Stephanie Sokol for The Pit
Emily Piriz, 18, was eliminated from American Thursday night, March 6 following her performance of “Stars.”
The Florida native said her parents and boyfriend were her biggest support system, and she enjoyed being on Idol.
The experience and constructive criticism, as well as many new friendships, are what she takes with her. She described the other contestants as a “second family.”
“It was really hard to leave,” Piriz said. “(Thursday night) they had a car waiting for me and told me I only had 45 minutes. I let the car go and stayed for 4 hours sitting talking, and enjoying each others’ company because honestly, these are some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life.”
Piriz said she has always seen Jennifer Lopez as one of her favorite singers, so getting to meet and receive advice from the singer was a dream come true.
On Wednesday night, Piriz performed “Let’s Get Loud.” She said she might have been able to bring more energy, but she could not have brought a better song.
“I probably just needed to bring even more energy to the stage. But I don’t regret doing that song. That song really hit home for me, and I was happy with my performance.”
“JLO’s support meant everything,” Piriz said. “Since my first audition, she was a fan of mine. She told me I was a great singer I used to be a little girl looking up to her– she used to be one of my idols. So to have that support from her means everything.”
While she was sad to go, Piriz said this is just the beginning. Her next move is returning home, finishing high school and getting ready to move to California to continue her music career.
“My first album, I definitely see a pop-rock kind of vibe,” Piriz said. ”I want some funky songs on there that have a lot of edge to them, but I definitely want to be behind the piano and do some softer sounds too. So my first album’s definitely going to be all me– it’s going to reflect who i am.”
In the past, Piriz competed on X Factor, and America’s Got Talent. She said the other shows don’t live up to the Idol experience, which she described as “as good as it gets.”
Competing helped Piriz further develop her musicality and performance. She learned to make the stage her own, keeping up confidence and optimism, and staying true to herself.
“I see (Idol) as the best experience of my life, no regrets at all — I’m happy with everything I’ve done,” Piriz said. ”It was very rewarding and I’ve been able to meet so many great friends that I will keep forever, so I’m really grateful to have had this experience.”
Emily Piriz performed “Stars,” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, during Thursday night’s show.