Who are Liahona and Ammon Olayan? Meet Utah siblings on 'American Idol' who nailed audition with original song
Liahona and Ammon, 17 and 18 years old respectively, got the seal of approval from Katy Perry who said that they are ready to be signed soon
Siblings Ammon and Liahona Olayan were amongst the first few contestants who opened the second episode of 'American Idol' Season 19 that aired on Sunday night, February 21. The brother-sister duo auditioned together and ended up walking out of the audition room with a golden ticket. Apart from their singing, it was their songwriting skills that made them stand out.
Ammon and Liahona sang an original composition. Along with singing, the latter played the piano, wielding the magic through her fingers and her mesmerizing voice. Ammon, on the other hand, sounded like a young Justin Bieber, still a little rough around the edges and with some scope for improvement. The judges, too, noted the same, calling Liahona ready for the competition but told Ammon that his vocals require some polishing. However, it didn't stop both of them from getting the ticket and they made it to the Hollywood round. While only time can tell how far both of them make in the competition, here's some information about the musical siblings from Hawaii.
Ammon and Liahona Olayan's move to Hawaii
The siblings talked about the bombshell of a plan their parents dropped on them a couple of years ago. They were told that they were moving to Hawaii with nothing but a couple of suitcases and that they'd be living in tents on the Big Island. According to Deseret News, the Olayan's lived there for a year and a half, out of which three of those months were spent in the tents, living off the land, raising chickens, milking goats and washing their clothes in buckets.
Ammon and Liahona, two of eight children, and their parents wanted them to be close to and one with their Hawaiin heritage. This was primarily the reason that they decided to leave their perfect life in Utah and move to Hawaii. Over time, the kids realized that this was a much-needed change. “They realized how much our family was really falling apart and how much we weren’t there for each other,” Liahona told the outlet. They don't live in Hawaii anymore.
“(In Hawaii), we had to depend on each other a lot because we didn’t have all the things that we usually did. That really opened my eyes and made me realize my family is everything to me — that even if I don’t really have everything, I have them and that’s enough," she added.
Liahona and Ammon's passion for songwriting
When they were living in tents, the siblings spend a lot of quality time together and honed their skills. Just like their move to Hawaii was unexpected, Ammon's tryst with songwriting was also unexpected. He hammered out a song one rainy afternoon and the minute Liahona heard it, she discovered she had a passion for singing as well as writing original music; that was the start of their musical journey.
The siblings have since moved back to Hawaii but they continue exploring their love for music every day. They released a five-track EP in 2019. Ammon and Liahona were also featured on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 2020 youth theme album, after which they auditioned for 'American Idol'. You can keep up with Ammon and Liahona on their joint Instagram channel @ammonandliahona
Catch new episodes of 'American Idol' every Sunday at 8 pm ET on ABC.