Published January 24, 2013
The latest Latina to shine on “American Idol” immediately charmed the hearts of the judges.
Isabel Gonzalez got the surprise of her life with her unconventional audition on Season 12 of the reality competition show.
The 16-year-old Apharetta, Ga., high school student was nominated by her aunt, Bernie Haberman, because she knew her niece would dominate the competition.
“She has an amazing voice but she’d be too nervous to go alone,” Haberman said. “If you give her that little push she can rise to the occasion.”
Judge Randy Jackson surprised Gonzalez at her high school and told her to “come in front of us and sing.”
The opportunity was a dream for Gonzalez, whom told the judges she would happily ditch high school for Hollywood.
Gonzalez floored the judges with her performance of Sam Cooke’s ”Nothing Can Change This Love.”
Judge Nicki Minaj said she was “absolutely head over heels in love” with Gonzalez.
“You’re doing it so effortlessly,” Minaj said. “You’re up there and you’re not even trying.”
Mariah Carey echoed the sentiments of her fellow judge, and rumored foe, telling Gonzalez, “People are going to fall in with love you because you are a star!”