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Wesley Chapel teen is ‘going to Hollywood’ on ‘American Idol’

Alanis Sophia wowed the judges by singing “Anyone” by Demi Lovato
Alanis Sophia during her audition for "American Idol" in an episode that aired Feb. 28, 2021.
Alanis Sophia during her audition for "American Idol" in an episode that aired Feb. 28, 2021. [ JOHN FLEENOR | Courtesy of ABC ]
Published Mar. 1
Updated Mar. 8

Wesley Chapel’s Alanis Sophia, 19, is headed to Hollywood on American Idol after winning over the judges with her cover of Anyone by Demi Lovato.

“She is the best we’ve seen today,” said Katy Perry after Sophia’s audition on Sunday night’s episode of the ABC reality competition series. With her mother Katherine Sanchez by her side, the judges told Sophia they’d voted unanimously to move her on to the next phase.

Sophia earlier explained to the panel that she was named after the singer Alanis Morissette, whose music helped her mother through a tough time after having her at 19 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

She sang while holding a plastic, toy American Idol microphone she’d received as a childhood gift.

Related: Hillsborough County singer with ‘epic mullet’ impresses on ‘The Voice’

“When I was little my mom got me this American Idol toy, and she would always say that I was going to be on the show,” Sophia told the judges, Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie, before she sang. “It even says ‘you’re going to Hollywood, so we’ll see.”

Sophia is a 2019 graduate of Pasco eSchool, who finished a runner-up in a Spanish-language version of The Voice titled La Voz at age 11. She was previously signed to Nashville’s Big Machine Records.

American Idol premiered for its 19th season on Feb. 14. The show airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Idol will air two more weeks of auditions before the show moves on to “Hollywood Week” on March 21.