“It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.” That’s how Shaker High School junior Madison VanDenburg describes her “American Idol” experience. Madison auditioned for the show when it came to Buffalo, and ended up giving celebrity judge Katy Perry goosebumps and leaving the others “speechless”. You can watch her audition here.
The music bug bit Madison from a young age. She credits the North Colonie Music Department and her elementary, middle school, and freshman years in chorus and band with helping to improve her sight reading abilities. And she discovered her love for being on state in 6th grade when she had a singing part in the musical “Annie”.
Madison said the whole experience involved “a lot of lines, a lot of anticipation, and a lot of nerves.” She says she spent a long time preparing herself for this moment, and when she saw that auditions were going to be so close, she decided to go for it.
“I was literally speechless meeting the judges,” Madison said. “It was really cool being in the room with people chasing the dream I want to be a part of.” She says the next part with a smile. “And it was really cool to be complimented that way.”
Madison was labeled as the “next Kelly Clarkson”, another “Idol” winner, and given a unanimous Golden Ticket to Hollywood. “I kind of blanked out, I really didn’t expect the audition to go that well,” said Madison. “It was insane to get the Golden Ticket.”
Now Madison is busy with the next steps in her “Idol” journey. She can’t say much about it, we’ll have to watch just like everyone else. But she did drop a few hints. “A lot of no sleep. A lot of learning and practicing songs in a short amount of time. When you get on stage, it feels like a second and then you’re off again. It all kind of blurs together.”
Madison also said she wanted to thank everyone who tuned in Sunday night to watch and everyone who has reached out with words of support and encouragement. “Knowing people here in North Colonie have my back is awesome.” Madison said she also wanted to thank Mrs. Kimbler, her Boght Hills band teacher, and Mrs. Justesen, her Boght Hills music teacher, citing them both as huge influences.