Canada's Leah Marlene, Nicolina Bozzo Among 'American Idol' Top 10


Leah Marlene and Nicolina Bozzo, both from Toronto, made it into the Top 10 of American Idol at the end of Monday’s episode.

It is the farthest any Canadian has gotten in the competition, which opened up to talent from north of the border two seasons ago. Viewers outside the U.S. are not able to vote for their favourites.

Marlene, an Illinois resident who was born in Toronto, performed Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” on Monday’s episode. Her father, Derry Grehan of Canadian rock band Honeymoon Suite, was in the studio audience.

Marlene, who turns 21 in June, told Billboard she was approached by producers about auditioning at a time when she was struggling with mental health issues. “I was so freaked out by the fact that I was even considering this idea,” she recalled. “It shifted every paradigm of what I saw for my life, and then I decided, ‘What the hell! Why not?’

“I’m in this crazy transitionary season and I don’t know why this feels different but it does.”

MORE:  Leah Marlene & Nicolina Bozzo On Season 20 Of American Idol

Bozzo, who hails from Richmond Hill, Ont., made it into the Top 10 with a cover of “Since U Been Gone” by inaugural Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

The university student, who turns 19 next month, told Billboard she got hooked on performing at age six and hopes to have a career like her idol, Adele.

A third Canadian competitor, B.C.’s Cameron Whitcomb, made it into the Top 20 this season, matching an achievement by Lauren Spencer-Smith in Season 18.

Ontario natives Vivian Hicks, Heather Russell and Lorand Kis previously earned golden tickets to Hollywood but were eliminated before the live shows.