Wé Ani’ disarmed “American Idol” judges with her squeaky talking voice, but blew them away with her singing voice during an audition that aired Sunday. (Watch the video below.)
“Is that your real voice?” judge Lionel Richie asked, and got confirmation. Luke Bryan, noting later that Wé Ani’ talked like Didi Conn’s Frenchy character from “Grease,” asked if she did voiceovers, and got a negative.
But once the contestant from Harlem, New York, began to sing the Demi Lovato song “Anyone,” it became clear that Wé Ani’s true calling may be singing. As for where that squeak went during the performance, Bryan joked: “I’m not gonna get into the science.”
Richie said she was “ridiculous” ― in a good way. Katy Perry’s eyes crossed in astonishment as the hopeful belted out her song.
“Way to throw the curveball,” Perry said afterward.
Wé Ani’ advanced to Hollywood.
Fans of network talent shows might find the Paterson, New Jersey, resident’s voice — speaking and singing ― familiar. As teenager Wé McDonald, she was second runner-up on “The Voice” in 2016.
According to her website, she has been influenced by Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.
“People are continuously awed by the distinct difference between Wé’s speaking voice and singing voice,” the site says.
Amen to that.