By Alex Domine, A&E Reporter
American Idol got a taste of Lute talent in 2011.
First-year Sascha Julian made it through the open auditions and went on to the Hollywood round of the phenomenon pop competition, nearly making it into the top 24.
“I didn’t think I would make it,” Julian said. “I thought I’d crack or mess up. I was actually really anxious.”
Julian has already found success in the PLU music department. She is a first-year in PLU’s premier choral group Choir of the West and the recipient of a music scholarship.
Julian said her fondest memory at American Idol was the intensity of sitting in a room full of other young hopefuls.
“I never thought I’d be in a place with that many talented singers ever again,” Julian said.
Julian discussed the experience at the audition in front of industry legends Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson.
She sang “Chasing Pavements” from Adele’s debut album 19. Julian recalled singing the song perfectly until the final moment of the song when her voice cracked.
“I was kind of ready for my ego to be knocked down a couple notches,” Julian said.
Despite the musical mishap, Lopez admitted she had goose bumps. Tyler stated Julian was going to be a star and Jackson raved about the “magic” in her voice.
Julian received the coveted “golden ticket” and proceeded to the next round in Hollywood, Calif.
“Honestly, I was expecting criticism,” said Julian. “That whole moment was so surreal. I didn’t know how to react. I can’t believe these people told me something like that.”
Julian is not new to critique from musical professionals. Choir of the West Director Richard Nance first saw Julian while scouting local high schools for talent. Nance said Julian was a spot-on musician.
“She has the musical skills to be in the Choir of the West as a first-year,” Nance said.
Nance discussed Julian’s impressive vocals. He sees her growing in her musicianship in the next few years and anticipates success in her future.
“I’m anxious to hear her sing more,” said Nance. “I am so happy to have her at PLU, and I’m excited for her career.”
First-year transfer student Chris Glessman, Julian’s boyfriend, offered emotional support.
“I felt pretty cool rooting for my girlfriend on television,” Glessman said. “I’m so proud of her.”
Julian discussed her plans regarding her singing career and future American Idol participation. She is now prepared for the intensity of Hollywood culture.
“You have to really want it,” Julian said. “They test your limits so you have to know your goals.”
She talked about how rest and quality sleep are important during the process due to the amount of energy it takes to make it from one round to the next.
She said the process consisted of sitting in a room for hours, waiting for instruction and not knowing what the next step was.
Despite her elimination from Idol, Julian remains steadfast in her career aspirations to be a professional musician.
“The experience was really inspirational and motivational,” said Julian. “It made me want to pursue music more than ever before.”
Her supporters, both peers and professionals, remain just as committed to her success as she is.
“Wherever her career goes and takes her [Julian], I know she’s going to remain the humble and beautiful person she is,” Nance said.
Julian is fully prepared to re-audition for American Idol next season. She talked about what she has learned and what motivates her to keep striving for success in the business.
“Now I know what to expect. I want to wipe them all out,” Julian said. “Watch out because next year, I’m going for it.”