American Idol 2013 Contestant Elijah Liu
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Name: Elijah Liu
Bio: While many of the American Idol 2013 hopefuls say they’ve been singing their whole lives, Rowland Heights native Elijah Liu admits he’s only been singing for about a year and a half.
"It started off as a hobby and grew into a passion," the half Chinese, half Mexican singer told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. "Senior year I did that talent show and that's how I broke out of my shell."
The handsome 18-year-old, who also plays the guitar, piano, and ukulele, admits he’s never had any vocal training, other than listening to the radio. Knowing practice makes perfect, Elijah took to YouTube, posting videos of himself singing popular covers from a studio in his bedroom.
Elijah said he is influenced by pop and R & B music “with soul,” which apparently inspired his Twitter handle, #Souljah. His music influences are current artists, like Rihanna, Drake, and Frank Ocean, which is what the American Idol 2013 judges love about him.
In Las Vegas, the tiny, well-dressed and well-coiffed singer, who made it to the Las Vegas round last year, took on Bruno Mars’ “Listen To The Moon”. The judges love his current vibe and marketability. Although they didn’t think it was the best vocal, Nicki Minaj told him, "I would sign you today, you have the most marketable face and voice that I've seen today and you are ready now."
The college student, who is studying business administration, is likely hoping to catapult his career in order to help his family, as he is one of six kids. As he told The Tribune, "My family never grew up with the best of financial situations so that really humbled me and made me even more grateful for this great blessing of `Idol."'
American Idol Season: 12 (2013)
Hometown: Rowland Heights, CA
Audition: Elijah Liu auditioned for American Idol 2013 Season 12 in Long Beach, CA. His audition was not shown, but he was moved on to the Hollywood rounds.
Hollywood Week A Capella Round: During the guys’ Hollywood Week, Elijah’s a capella performance was not shown, but he moved on to the group round.
Hollywood Week Group Round: During the guys' Hollywood Week, Elijah’s group round performance was not shown. He was chosen to go through to the solo round.
Hollywood Week Solo Round: During the guys' Hollywood Week solo round, Elijah’s performance was not shown. He was selected to go to Vegas as part of the Top 40.
Top 40/Las Vegas Round 2: Elijah Liu performed “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars in the Las Vegas sudden death rounds. The performance was less than perfect, but the judges picked him to move on to the Top 20 anyway.
Top 20/Semi-Finals Round 2: Elijah turned on the charm during the Top 10 guys semi-finals, where he performed Rihanna's "Stay" to the pleasant surprise of the judges. He wowed everyone with his vocal control and charisma.
- Marnie Brodersen