Student Pursues Dream on 'American Idol'
By Bri Phillips
Tori Green always made time to watch “American Idol” with her mother when she was a child, and she always had the dream of one day auditioning.
Green has been singing since she was 4 years old, but her family figured it was just a phase. They soon realized her voice was impressive for her young age, and her mother put her in singing lessons when she was in the fifth grade.
Green auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” and “The Voice” on Zoom early in the pandemic, but she didn’t get the chance to move forward in the process.
But Green never gave up on her dream, and her resilience paid off last fall when she auditioned for “American Idol” in front of producers online.
“I was driving back to San Marcos from my brother’s football game when I got the call that I would be able to audition in front of the judges,” Green said.
Green, a third-year biological sciences student at Cal State San Marcos, traveled to Las Vegas last September to sing before celebrity judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie for a chance to compete on “American Idol.”
“The producers gave me great feedback and everything before I auditioned in front of the judges,” Green said. “I felt really good, but I was also super nervous because there were other contestants waiting outside and they could hear you.”
Green performed “Cry Pretty” by Carrie Underwood for the judges. While Bryan questioned the emotions of Green’s performance, Perry and Richie enthusiastically endorsed giving her the “golden ticket” that allowed her to advance to the next stage of the competition.
Although Green was sent home after her performance during Hollywood Week, she will never forget the experience as she continues to pursue her passion for singing.
“Even though the experience didn't go my way in the end, I feel like Hollywood Week was great because I know what I need to work on and what the judges are looking for,” Green said. “I learned from the judges that I need to feel the emotion in the song and let yourself be in the moment. It's funny that the judges noticed that because my singing teacher says the same thing. It’s just something I've been trying to work on, but it's been getting better.”
Green is implementing this feedback into her own songwriting and music. Earlier this year, Green put out her first single, “Point of View,” on Spotify. The song highlights the struggles of growing up with divorced parents.
“It was a little hard at first because I had never written any songs before,” Green said. “I had tried to when I was younger, but it was never about how I was feeling. I am working on another song right now, and I’m hoping to write more when I have more time in the summer.”
Green chose to attend CSUSM not to study music, but to pursue another passion. She has always been fascinated by true crime, and she decided to major in biological sciences so she can one day become a coroner. Green plans to find a crime scene cleanup job to gather more experience before she graduates next year, and she is also considering graduate school.
“Singing will always be a big part of my life,” Green said. “I’m hopeful it will take off, even in the slightest. But I want to make sure I have financial security. I want to audition again on ‘The Voice’ or ‘America's Got Talent,’ and hopefully make it further in the competition.”
Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist
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