Was Tori Kelly on American Idol? Here’s what season she appeared on and how far she got

Tori Kelly is a singer and songwriter.
Tori Kelly appeared on American Idol as a duet partner, but did you know she was once a competitor? Pic credit: © Collin

Singer Tori Kelly assisted two American Idol hopefuls as they attempted to move further in Season 19’s competition. Many viewers were shocked when they learned that the curly-haired vocalist was once a competitor herself.

For the second night of All-Star Duets, Tori performed alongside Madison Kelly and Colin Jamieson for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.

Tori and Madison bonded over their shared faith. The American Idol hopeful was thrilled to be able to perform with a woman she looked up to and said, it was “so cool to have a girl to look up to that also loves God.”

Madison sang Justin Bieber’s Holy before taking on Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing with Tori, their big voices blending seamlessly. 

Colin performed solo for the Bruno Mars song Locked Out of Heaven. He duetted with Tori on her hit Hollow.

Tori spoke to the singers about her own experiences as an Idol hopeful, including facing the judges and how she leaned on her own strength to get through the competiton.

What season of American Idol did Tori appear on?

Tori was a competitor on the ninth season of the series. She was just 16 when she faced judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and Victoria Beckham.

Tori auditioned in Denver, Colorado for the panel in 2010 singing her own version of Gravity by John Mayer. All the judges but Simon pushed the hopeful through to the next phase of the competition, Hollywood Week.

She was featured with a group of her fellow singers as The Mighty Rangers. These included Maddie Penrose, Danny Jones, Mark Labriola, and Kimberly Kerbow. Together, they sang the song Closer by Ne-Yo. Tori and Kelly would advance ot the next round reported an American Idol fan page.

Tori’s final solo song was a rendition of Hot n Cold by Katy Perry. After the judges’ verdict, she was told she would not advance further.

Lee DeWyze would go on to win Season 9. The runner-up was Crystal Bowersox

Tori Kelly has since become a force in the music industry

After her Idol elimination, Tori focused on honing her skills as a singer and songwriter.

In 2012, she released an independent EP, titled Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly. One year later, she was signed to Capitol Records by manager Scooter Braun.

Three years later she would release her first album titled Unbreakable Smile. The record’s single Nobody Love was her first song in the Billboard Top 100 and she was subsequently nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016 as Best New Artist but lost to Meghan Trainor.

Tori would ultimately win two own golden gramophones during the 61st Grammy Awards, in the category of Best Gospel Album for Hiding Place and Best Gospel Song for Never Alone.

American Idol airs Sunday and Monday at 8/7c on ABC.

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