Normal West Community High School showed their support for Leah Marlene on Sunday as she made the top three on “American Idol.” A local concert is scheduled for Tuesday at Normal.
The event started in the school parking lot with a pre-party before the show started. A sea of yellow shirts covered the area, enjoying food trucks, live music and concessions.
Marlene’s growing fame brought a lot of attention to Normal. It could attract more tourists, especially because Marlene will perform the free concert on Tuesday at a celebration in her hometown. Ryan Seacrest even gave The Garlic Press in Uptown Normal — and it’s Leah-themed popcorn flavor — a shoutout during the Sunday show.
Parker Williams, a sophomore at Normal Community High School and son of Sara Williams, a choir teacher at Marlene’s high school, says he’s happy with his success — and that Normal is in the spotlight.
“I think this is a big win for the community,” Williams said. “I think more people are going to know about Normal for Leah Marlene.”
After the pre-party outside, fans moved inside for a night watch. Ahead of the night’s episode, it was revealed that Normal West alum Marlene recorded a video for her supporters back home.
In the video, she thanked her friends, family, and the Normal community for all of their #BloNoLovesLeah love and support.
“I have a whole community cheering me on more than anything right now,” Marlene said in the video. “Thank you for this, it really helped me a lot.”
Marlene’s bubbly personality lit up the room, smiles decorating the gymnasium crowd. And that personality, Marlene’s down-to-earth nature is part of what makes her special, says Unit 5 Schools spokesperson Dayna Brown.
“That’s one of the things that’s so exciting about it. The Leah you see on american idol is Leah,” Brown said. “She is that person. She’s as real as it gets.
Brown adds that Marlene’s journey to the top three american idol was special to watch. Not just because of Marlene’s success, but because of what she has done for the community.
“We’ve just been through such a strange time, and it’s so exciting to see the whole community wearing yellow and showing their support, and just celebrating something so happy and so positive and so exciting,” Brown said. . such a unifying thing for the community.
Brown said a parade was in the works for Marlene’s return to Normal, as well as Tuesday’s free concert. Locations and times to be determined.