American Idol 2022: Contestant Leah Marlene of Normal, Illinois, makes it to Top 5

CHICAGO (WLS) -- We've been following Leah Marlene from Normal, Illinois, all season of "American Idol" - and now she's made it into the Top Five!

Hosea Sanders just caught up with her getting ready for this Sunday's show, and Leah needs your vote to make it to the Top Three!

"This is a very overwhelming time, but in all the best ways," Leah Marlene said.

Marlene has gotten a lot of support from home, but she's also seeing universal support and a big fan base building as well.

"Oh my gosh it's crazy," Leah Marlene said. "My hometown and the surrounding areas have been insane. I've never seen them rally for anything so hard, I've been there my whole life."

Leah Marlene has undergone quite the transformation over the season, with Judge Katy Perry telling her, "I don't know who I'm looking at. You wore a bucket hat and the patchwork outfit and now you're just mature and graceful and you look like an angel and you sound like an angel."

"I love it, show days are my favorite," Leah Marlene said. "I get to get my hair did and my makeup done. It's just so fun to express yourself outwardly what's inside. Some people are saying, 'You look like a different person,' and I'm like, literally the same."

Leah Marlene has been putting in lots of work leading up to Sunday's episode.

"It's short lived," she said. "It's going to be over in less than two weeks now, so you kind of got to lean into it."

And her new single "Flowers" just dropped Friday.

"It's kind of a letter to my old self a year or two ago, saying no matter how far gone you may feel, there's always a way out," Marlene said. "And the lead line is, 'Even the pavement gives way to the flowers.'"

Leah Marlene is counting on her fans to keep her dream alive.

"This is the last vote before the finale and it's the most important vote of the season," she said. "I love you guys and I can't wait to play music for you all soon."

Watch American Idol on ABC 7 Sunday night at 7 p.m. and remember to vote for Leah Marlene!
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