From FiK to LA: Lindita Halimi still alive on American Idol

For its fifteenth and final season, American Idol promised its viewers big surprises, but we weren’t expecting Eurovision fans would get one all their own. But it’s come — and in the glorious form of 26-year-old Lindita Halimi.

For those of you who don’t remember, lets pause and rewind. Lindita took part in the 53rd edition of Albania’s Festival i Kenges in 2014, where she gave a jaw-dropping performance of her entry “Ste fal”, conferring her the status of fan favourite alongside eventual winner Elhaida Dani.

After conquering Eurovision fandom with her soulful vocals and badass attitude, she’s trying her luck in the USA with American Idol. So far she hasn’t disappointed. Singing “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” for her audition, she wowed judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. all the way to a golden ticket.

Although her audition received high praise from the judges, Jennifer Lopez sparked a bit of a controversy.

For her pre-audition sob story, Lindita discussed her weight loss and how she dropped 150 pounds en route to becoming a personal trainer. During Lindita’s audition, J.Lo remarked that she was singing “like a heavy girl”, to which fellow judge Harry Connick Jr replied, “That’s true. She didn’t lose that part.” Viewers were offended by Jennifer’s remark — which was supposed to be a compliment — and took to Twitter to throw shade. Jenny from the Block had good intentions — she just expressed them in the wrong way.

In any event, after receiving three “yes” votes from the judges, Lindita moved on to the next stage in Hollywood. The first two episodes from this stage were aired earlier this week and once again she managed to get through to the next round. During the group audition, she sang “Domino” and gave a soulful and full-of-runs version of the song.

We wish Lindita the best of luck in her adventure and hope she’ll go far in the competition!