Ashton Brooke Gill, a graduate of French Settlement High School and current student at Southeastern Louisiana University, will be under the bright lights of national television when she appears on “American Idol” on Sunday, March 10.
The episode begins at 7 p.m. locally on The ABC Television Network.
Gill, 20, graduated from FSHS in 2016 before going to Southeastern, where she’s currently majoring in nursing (and one class away from a music minor). She grew up singing in local churches and also performed a few times at the Grand Country Junction, a monthly country-western show in Satsuma.
Throughout high school, Gill split her time between basketball, gifted and talented music, and gifted and talented theatre, even playing the role of Sandy from “Grease.” In college, she’s sang the national anthem for LSU and Southeastern baseball games.
But nothing compares to this “American Idol” opportunity, she said in a phone interview with The News.
“This is the biggest thing I’ve ever done before,” Gill said.
Gill’s upcoming televised audition came during the show’s tour of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho — a 2,300-mile trip from Livingston Parish — where she sang in front of Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.
It was a long day for Gill, who said she had to wake up at 4 a.m., be ready to sing at 7 a.m., but was ultimately one of the last people to audition for the judges late that night.
“At this point, I was just ready to audition, because I’d been waiting all day long,” she said with a laugh. “My heart was going 110 miles an hour. I was super excited and super nervous, not really going what to expect. But it felt like a dream. It did not feel real.”
Gill is the second current or former French Settlement High student to appear on “American Idol” in the last two years. Last season, 2018 FSHS graduate Laine Hardy became an early fan favorite before he was eliminated in the “Final Judgment” episode, just before the Top 24.