'American Idol' Season 18: Marna Michele doesn't let disability dampen her spirit and this is 'inspiring' fans

'American Idol' Season 18: Marna Michele doesn't let disability dampen her spirit and this is 'inspiring' fans
Marna (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Marna Michele rolled up like a boss for her 'American Idol' audition on Sunday night, making her the highlight of this week's episode. 

'American Idol' Season 18 returned for an all-new episode on Sunday night. Contestants prepared to sing their hearts out to judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, hoping to get a golden ticket. Ryan Seacrest returned as the host alongside in-house mentor Bobby Bones.

One among those hopeful contestants was 27-year-old Marna who hails from Costa Mesa, California. Marna was born with arthrogryposis, a condition that causes muscle weakness and prevents her from walking or lifting her arms. 

Marna said that though she couldn't high five, she could fist bump. She said she found out she could sing when she was in the 6th grade. Marna told Ryan, "I really liked the attention I got — because it wasn't negative, it was positive." She added, "Now I think it's time for an American Idol that isn't perfect. I have very many flaws, and I think that I would make a really good American Idol because of that."


She opens up about how she was bullied when she was a child and how she has been dreaming of getting a golden ticket since her childhood. She performed her rendition of 'A Million Reasons' by Lady Gaga. Post her performance, Luke said that she had an incredible range. He added that he would like to see more cry in her voice. Lionel pointed out that she is rushing through the notes.

Katy and Luke give her a vocal lesson on how to get that cry in her voice, and Marna aced that lesson. Though she has some issues, they can be improved with the judges' coaching. Marna received three yeses and a ticket to Hollywood. 

Katy gave her the golden ticket and said, "We are going to treat you the same and put the same pressure on you… and you're going to do just fine." To this Marna said that she doesn't expect anything else.

With her right attitude, Marna said that she has come a long way from what the doctors had predicted. "It’s everything that my parents were not expecting — because they were told not to. I would not change it for the world. I love my disability."

Taking to Twitter post her performance, fans shared their love for the contestant and called her an inspiration. "Marna you’re already an inspiration & well deserving of success in Hollywood! #AmericanIdol," a fan wrote. 

"I love how inspiring Marna is! And her voice is amazing! @AmericanIdol #americanidol," a fan wrote. While another added, "Marna was one of my favorite auditions all season. She is so talented! #AmericanIdol."

"Great talent & what an inspiration!! #AmericanIdol," a fan wrote. Adding to that another said, "She was go great love how she doesn’t let her disability get in the way of her dreams."  Another fan added, "Awesome she is an inspiration." 

'American Idol' Season 18 airs every Sunday night only on ABC. Check your local listings for more information.

Share this article:  american idol season 18 marna michele disability lionel richie katy perry luke bryan fan reaction