Madison Merna receives the golden ticket

Steena Hymes Staff Writer

January 24, 2014

She’s going to Hollywood.

Madison Merna received her golden ticket at the Atlanta auditions, which aired on Fox Thursday night. Family and friends gathered in Troup High School cafeteria to support Merna in her journey on American Idol.

Merna sang several songs for the audience including the one she auditioned with. Merna showed the video of her singing at Star Power talent show when she was just 10 years old where she won first place. She then answered questions from the audience about her experience on the hit singing competition.

“It means a lot, that [the judges] think I was good enough to make it further. They thought I had something, that I had enough talent,” Merna said.

The judges weren’t the only one who saw something in Merna. Angela Ratliff, owner of the former LaGrange Angels Dance Studio, recognized Merna’s talent when she was nine years old and has encouraged her singing career for many years.

Ratliff said she knew Merna would make it on American Idol all those years ago and she has the talent to win the show.

Merna’s audition was not featured on the show, but several shots of her with her golden ticket and Troup High School’s cheerleaders were shown with an uproar of applause from friends and family who came out to support her.

“It just showed how much my hometown and my school support me, how much they want to succeed,” Merna said.

To see if Merna makes it past Hollywood, fans will have to tune into show’s Hollywood week

“I have full faith that she will make it all the way to the top, I really do,” Merna’s sister, Lindsey Barner said. “She has a beautiful soul to go with it.”