How an American Idol Contestant Used the Show to Get Revenge on a Classmate Who "Kanye'd" Her

On the March 12 episode of American Idol, contestant Amara Valerio had one heck of an audition story for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. Find out how Kanye West was involved.

By Daniel Trainor Mar 14, 2023 12:28 AMTags

Imma let you finish, but this is one of the best American Idol auditions of all-time.

The March 12 episode of the singing competition series introduced viewers to 20-year-old Amara Valerio—who had one incredibly memorable audition story that probably gave Taylor Swift fans some visceral flashbacks. 

"I got asked to sing the national anthem at my school," Amara began. "I was super excited. And then when I started to sing, this girl came up and pulled the mic and was like, ‘This is my senior graduating class and I think I deserve to sing the national anthem.'"

Amara even had visual evidence of the incident, which judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie watched on a tablet.

"She just pulled a Kanye West," Katy said, making reference to Kanye's infamous interruption of Taylor's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards speech in which he said, "Imma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!"

Amara, able to laugh at the whole thing now, agreed with Katy and said, "I got Kanye'd."

American Idol: Where Are They Now?

Well, surely the school made up for things, right?

"The next year was COVID," Amara explained, "so I never to sing at my own high school graduation, either."

Well, no better stage than American Idol to get some very public retribution.

Before she could start her audition, Luke vowed to track down the villainous mic-grabber, saying, "I need that f--king name. Give me her name. I got Navy SEALs."

Amara wouldn't give up the intel—despite multiple attempts from the judges during her audition, as she sang a killer version of Jazmine Sullivan's "Bust Your Windows."

Once finished, Amara hinted, "Someone said something with a 'S,' though."

Katy shouted "Sarah!" and Amara gave a knowing nod and started laughing.

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind," Katy said. "But Sarah! You're finished messing with our girl, Amara."

That's when the judges rewarded Amara with a trip to Hollywood. 

Who's laughing now, Sarah?!

American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Get the drama behind the scenes. Sign up for TV Scoop!