Headed for Hollywood: Senior receives Golden Ticket from ‘American Idol’

Taylor Davidson on her Season 20 audition, inspiration behind music career

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Photo Courtesy of Taylor Davidson

After her “American Idol” Season 20 audition, senior Taylor Davidson holds out her Golden Ticket. Contestants receive Golden Tickets when they impress the judges enough to advance to the next round. “Right before my audition, I was really nervous,” Davidson said. “Normally, I don’t get nervous to sing in front of people, but this was totally different, and it was a lot of pressure. Right before I went in, I was just reassuring myself that it was going to go well, and whatever the outcome, I was proud of myself.”

By Gabriella Winans, Prosper High School

Senior Taylor Davidson normally isn’t nervous to sing in front of people.

With her guitar in Hollywood, California, senior Taylor Davidson prepares to perform for “American Idol.” Davidson performed an original song titled “Nice Guy” along with Kacey Musgrave’s “Step Off.” Davidson received a Golden Ticket from the show, which allows her to advance into the next round titled “Hollywood Week.” (Photo Courtesy of Taylor Davidson)

As she stood in front of the double doors that led to the “American Idol” audition room, though, where judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie sat, Davidson found herself feeling an entirely new type of pressure.

“This was totally different,” Davidson said. “Right before I went in, I was just reassuring myself that it was going to go well, and, whatever the outcome, I was proud of myself.”

Davidson has been singing and performing since she was 12, but said she has always loved music.

“My favorite song to sing changes all the time,” Davidson said. “So, I wouldn’t say I have a favorite one in particular.”

After releasing multiple covers and singles, Davidson released her album “Tragedy” – to which she wrote all the songs on her bedroom floor – on Nov. 26, to stream on all platforms.

“Having a career in music has always been my dream since I was a kid,” Davidson said.

Part of this passion comes from Davidson’s inspiration – Taylor Swift.

“Taylor Swift has been one of my biggest inspirations,” Davidson said. “I love her music, and have always admired her drive and creativity.”

However, others have also praised Davidson’s own artistry – including her past fashion teacher, Audra Claypoole.

If you haven’t heard Taylor’s songs, you are missing out. This young lady is going places.”

— Audra Claypoole, Teacher

“Taylor’s personality was what made her so special,” Claypoole said. “If you didn’t already know she was a singer, you would not have heard it from her. She was quiet, yet bubbly, and never gave any inclination that she had produced numerous singles with her record label.”

Claypoole said a memory she will never forget is when she first played one of Davidson’s singles in class.

“She had no idea I knew she had released anything, and I added her songs to our class playlist,” Claypoole said. “She was in the middle of sewing, and when it came on, she froze and smiled, but was in pure shock.  And, ever since that day, when a new single of hers is released, it is added to Mrs. Claypoole’s playlist.”

Davidson sang her original song “Nice Guy” for her “American Idol” audition, before singing “Step Off” by Kacey Musgraves.

Taylor Davidson - Topic

“Meeting the judges was really surreal,” Davidson said. “In the moment, it was hard to process that they were actually right there in front of you. It was really cool to hear their advice and get to sing for them.”

Contestants receive a “Golden Ticket” if they impress the judges – which Davidson did – before advancing to the next round in Hollywood, California. Though her audition wasn’t aired, the first episode of “Hollywood Week,” aired March 28, and episodes will continue airing throughout the coming weeks.

“Maybe you’ll see a familiar face,” Davidson said.

As for her other future plans, Davidson plans to move to Nashville, Tennessee in the fall.

“I’m looking forward to making more music and moving to Nashville,” Davidson said. “I think my younger self would definitely be happy that I chose to pursue my passion.”

Taylor is an incredibly inspiring person. Being friends with Taylor, I have gotten to see her grow and push herself to work for her goals while encouraging the ones around her, as well. I’m so proud of how far she has come and can’t wait to see her achieve more goals.”

— Hannah Burden, Senior

This story was originally published on Eagle Nation Online on March 30, 2022.