September 23, 2018
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  • For her “American Idol” audition, Mia DeCesaris sang “Elastic Heart” by Sia and “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna.
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    For her “American Idol” audition, Mia DeCesaris sang “Elastic Heart” by Sia and “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna.

You’re Going To Hollywood: Local Singer Makes It On “American Idol”

Monica Resa
Monica Resa's picture
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April 3, 2018

Mia DeCesaris, a Millersville resident and Archbishop Spalding student, got a golden ticket. And it wasn’t for Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but rather the Hollywood round of “American Idol,” which got its reboot on ABC this year after 15 years on Fox.

DeCesaris decided to try out for the show after having made it to the executive producer rounds of “The Voice.”

“I had been home for couple of months after that and was debating between auditioning for ‘The Voice’ again when my mom and many other family members sent me a link announcing ‘American Idol’ was coming to Annapolis. The debate was over,” shared Decesaris.

A huge fan of the show, DeCesaris decided that the platform would allow her to pursue a dream that she’s had for as long as she could remember. “I’ve always wanted to sing and be able to connect with an audience,” DeCesaris said with a smile.

However, it wasn’t a straight road to Tinseltown. First were the initial tryouts at Westfield Annapolis Mall. Callbacks were in New Orleans and celebrity auditions were held in Nashville, Tennessee.

“Before meeting the judges, I had to calm my nerves and focus on the important audition in front of me rather than being star-struck! I realized how down-to-earth the judges were and that allowed me to treat it like any other audition,” said DeCesaris.

Judges for the new season of “American Idol” are Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. DeCesaris is a huge fan of Perry’s, having been to several concerts.

“When they told me I was going to Hollywood, I was ecstatic,” claimed DeCesaris. “It’s such a rewarding experience knowing all of your hard work has paid off.”

For her audition, DeCesaris sang “Elastic Heart” by Sia and “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna.

“The tryout process during Hollywood Week was unlike anything I’ve experienced. It’s extremely high pressure but lots of fun at the same time,” shared DeCesaris.

While DeCesaris can’t share how far she’s gotten, she did say the experience helped her grow as a person, and she has several people to thank.

DeCesaris noted, “My mom swears I was humming along to the ‘Barney’ theme song before I could talk! I’ve been singing my whole life but used to have the worst stage fright.”

She became much more serious about singing three years ago when her brother was diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve, a heart condition. He was told he could no longer play soccer, a sport he played his whole life and was aspiring to play in college.

“Soccer for him was like singing for me,” said DeCesaris. “One night, my brother came into my room and told me I should push myself to overcome my stage fright because what if one day I was told I couldn’t sing anymore and had wasted all this time due to my stage fright. After we had this talk, I worked very hard to push myself and come out of my shell.”

DeCesaris has her whole family to thank, many of whom came to Nashville. And to her mom, she gives a big shout-out because she’s been with her through every audition and always supported her dreams.

As for what DeCesaris has learned about herself, she believes she’s grown and it’s taught her about the kind of artist she wants to be and how hard she must continue to work to grow and get there.

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