South Bend's Tayah Smith breezes through first round of Hollywood

NOW: South Bend’s Tayah Smith breezes through first round of Hollywood

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --  If you watched Monday night's episode of American Idol, you may have seen a familiar face during the first episode for Hollywood week.

On Sunday, ABC57 News revealed, Tayah Smith had made it through to Hollywood.

And on Monday, it was announced that she had passed through the group round, and made it to the showcase round. 

But first,ABC57 News wanted to share a little more about her Nashville audition in front of the Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie. 

"This is my family crew. My mom had these matching shirts made for everyone, so we could come together and show our support," says Tayah. 

The  #teamtayah presence was strong in Music City.

Tayah's family was wearing those matching, iconic shirts, and kept close together in Nashville.

All waiting and praying that their 17-year-old star would get her chance to shine. 

"Luke Bryan told me I looked like a shining star. It's kind of cool because I felt like one," she says. "I felt like gems and diamonds all over me, and I was just shining."

She was.

All three judges loved her. 

"Katy Perry compared me to a young Rihanna. I've never heard that before," adds Tayah. "I think the coolest thing is that Lionel Richie said I reminded him as himself as a singer. I was like woah, this dude's an icon and he said that about me."

And when all three judges said yes, that meant only one thing: a golden ticket.

"When I came out, I had the ticket behind my back and I came out kine of moping a bit, and then I took it out and everyone got really excited," she recalls. "I just made it through to Hollywood and I'm so excited. It's amazing and I don't have the words to express how I'm feeling."

Her mom, Tricia, couldn't express those words either. 

"She just wanted this for so long, since she was a little girl," says Tricia. "She was walking around with a hair brush saying she was going to audition for idol."

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