“I got to see her all the time. I used to travel with her a lot,” the teen said. “I don’t think I could fully grasp the fact that she was known worldwide, because, to me, she was always just grandma.”
While Franklin’s performance won praise from “Idol” judge Katy Perry, fellow judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie didn’t feel she was ready.
Bryan voted no to Franklin continuing through to the next round, with Perry voting yes. That left it up to Richie to decide.
“Grace Franklin, I love you and I think the best thing for you in life is to take a shot at going backwards,” Richie said. “Go back and get a running start and come at this again.”
Those comments caused Perry to stare pointedly at him, to which Richie asked her, “Are you putting pressure on me?”
“Listen she’s got stardust, give her a shot, give her a chance,” Perry argued. “I’m sure Aretha wasn’t Aretha when she walked into the room, but somebody said, ‘Yes, I want to work with you, I want to develop you, you’ve got something.’ She’s got stardust on her.”
But Richie could not be moved, causing Perry to walk off stating, “Something wrong with your ears. Y’all are insane!”
In the end, Richie voted no, hugging Franklin and advising her to “put the work in.”
“American Idol” airs Sunday nights on ABC.
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