Bringing Hollywood inspiration back to South Bend

NOW: Bringing Hollywood inspiration back to South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Another American Idol episode, another round of amazing voices, showing off pure talent, for their chance at being the next American Idol. 

One South Bend teen is determined to use her experience to make her an even bigger star. 

A voice belts out Adele's "Set Fire to The Rain," but it's not Adele singing.

It's 17-year-old Tayah Smith. 

During the last round of Hollywood Week, the showcase, Smith sang that song, on that stage, for the very last time.

"I felt like I was on fire up there," she recalls. "I just remember having the time of my life up there."

She made it to the Top 75, and producers called that special group, the "best of the best." 

But Smith's whole Idol journey is a series of events and experiences that will last a lifetime. 

She isn't taking any of it for granted. 

"I wasn't expecting to make it as long as I did. Once I made it to the next round, I was like 'oh my gosh this is so cool," Smith explains. "I'm excited for things to come. I'm definitely dipping into myself more as an artist. I learned a lot about myself as an artist, especially being around so many talented people."

Now, Smith is taking that inspiration right back home.

"American Idol was a super cool experience, but I think there may be other things in the future that God has planned for me," she says. 

It's a future that's now filled with even more music.

She's taken up two new instruments, and started writing her own songs, to help her become the star she is, and ultimately hopes to become. 

"I'm only 17 so I have a lot of room to grow," she says. "No matter waht, I'm going to still be singing. That's who I am. I'm a singer and I love to sing. It's my passion, it's who I am. Tayah Smith the singer."

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