• WATCH: Orlando resident snags a golden ticket to Hollywood on 'American Idol'

    By: Jessica Smith


    ORLANDO, Fla. - There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Alyssa Raghu received a golden ticket on the premiere episode of 'American Idol.'

    Previously: Lake Nona High School student to appear on ABC's reboot of 'American Idol'

    The 16-year-old singer hosted a watch party at Lake Nona High School Sunday night, surrounded by family, friends, and even some of her own teachers. Raghu is heavily involved in her school's theater program and her classmates have been supporting her through her journey, every step of the way. 


    When Alyssa Raghu auditioned on the premiere, each of the judges were blown away. She sang a rendition of 'Almost is Never Enough' by Ariana Grande and finished her audition in tears. 

    “I full-body felt what you were singing,” Katy Perry said. “You’re top ten.” 

    Photos: 'American Idol' watch party at Lake Nona High School

    Alyssa's story on 'American Idol' featured her father, Dennis Raghunandan, and the close relationship they have forged. Alyssa says her dad was there for every audition and every performance through her budding music career. 

    "I've always thought that she was special. She was always interested in music, I just saw that spark in her and just kept pushing her in that direction," Dennis Raghunandan said. 


    As for what's next for Alyssa's 'American Idol' journey, she isn't revealing much, but she told us it's something that we won't want to miss. 

    "All I can tell you about the next step is it's incredible and I can't wait for you guys to see it," Alyssa Raghu said.

    'American Idol' continues on Sunday and Monday nights at 8pm on WFTV-Channel 9.

    Watch Alyssa Raghu's full audition here: 


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