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'American Idol' contestant Adanna Duru visits Walnut Teen Center

San Gabriel Valley Tribune
February 5, 2015
By Richard Irwrin

‘American Idol’ contestant Adanna Duru visits Walnut Teen Center

Walnut teens made it very clear that they have their own “American Idol.” The middle-schoolers packed the Teen Center on Tuesday to talk to contestant Adanna Duru.

The 18-year-old Diamond Bar resident wowed the celebrity judges with her rendition of “You And I” by Lady Gaga. The trio said “yes” to the young woman, who is in the advanced cutthroat competition, which aired Wednesday. She also will be in next week’s show.

“Good job, baby. You’re what we call the full package,” cooed judge Jennifer Lopez.

“I thought you sounded great ... you hit every great part of your voice, which sounds like all of it,” agreed judge Keith Urban.

Duru said she even got a Tweet from Lady Gaga saying, “You killed it!”

The 2014 Walnut High grad took time out of her busy schedule to talk to the local teens. Duru is studying at UC Riverside. Many remembered Duru competing in season three of “The Voice.” She was a sophomore at the time.

“I just wanted to be a singer. I didn’t know what type of music I wanted to make,” Duru recalled. “Since then, I’ve learned so much and being on the show now I know everything I want to do. It’s been so fun so far.”

The rising star reminisced about going to Suzanne Middle School just down the road in Walnut. There she joined the casts of “Willy Wonka” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

“It’s strange, but I loved middle school. I actually liked it better than high school,” she said.

Duru talked about her love for singing, how she always loved to perform.

“My brothers got tired of me singing and would tell me to shut up!” Duru said with a huge grin.

But her mother “was always her biggest supporter,” always believing her “baby girl” would become a star. In fact, Duru wouldn’t have even auditioned for “American Idol” in September if her mother hadn’t insisted.

“I remember the day of the actual audition ... that was my second day of college. So basically my day consisted of moving in and then driving to San Francisco,” Duru said. “It was a good decision to go.”

When asked who her idols were growing up, Duru replied “I was obsessed with Beyonce, and I liked Britney Spears.”

She offered some sage advice to the eighth-graders.

“A lot of people will tell you that your dream is stupid. I’ve been told that so many times,” Duru explained. “Honestly, you’re capable of everything you believe you’re capable of. If you really believe that you can do something and you have the discipline to know that when you fail it’s not the end. When you fail, you learn from your mistakes and keep changing and growing.  ... It’s all just believing in yourself.”