'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 3: Lauren Spencer-Smith, 16, stuns judges with a voice that belies her age

'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 3: Lauren Spencer-Smith, 16, stuns judges with a voice that belies her age
Lauren Spencer-Smith (ABC)

The new season of 'American Idol' kicked off its latest run on the ABC network and already, we are being treated to one of the strongest singing competitions that we've seen in recent memory. What makes matters better is the fact that all our beloved faces from last season are still here: Bobby Bones, the show's full-time mentor, host Ryan Seacrest and judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

Lauren Spencer-Smith auditioning (ABC)

This show never ceases to amaze, even after 18 seasons. Case in point, meet Lauren, the latest talented singer to audition for the competition. The 16-year-old Lauren Spencer-Smith from Vancouver Island, Canada, gave out a breathtaking performance on Sunday night's telecast of Idol's Episode 3.

Even though she is still a high school student, Lauren is already famous thanks to her viral video last year where she sang 'Always Remember Us This Way' from 'A Star is Born', so her fans were already well aware that Spencer-Smith possesses a potent, far-reaching voice and singing technique that belies her tender age. She astonished everyone by belting out a jaw-droppingly good version of Pink's 'What About Us' and the way she made the high tones ring with vibrato, while still managing to maintain control over the track's soft, breathy parts made her sound like a primetime Adele or Leona Lewis, fresh from classical opera singing sessions. 


The judges were extremely pleased with her performance. Luke Bryan was rendered awestruck and speechless, by his own admission. Lionel Richie similarly marveled at how many talented 15 and 16-year-olds, they had already discovered in this year's competition, all of whom seemed mature, talented and poised enough to take on the next step to world domination in their all-conquering singing strides.

Lauren, in particular, seems wise beyond her years, as pointed out by the judges. Katy Perry even said, "You might be 16, but that voice is a thousand years old." After being wowed and amazed by her singing chops, Lauren Spencer-Smith was deemed one of the surest shots for the finals and easily went through to the Hollywood round. 

The fans on social media were similarly pleased for the talented young high schooler. "This Lauren girl is the total package. Good tone but unique (radio-friendly). She could go far" said one optimistic viewer.

Another longtime fan was pleased that her talents were finally being showcased on the world's stage. "Lauren is from my home town, I have known her talent for years, glad the world is going to get to experience it. Best of luck Lauren."

Other viewers were similarly enthused: "I was so bummed I couldn't watch @iamlaurenmusic's @AmericanIdol audition, but they immediately uploaded it to YouTube! EEK, so excited to see her continue her journey. :D Such a unique and beautiful voice." We hope this talented young singer goes on to conquer the world with her voice, because she deserves all the praise she's been getting!

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