Singer Grace Nourbash: Super senior auditions for American Idol


Singing Sensation: Singing “I Put a Spell on You” by Annie Lennox, senior Grace Nourbash performs in front of a large audience for South’s 2020 V-Show. On Aug. 28 2020, Nourbash auditioned for American Idol over Zoom and made it through four rounds of the process. Photos courtesy of Grace Nourbash.

Emerson Beitzel, staff writer

In every picture of senior Grace Nourbash as a little kid, you will find her holding a microphone, she said. When she was younger, Grace would perform in front of the mirror, Grace’s mom, Roxanne Nourbash explained, not knowing that one day she would be auditioning for American Idol.

When Grace watched American Idol as a child she knew that, one day, she wanted to perform on the show. The moment Roxanne knew Grace could sing was when she played the lead in her first musical as princess Aurora in the production of Sleeping Beauty. But she feels Grace’s biggest and best performance was when she sang “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele during South’s V-Show her sophomore year.

“She tried out for V-Show and was given a solo act and that is a pretty big deal,” Roxanne said. “That was the biggest eye opener.”

After her sophomore year performance, Grace wanted to do something bigger for her junior year, Peter Sovitsity, Grace’s voice coach, said. So, she decided to sing “I Put a Spell on You” by Annie Lennox and included a couple of instruments. 

“[Grace] need[ed] to take what [she] did [her] sophomore year and bring it up a notch,” Sovitsity said. “She [sang] with a bass and snare player. They complimented her really well.”

Grace started working with Sovitsity during her freshman year, but has since stopped due to her busy schedule, he said. During a voice lesson, they would spend ten minutes vocalizing before working on a song. Sovitsity stressed that Grace is amazing because of her natural talent, taking no credit for her success.

“There is something unique about her,” Sovitsity said. “She does not sound like your average senior.”

On Aug. 28, 2020, Grace tried out for American Idol for the second time over Zoom. The first time, Grace only made it to the first round. This time, she made it through four rounds which consisted of paperwork, singing live, recording live and being interviewed.

“I was scared but I was also really excited,” Grace said. “People don’t understand you have to go through so much before you even make it on TV. For example, producers would reach out to me and I would have to sing in front of them and other contestants.”

Grace is very grateful for this American Idol experience because it taught her so much, she said. If she decides to try out next year, she will benefit from the coaches knowing her name and understanding the process.

“I learned a lot about myself and how to react in quick situations,” Grace said. “I was put under pressure and handled it well and I am glad that I experienced that.”

Grace is going to continue to sing in the future, she said, and plans on doing more lessons and practicing on her own. 

“I want to share something I love to do and share my performance with the world,” Grace said.