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Five Mississippians win ‘American Idol’ auditions at state fair

From left to right: Amirah Washington, Aurelias Myers, Nicholas Brown, Elijah Middleton, and Naomi Taylor (Photo courtesy of the Mississippi State Fairgrounds)

Five Mississippians are heading to Nashville after winning American Idol auditions at the state fair.

The following singers ousted nearly 500 initial applicants during a two-night competition between the top 40 inside the Mississippi Coliseum:

  • Nicholas Brown, “Ain’t No Sunshine”
  • Aurelias Myers, “Use Me”
  • Naomi Taylor, “Valerie”
  • Amirah Washington, “Summertime”
  • Elijah Middleton, “Jesus Is Love”

RELATED: Colin Stough places third on ‘American Idol’ season 21

Kelsey Smith and Katiya Madison were chosen to serve as alternates in case the top five contestants cannot make it.

Joey Tannehill, one of the judges on Monday and Tuesday nights, shared a piece of advice with the winners before parting ways.

“As you progress to the next level, it’s going to be a lot of pressure and things are going to run really quick once you get there. So, you want to be prepared as possible and not just vocally,” Tannehill said, reminding contestants that stage presence is vital. “Showcase your range not in a single song necessarily but really show the range of emotions, and your job as a performer is to evoke those emotions and make people feel what you feel with that song.”

The top five will now prepare for a VIP Executive Producer Audition as they look to claim a spot in Hollywood. Season 22 of American Idol will begin airing next spring.

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