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Wesley Chapel teen receives American Idol's golden ticket

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Posted at 10:38 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 23:29:41-05

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — A Wesley Chapel teen is headed to Hollywood on American Idol after judges voted unanimously to send her onto the next phase.

Alanis Sophia, 19, performed a cover of Anyone by Demi Lovato.

"I was shaky. I was nervous. I grew a little bit more comfortable once they started making conversation with me and asking me who I am, what my story is and what inspires me," said Alanis Sophia.

Sophia explained to the judges she was named after singer Alanis Morissette. She said Morissette's music provided comfort to her mother during a difficult time. Sophia's mother became pregnant with her when she was 19 years old.

"She turned to Alanis Morissette's music and that pretty much gave her the answer that she needed and she kept me and named me after Alanis Morissette. It pretty much saved her life," said Sophia.

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Sophia was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her family moved to Florida when she was 5 years old. They live in Pasco County.

Sophia is a graduate of Pasco eSchool.

She said she has always loved singing, dancing and playing guitar.

"My mom use to sing and play in a band when she was younger so it's already in my blood that love for music," said Sophia.

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The judges voted unanimously to give Sophia a golden ticket to go to Hollywood.

Judge Katy Perry said, "She is the best we've seen today."

The other judges said she has huge potential.

"It was kind of my childhood dream becoming a reality. I felt super proud of myself and I knew my mom was going to be proud of me regardless of whether I got the ticket or not," said Sophia.

Sophia performed with a toy microphone her mother gave her as a child.

"My mom literally said I would always be watching the show in my crib and jumping up and down," Sophia said. "She gave it to me and said that I would be on the show someday. She knew that in her gut, I would be."

American Idol airs on Sunday evenings on ABC Action News.