American Idol came full circle for a former Season 4 finalist Nadia Turner when her daughter auditioned on March 20.
Tricking her mother into thinking they were having a mother-daughter spa day, Zaréh Turner gave her mother, who competed on the show 17 years earlier, a blast from the past by bringing her to her own AI audition.”She does not know I am auditioning for American Idol,” said Zaréh. “She’s either going to be super disappointed or super thrilled.”
Zaréh kept her mother blindfolded during the drive to the audition and left everything to surprise until the moment when host Ryan Seacrest greeted her at their car. Seacrest said “This… is American Idol” in his signature voice to a stunned Turner, who was still blindfolded.
Coming full circle, Zaréh also wore the same yellow blouse her mother wore during her Idol audition in 2005 for judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell and guest judge Brandy, when she sang Aretha Franklin’s 1974 hit “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do).”
Turner reached eighth in the competition before getting eliminated after her soulful rendition of Crystal Gayle’s “When I Dream.”
This time around, Zaréh took on Jazmine Sullivan’s 2008 song “Bust Your Windows” for judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, while her mother cried and danced while watching her daughter audition.
“For the first time on American Idol, the handkerchief goes to your mother,” said Richie walking over to Nadia after her daughter’s performance. “There’s a word called pride. Mom was blowing up over there.”
Perry added, ”Well this is the best mother-daughter day ever.”
Bryan was impressed by Zaréh’s performance but offered some words of advice for the young singer. “When you start getting to the top levels of your range, gritty it up a little bit, dig in,” said Bryan.
Now moving on to Hollywood Week, Zaréh received a yes from all three judges and is on her way to continue what her mother started nearly 20 years earlier on the show.
Throughout the years, Nadia Turner has released her own music, including her most recent roots-rock album N² (Live) earlier this year, recorded in Nashville with Chester Thompson, who worked with Genesis, Frank Zappa/The Mothers of Invention, the Bee Gees. Nadia has served as a UNICEF Good Will Ambassador since 2017 and recently served as a guest host on The View and appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
This year, Nadia released two new singles, “I’m Not Ready For Love” and “You Do Something to Me,” which were written for Zaréh.
“It’s such a wonderful, heartfelt story on our 20th season here at American Idol,” said Richie, “to have this come full circle.”
Photo: Eric McCandless / ABC