Finding the next American Idol is no easy task. In order to win, you not only have to have a stellar voice, but you also should have a powerful stage presence, popular social media accounts, and a unique look. One contestant who possess all of these qualities in spades? Amelia Hammer Harris, who is set to perform in the second round of the Top 24 showcase. But who is American Idol star Amelia Hammer Harris, and how have her musical roots prepared her for American Idol?
Idol fans caught their first glimpse of Amelia during her audition in front of the judging panel. They were immediately impressed not only by her awesome performance of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," but by her star potential. The judges saw Amelia as the total package, and Katy even said that Amelia was "top 10 material." That's a powerful first impression to make, and it immediately catapulted Amelia to the forefront of the judges' minds, and set her apart as a potential frontrunner. When she arrived in Hollywood, Amelia had a bit of a target on her back as a contestant to watch out for. After all, not everyone could have rocked that floral jacket like she did and back up the look with a voice.
And when she arrived for Hollywood Week, Amelia brought a piece of her past with her. During her audition, Amelia revealed that her father, who she was estranged from until she was 15, was songwriter and performer Jack Hammer. Hammer was most famous for co-writing the Jerry Lee Lewis hit record, "Great Balls of Fire," but Amelia says he did not have a relationship with her until later in his life. "He was this really successful man who wasn’t around my whole childhood, so I didn’t want to take to him," Amelia told GoodHousekeeping.com about reconnecting with her father. "But that ended up being a really great thing for me, because I got to connect with him and see the other half of what made me. I’m a lot like him, so it was nice in the end."
Sadly, Hammer passed away in 2016. And while Amelia rocked an old jacket of her father's during her Hollywood Week performance of the Portugal. The Man hit "Feel It Still," don't expect her to give any musical homages to Hammer. "I tend to try and stay away from my father’s legacy, just because I’m trying to make my own," Amelia said in the same GH interview. "Love the guy, but will probably stay away from performing any of his songs."
Amelia's Hollywood performances were strong enough to sail her through to the Top 24, but that wasn't the only exciting change that occurred in Amelia's life during the most grueling portion of the competition. "One of the contestants on the show and I have kind of fallen in love," Amelia told GoodHousekeeping.com in another article. "His name is Taylor John Williams. It was very unexpected." Taylor, who also competed on The Voice, sadly did not make it through to the Top 24. But he and Amelia have a lot more in common than just being singers and possessing three names. They're both 26, both pursuing musical careers in Los Angeles, and they seem like a match made in musical heaven.
"We became friends the first day of Hollywood week," Amelia said in the same interview. "At first, we were just really good friends and it was a very organic friendship. You go on this journey to be totally selfish, follow your personal dreams, and just do the best you can. [But] then I really connected with another musician, so now we’re taking it on past Idol world into the real world. That’s happening." The couple has even already performed together! So even if Amelia doesn't take home the top prize, at least she has walked away with a potential life partner.
But ultimately, American Idol is still a singing competition, not The Bachelorette. And soon it will be Amelia's turn to take the stage, performing solo and with a celebrity duet partner, to fight for her spot in the Top 12. Only seven out of the 12 contestants performing will go on to the next round, and in order to secure that spot and put herself up for America's vote, Amelia will have to bring that star power and compelling stage presence that made her stand out from day one.
And who knows? Viewers could be looking at the next American Idol.