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'American Idol' Season 21: Durham singer Ashley Tankard gets to audition after 4 rejections

Ashley Tankard uses her social media platform to promote her music and spread awareness on mental health
Ashley Tankard finally gets her shot at 'American Idol' (ABC)
Ashley Tankard finally gets her shot at 'American Idol' (ABC)

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA: Ashley Tankard of Durham will be auditioning for 'American Idol' Season 21 on Sunday, February 26. Before 'American Idol' returns for the second round of auditions, let's meet one of the show's original supporters and future competitors.

'American Idol' Season 2 Week 2 will broadcast on ABC this Sunday, February 26 at 8 pm ET. After the television premiere, fans will be able to watch the two-hour show on Hulu. The show will include the second round of auditions, during which judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry will determine who will advance to the Hollywood Week challenge and who will be sent home. Ashley Tankard is one of the contestants featured this week.


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Who is Ashley Tankard?

Ashley, 23, from Durham, is finally living her 'American Idol' dream. Fans won't know if she made it to Hollywood before Sunday, but they will be relieved to know that having a tryout for the show was one of Ashley's top goals.

Ashley has used her social media platform to spread awareness as well as promote her music. Ashley opened up to her Instagram followers about her battle with 'Self-harm' in January 2022. She celebrated one year of sobriety with that post. She mentioned going to therapy and thanking God for being there for her during her tough period.

Furthermore, she also wrote a song about her own difficulties in March 2021. "I wrote a song about what it’s like for me dealing with anxiety :(:," she captioned the video. Her fans showered her with affection in the comments section. One of the comments read "This is everything. Literally has me in tears 😢," and "😢 This is so relatable. Beautiful 💙."

Ashley presently has around 4k Instagram followers, which are likely to grow once her episode is released.


Ashley Tankard on 'American Idol' Season 2021

Viewers may be surprised to learn that this is not Ashley's first encounter with the ABC program. She revealed on Instagram in September 2019 that she had been contacted by one of the show's producers. Unfortunately, she didn't receive the news that she anticipated, and "it's very heartbreaking for me."

She added that she was told no by 'American Idol' at 15 years old, where she told herself, "I’m gonna stop singing because it isn’t worth it." She was devastated, and it took her six months to psychologically heal from that single rejection. When she was 17, she was furious at herself for trying out again. When she was 18, she was told no and wept a lot before getting back up and continuing to perform. She continued to practice and was resolved to try again in 2019.

Even though she wept a lot when she first heard she wasn't going through, she felt as powerful as ever at 19 years old after being told no for the fourth time. She grew stronger and stronger with each rebuff. "I am so proud of myself for not beating myself up this time. Every time I catch a tear falling down and my head hung low I gotta keep reminding myself that no matter when or where, my time will come and when that time comes, this will all make sense," she said.

She stated that she will never stop performing and that she will never give up no matter how long it takes her to get where she wants to go. And she kept her promise. She's back for the fifth time, and this time she'll get to perform in front of the judges for that coveted Golden Pass to Hollywood.


So, tune into ABC on February 26, to catch Ashley performing in front of the judges of 'American Idol' Season 21.