It takes a lot to shake up a diva like Mariah Carey.
But Mariah Pulice, of Darien, brought tears to the eyes of the Grammy-winning singer on Thursday night’s episode of American Idol with her lyrical rendition of The Beatles’ Let it Be.
“You touched me,” said Carey, before joining judges Randy Jackson and Nicki Minaj in ushering Pulice through to the reality show’s Hollywood round.
The moment, however, was about more than just the power of Pulice’s voice. The Downers Grove South alum, 19, shared her struggle with anorexia in a video segment prior to her performance.
"If there was no music, I would not be alive," she said. “This eating disorder did not beat me, and it will not, it will not beat me.”
Pulice told the judges that she is still recovering from the disorder, describing it as an "everyday battle."
Minaj, overcome with emotion, held her head in her hands after the performance.
“I really, really, really felt that song coming from you,” she said. “Your spirit is coming out through your music.”
It wasn't all serious, however. Carey joked that she didn't know too many other Mariah's when she was growing up, so she felt an instant kinship with Pulice.
After Pulice got the golden ticket, she collapsed in tears as her family and friends rushed to join her in the audition room.
“This feels beautiful,” she said. “I feel beautiful for the first time in so long. I never want to let it go.”
The judges weren’t the only ones who Pulice impressed. Fans immediately took to Twitter to show their support:
Mariah Pulice's version if Let It Be was phenomenal and haunting!!#AmericanIdol
S/o to Mariah Pulice. Your story was beautiful and your DGS family is supporting you! #americanidol
Mariah Pulice is my girl this season.
Mariah Pulice was amazing. Just saying, she could win. #idol
Mariah Pulice had a touching story and a very sweet approach to Let It Be #americanidol I'm glad she's going to Hollywood. Wanna hear more
Mariah Pulice, her story made me cry. I'm so happy she made it. Her voice is soft but yet gorgeous. #idolauditions
Mariah Pulice is the next American idol. I know it in my heart. I got goosebumps when she sang. #americanidol
Those fans included locals, as well:
Take a peak into her pre-Idol life by reading about one of the plays she performed in at Downers Grove South.