Centerville grad on ‘American Idol’ gets golden ticket to Hollywood

Micaela McCall, who grew up in Centerville, punched her ticket to Hollywood on Sunday’s Season 22 premiere of “American Idol.”

The 28-year-old voice and piano teacher now living in Santa Barbara, Calif. wowed judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan with an unexpected reimagining of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours).” Stepping away from the song’s traditional, upbeat groove, McCall opted for a slower, soulful ballad approach that showcased her skillful musicianship.

Interestingly, McCall was invited by “American Idol” to audition. Noozhawk, an independent publication in Santa Barbara, reported the show discovered McCall’s viral rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Misérables” which she performed in a parking garage. Knowing McCall was a busker spoke volumes for Perry, a Santa Barbara native and former busker.

MORE GOOD NEWS IN DAYTON: Former Dayton Mall Sears getting new life | What’s up with the anime at the Beavercreek mall?

“I know exactly what it feels like to busk on those streets and be a background singer and get paid in avocadoes,” Perry said. “All it took was one person to see me and all of a sudden my life was changed.”

“I Dreamed a Dream” is a personal throwback for McCall, the daughter of longtime Dayton Daily News reporter Ken McCall. She didn’t get the role of Fantine in Centerville’s 2014 production of “Les Misérables” but her “Idol” exposure can be considered a redemptive victory.

Sign up for our afternoon newsletter: The Afternoon Update brings the day’s latest news to your inbox each afternoon



As for her winning rendition of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” the judges gave her a standing ovation and high praise.

“I’ve never heard that song done that way,” Perry said.

“Who the hell beat you out of the ‘Les Mis’ part?” Bryan exclaimed. “You just sing — it’s so free. I don’t know why you haven’t already had a massive amount of success.”

“I know what happened,” Richie said. “The universe was saving her for us.”

“American Idol” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

About the Author