Top 5 American Idol finalist Nicolina Bozzo is a strong vocalist with many standout performances, and, as she exits the competition, her season 20 highlights are worth celebrating. Nicolina is an 18-year-old university student from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. With her expert balance of gorgeous falsetto and powerful belting, Nicolina became a fan favorite. The runs in her songs were controlled and impressive. She made history on the show during Top 10 week when she became the first contestant from Canada to make it into the Top 7. She also was the first finalist ever to sing a villain’s song on American Idol Disney Night.
Throughout the American Idol competition, Nicolina was very open about the struggles she faced due to her parents’ divorce five years ago. Although her family was once very close, after the divorce, she and her sisters went to live with her grandparents. During the American Idol Mother’s Day episode, Nicolina dedicated her performance of “Light in the Hallway” by Pentatonix to her loving grandmother, Nonna Clara. Nicolina channeled her emotions into every one of her moving performances.
Nicolina was eliminated from the American Idol competition before the Top 3. From her first audition to her final performance in the Top 5, Nicolina was always authentic. Whether she brought the audience to tears with an emotional ballad or got them on their feet with an energetic rock song, she had a showmanship on the American Idol stage that only a select few finalists had. Her American Idol season 20 highlights are impressive.
At her audition, Nicolina stunned American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan with her moving rendition of “She Used To Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. Every note was full of raw emotion, and Nicolina felt every lyric. The judges gave her a standing ovation and began to clap and sing along as Luke burst into a spirited version of “Finally” by CeCe Peniston, indicating that they had finally found what they were looking for at the auditions. Nicolina danced along. Katy told her that she felt Nicolina’s “whole life story in that song.” Katy said that everybody has their pain, sorrow, and sadness, but it is about connecting to the heart. Lionel told her that the “journey” of her voice was what was “so infectious.” Luke told her that she was “amazing.” She received three yes votes and earned her golden ticket to Hollywood. Nicolina sang “She Used To Be Mine” again for her celebration song when she earned a place in the Top 14 by winning America’s votes.
After Nicolina sang several more serious songs such as “Elastic Heart” by Sia (Top 24), “Edge of Seventeen” by StevieNicks (Top 20), and “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley (Top 14), she showed a different side of herself when she belted out American Idol season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” selected for her by Lionel during the Judges’ Song Contest. During the performance, she rocked out and interacted with the audience by asking them to sing along. This was something that fans had not seen from Nicolina before. Lionel said that he chose the song for her because he wanted fire from her, and he said that she lit up the room.
On Disney Night, Nicolina made history on the show as the first finalist ever to choose a villain’s song. She belted out Ursula the Sea Witch’s signature song, “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” from The Little Mermaid. She was powerful and in control of the stage, dressed in a glittery purple gown with a cape. Her final high note echoed hauntingly throughout the theater and brought Lionel and Luke to their feet. Katy, who was dressed as Ariel, pretended to be terrified and hid below the judges’ table, saying, “That was so good it was scary!” She said Nicolina stole the show with her entrance and look, and exclaimed, “that is how you do show business.” She called it the best performance of the night. Lionel and Luke agreed. During this performance, Nicolina proved she was more than just an incredible singer, but also a stunning performer who owned the stage.
For Nicolina’s TikTok sensation song during Top 7 week, she chose to sing “Alone” by Heart. This was a risky move because American Idol winner Carrie Underwood sang this song during season 4 in what is widely regarded as one of the best performances in the history of the show. However, Nicolina once again made her mark on the competition by making the song her own. She took the stage in a flowing red suit with a cape, looking like a goddess as she walked down the catwalk to the main stage. When it came time to belt out the powerful chorus, Nicolina turned things upside down by singing that part in falsetto. She built up to the soaring part of the chorus, filling the stage with her incredible vocals. She ended the song with softer notes, giving an emotional twist to it. Lionel called her a “star in control.”
During Top 5 week, the American Idol finalists were mentored by Carrie. They had to perform one of her songs, and Nicolina chose “Blown Away.” Carrie told Nicolina that she loves the song because it has a strong female at the center of it. Nicolina captured its emotional essence by slowing down the first verse. As the song picked up speed, Nicolina expressed the song’s power, and Katy said she felt Nicolina’s last “scream-cry.” Nicolina incorporated a wind machine into her performance for dramatic effect. Katy praised her for understanding that the competition is about more than just singing and for always putting on a compelling show by adding theatrical elements such as wind and smoke. Luke agreed that this gave her an edge. Katy also commended her on her growth in the competition. Nicolina proved that she had the whole package.
Although Nicolina was ultimately eliminated from the American Idol competition, this is surely not the last that fans will hear from her. Her single, “Glitter,” which was released on May 13 is climbing the charts, and has even reached number one on the singer/songwriter charts. With her powerful vocals and stellar showmanship, Nicolina will thrill audiences for years to come.
Next: American Idol: All About The Top 7 Finalists’ Singles
American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.
Source: American Idol/YouTube