linkowski hasn’t always been into singing. She picked up the art form when she was 14 years old after watching the movie “Frozen” and hearing the oft-played song “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel.
“I listened to Idina Menzel sing that and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, is she going higher? She’s going higher, she’s going to hit that note,'” said Linkowski. “Oh my gosh, how did she do that? How is that humanly possible?”
Having played the piano, harp, violin and focusing on classical music, Linkowski set up a karaoke playlist and began to belt out a variety of songs — including Celine Dion and Mariah Carey — setting up a routine and practicing for up to 90 minutes each day.
She’s had auditions for the NBC singing competition “The Voice,” but Linkowski felt she could be more of herself on “American Idol,” in getting to choose her own songs, decide her own wardrobe, and feel more natural in the environment.
“I am about being myself and being true to who I am,” she said Monday afternoon at her family’s home where Linkowski helps home-school her siblings and sings in a small studio in the garage where she films videos for her YouTube page.
In deciding on the Mraz song for her audition, Linkowski noted the song means a lot to her for personal reasons.
“I love the lyrics to the song because I’m all about sticking it out and making it through hard times together with each other,” she said.
Linkowski said she had sacrificed her time to help out her family around the house after her mother recently suffered heart failure.
“That song is totally up that alley.”
She’s felt the support from her parents and siblings along the way, never any jealousy or envy for the attention received of late.
“Whatever she does, she’s good at it,” Tamara said. “She’s a big help. I always said God knew what he was doing when he gave me her as a first-born.”
Linkowski has also leaned on her faith through the ups and down.
“I can say that God has led every single step of this journey,” she said.
With some self-doubt creeping in as her YouTube videos signing covers weren’t doing well, her faith held strong.
“I know at that moment, me being a Christian, I knew God was telling me you are on this Earth to sing. I put you there to sing and that’s what you are going to do,” said Linkowski. “It’s really hard work and there are going to be those times in any one’s life, in any one’s career that they’re going to really doubt themselves because I’ve been there so many times and I just have to say don’t give up.”
She had to hold strong on the day of her audition, one that began at 5 a.m. and didn’t end until close to 11 p.m. as Linkowski performed, interviewed, met new people, filmed promotions for the show and met the judges.
“I didn’t think it was real until I actually walked in the room,” she said of the audition. “I wasn’t star-struck probably because I don’t usually listen to their music. I think that was a blessing in disguise though because I wasn’t overly fangirling or getting nervous. I actually just surprised myself I was just super calm and laid back.”
The most jarring part of the experience for Linkowski was performing in front of people, something she hasn’t done.
“Going to the show, that’s what I was most nervous about, having a stage presence, having everyone there watching me in the audience, and want to make them have a great time,” she said. “I want to make them want to hear it again.”
One of the judges helped put those nerves at ease.
“When I went into the audition room and I sang my song, Katy was saying how I was polished and I was like, ‘Polished? What, um, no,'” laughed Linkowski. “It must be naturally something.”
She could not reveal how far into the competition she was able to progress, but the Linkowski family will be holding a viewing party at their home for relatives and friends on Monday.