BUSHWICK — A Brooklyn-based singer is headed to Hollywood!
Bushwick resident Meghan Fitton told this paper about her experience on the hit singing competition show, “American Idol,” but couldn’t reveal the final results until after the show’s premiere aired on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 16.
Luckily, she nailed the nerve-wracking audition in front of judges/singers Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, receiving all yeses, and now she is headed to Hollywood to compete in the next phase of the show.
“It was surreal,” Fitton told this paper. “I’ve seen Luke Bryan three times live and to have him kind of jump in right after I finished my performance and say I was, ‘a rock star and incredible’ was crazy. Someone I’ve screamed from the stands for is now telling me I’m amazing? What?! And then Lionel Richie, on top of that, looking me in the eyes and saying he was excited about me, and saying I was raw and wonderful, was so amazing and reassuring. He is a music legend. Something like that doesn’t happen everyday.”
During the show, Fitton, a Foxboro native and fitness instructor, discussed her love for another reality show, “The Bachelor,” (she hosts a podcast focused on the show) and sang “Where You’re At” by Allen Stone.
The judges, especially Bryan and Richie, said how impressed they were by Fitton’s performance.
“That was incredible,” said Bryan. “That’s like rock star soul, grit, angst. It was incredible.”
“I’m thinking that I had to close my eyes for a minute, open my eyes to see where the heck that voice was coming from, because it’s raw and wonderful,” added Richie.”
Perry offered some advice as well.
I think you have really special moments,” she told the Idol hopeful. “I definitely think you need to connect them more, and they need to be a bit smoothed out. It’s like when you’re driving stick, and you stop in the middle. But you can get to that gear. There’s something very raw, and we’re always looking for that diamond in the rough.”
Fitton felt relieved about what they showed in the episode.
“You never know on TV how things are going to be portrayed or received,” she explained. “I thought ‘American Idol’ and ABC did wonders, and made me look like myself. I definitely feel a sense of validation, rewatching the praise from the judges, as well as receiving so much love and support from strangers since my audition aired.”
She added, “I honestly was just trying to stay calm and in the moment. I also didn’t want to forget the words, but I knew I was doing well when Luke reacted positively a few seconds after I started. It gave me a surge of power to just be me and finish, because I believed that I had already caught their attention for the better.”
Fitton also discussed the advice from Perry with this paper.
“I appreciated it. She’s only trying to help me get better, and she did also say I was a diamond in the rough, which is a HUGE compliment,” Fitton said, “a diamond that just needed a little polish.”
Fitton’s choice of Stone’s song proved to be a strong one as she belted lyrics such as, “So love where you’re at, yeah, love where you’re at, and keep your dirt on the surface and just love where you’re at. I wear my sins on my collar so everyone sees, and there ain’t no bother in spreading rumors about me.”
“He is one of my favorite artists,” Fitton said. “His songs are so well-written and soulful and definitely my vibe. It was like a destiny moment, the minute my friend Brian showed me the song a few months ago.
“I knew I could bring my own energy to it while holding true to the original version,” she added. While Fitton acknowledged that she was originally going to do a different song, she told this paper that she had rehearsed the Stone song “in case they asked me to sing another song, and I knew that was it. It felt right, and I think the lyrics resonated with the current state of my career.”
Stone saw her performance on Youtube and commented on it, writing, “Wowza. This is amazing. Good luck, Meghan.”
Slowly, after the show aired, friends, family and fans took to Instagram to praise Fitton’s performance. Fitton tagged many of them, posting them to her story to show her appreciation. She was thrilled to share the news with her family, who are huge fans of the show.
“I do this all for them because they’ve supported me since I was a baby,” she said. “All I wanted to do was get that golden ticket to show them that all the time spent listening to me sing was worth it. I’m so lucky to have them in my life, standing by me and this crazy life choice.”
Perry surprised her with a live feed of “The Bachelor” host Chris Harrison giving her the good news.
“Meghan, will you accept this final rose?” Harrison joked. “Wrong show. Meghan, welcome to Hollywood.”
“Never would I have thought that would be my story on the show,” Fitton said. “It was fun to take videos, blowing rose petals out of my hands, and meet Chris Harrison.”
However, putting yourself on national television isn’t all roses. Fitton said she was criticized by some people for how she chose to dress, in a tank top, jeans and sneakers, for the audition.
“It was kind of crazy to me that most of the comments under the Instagram and Youtube video of my audition were about my outfit and not my actual performance,” she said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting that. I wore what I wore because I wanted to be my most authentic self, and to me that’s minimal makeup, sneakers, jeans and a tank top.I said to myself early in the process that if I’m going to be on a reality show, I’m going to be Meghan, through and through, and if I get to Hollywood, I wanted it to be because I can sing, not because I was wearing this crazy outfit.”
Nonetheless, despite the few cynics, Fitton — who performs at local clubs in New York City — said that the experience has been a positive one.
“I have already gained so many new supporters and met so many cool and amazing people through the process,” she said. “I just hope that I can reach more people with my music, and I’m excited to continue to share it. I have a lot of shows coming up, and the release of my first EP ‘All Over the Place’ is coming, and I hope to engage with new faces and new ears.”
You can keep up with Fitton on Instagram @meghanfitton or via her website, meghanfitton.com.