Slidell singer makes Top 50 on ‘American Idol’

SLIDELL, La. -- A singing sensation from Slidell is now one of the remaining Top 50 contestants on "American Idol."

17-year old Kaitlann Runnels of Slidell made the Top 50, which is no easy feat.  Runnels is a high school student who also is a hostess at Palmetto's on the Bayou, her dad's restaurant.

News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez talked with Kaitlann about her journey so far on the show!

Runnels made it to "Hollywood Week" on the hit singing show, where she sang in front of celebrity judges: Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

"Emotions that sometimes people have a hard time expressing, I love expressing them through my music.  I'm just ready to share that with America, and I think that could get me to be the next American Idol," Runnels said.

Kaitlann's already doing whatever it takes to impress the celebrity judges.  She even had a funny story to tell Katy Perry.

"When I went to my audition, I had to tell Katy about when I was in Kindergarten and my Catholic school was holding a talent show.  I thought I would get up and sing Katy Perry's song, 'I Kissed a Girl,' because I knew all the lyrics.  I thought I would rock it and I didn't tell anyone that I was going to sing that song.  So during the rehearsal I got up and sang it.  They weren't happy about it, so I got detention, a little baby detention,"  Runnels said.

Good thing Kaitlann didn't let that detention stop her from singing.

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 7 p.m. on WGNO-TV.