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South Bend teen makes it to Hollywood

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- That's a wrap on the first audition phase of American Idol.

So much talent, and yet, so few make it to Hollywood. 

But what about 17-year-old Tayah Smith?

She revealed to ABC57 News, that she made it to a judging city. But what happened next?

The South Bend teen traveled all the way to Nashville to try out in front of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie.

ABC57 News followed her there months ago.

But now, that footage, along with her secret, can be revealed.

Music city was indeed filled with music. 

But the hustle and bustle was nothing compared to the excitement in the American Idol audition holidng room.

"I'm not nervous. I'm just a little bit tired and overcoming that by thinking of all the things I'm here for," she explained. 

Smith was surrounded by family, and hundreds of others, yearning to be the next American Idol. 

They all sat around waiting for their chance.

"I'm just really excited to see her doing what she loves doing so much. I'm really happy for her," says her mom, Tricia. 

Finally it was Smith's chance to meet the three judges, and her chance to follow her dreams all the way to Hollywood.

But before she stepped through those doors, she had some wise words to share. 

"Even though people say in the Michiana, South Bend, Mishawaka area, there's not a lot of talent, I know there's some very talented people there," she says. "Get out there. Put everything out there. And never give up on your dreams. I didn't give up, I'm not ever going to give up. And I'm here."

Smith skyped into the ABC57 studios Sunday night for a very special announcement: she made it to Hollywood. 

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