American Idol: Mariah Faith Auditions, Opens For Noah Thompson

Mariah Faith - American Idol 2023
(ABC/Eric McCandless) MARIAH FAITH

American Idol 2023 Auditions 4: Mariah Faith Invited to Open For Noah Thompson and HunterGirl Concert

American Idol Season 21 returned with a full episode after a short post-Oscars show last week. This week was full of impactful talent including some old-school sounds, a few country singers, and one contestant who made history, as the judges picked her to open for the previous year’s winner and runner up.

Mariah Faith, a 21-year-old, from Conway, South Carolina entered the room wearing a colorful set of bib overalls. She explained that she grew up in Baltimore and moved to the small town, Conway, South Carolina at 8 years old. She describes her clos relationship with her stepdad, a good and loving man. He did everything to help Mariah, moving the family closer to Nashville. “She needs to be where people can help her,” he said.

But tragically, Easter of 2019, her stepdad passed away from a heart attack. “That was my best friend in the whole world,” she shares. In December on her socials, Mariah noted her 10 month sobriety anniversary, explaining that she turned to alcohol after he died. She and her mom reminisce over the times they had with him, and Mariah wears a necklace containing a photo of him and her 6 year old sister, with him she shares a birthday.

Katy asks for another song

She sings “Whenever You Come Around” by Vince Gill which displays her slightly raspy tone, which isn’t dynamic enough for Katy Perry. “There is a lion that needs to be let loose in there,” Katy says. I somewhat agree, but also wish we could have heard more of this song.

Katy suggests she sing, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” which is perfection for her voice. Mariah is a bit raw vocally–she doesn’t hit every note with full control. But there’s something beautiful with how natural her sound is. Katy wants her to adlib more, so she does, and that’s when true magic comes out. She throws in some runs in here and there, and emotion flows through. Her style is refreshing as it’s a bit bluesy, has slight country twang, and is very soulful. The slight grit in her tone is studio ready.

The judges absolutely love Mariah. Luke Bryan says, “I had chills the whole time,” adding “you had it all.” Lionel Richie notes her potential, calling her audition the “tip of the iceberg.” Katy loves the “natural cry slash gospel,” and calls her a “star.” Mariah soars through to Hollywood, along with an extra bonus. The judges give her the opportunity to open for last season’s winner and runner up, Noah Thompson and HunterGirl, at their concert the following night.

The judges invite Mariah to open for Noah Thompson and HunterGirl!

Backstage at the concert, Mariah says, “all the doubt I have ever had as an artist or in myself completely swept away from me. Noah and HunterGirl greet Mariah, and the singer performs “You Proof” by Morgan Wallen. She sounds more pop in this performance with a tinge of country twang. Her vocals also appear more polished than her audition. She could be a force in the future.

This part of the audition felt a bit staged like the HunterGirl platinum ticket concert last season. Only, Mariah didn’t receive the platinum ticket. Maybe, the judges had already given them all away, and the appearance was about creating buzz for the show. However, the producers managed to keep the performance out of the press before it aired this week.

Other than Mariah, tonight had a few other ringers. Paige Anne who received a no from Katy showed loads of potential with her technique, and Warren Peay‘s audition sounded a lot like Chris Stapleton. Honorable mentions go to Ophrah Kablan and Nailyah Serenity who brought jazz and old-school soul to the Idol stage. Overall, it was a very strong night of talent.

About Blake Busch 242 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.