Each season of American Idol brings with it new contestants hoping to make it all the way through to the season finale and eventually win the show.
This season, siblings Liahona Olayan, 16, and Ammon Olayan, 17, auditioned alongside one another with an original song they say they wrote because they often argue or fight with one another, but they still love each other.
Following the audition, judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan were impressed with the teenagers and couldn’t believe they wrote such a good song and hadn’t been signed on as songwriters somewhere.
The Siblings Discovered Their Love for Songwriting Together
The siblings told the judges that they’re from Hawaii, and they shared that their family moved to the Big Island five years ago. At the time, they lived in a tent with their family because their parents wanted them to feel connected to their heritage.
“When I was 11, my parents decided to grab two suitcases, leave everything, and move into a tent,” Liahona told the camera at one point. “They did it to get closer to our Hawaiian heritage and to get closer as a family.”
Ammon shared that he raised a baby goat during that time, and that’s when the siblings found out that they love writing music. The two are the oldest of two kids.
The Siblings Performed an Original Song for Their Audition
When Katy Perry asked them if they performed together or were starting a band together, Liahona told her that they had written a song together and asked if the judges wanted to hear it.
She played the piano and sang while her brother sang along.
“So this song is called ‘Listen to My Heart,’” Liahona shared. “And we wrote this because we tend to get in fights a lot, especially with a lot of siblings, sometimes you say things you don’t mean.”
The song was about staying close and forgetting about the arguments or at the very least forgiving one another after fighting.
“And I can’t help but say / I don’t wanna be alone / ‘Cause it doesn’t feel like home / When we fall apart,” Liahona sings in the chorus.
Both siblings received positive reviews from the judges, but they were extra impressed with Liahona and the siblings’ songwriting abilities.
“I think what’s missing now is everything is so contrived, and the beautiful part about this is it’s so fresh,” Richie told them.
Bryan shared the sentiment, adding, “I don’t even know what y’all were singing, I don’t even know what was going on, all I know is that I was loving the Savant-ness of it. I mean, Liahona, you have a voice like we could write a song, record it, and it’s ready for the radio.”
Perry had even higher praise for Liahona in particular.
“You are talented beyond belief, incredible songwriters, like, should be signed right now…” she said. “I think, Ammon, you do need to kind of work on your delivery, vocally. Liahona, I think you’re like a Lorde or an Alessia Cara, I think you’re that good.”
The siblings both got three “yes” votes and were given Golden Tickets to Hollywood.
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