WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Tiquila Wilson wowed the judges of American Idol Wednesday night but for her friends and family her talent was no surprise.
“I just stood there and was like, for real? Really? Wow,” said the 24-year-old who was surprised to get a golden ticket to Hollywood while auditioning in Salt Lake City.
“I really didn't want to try out,” she said.
With the encouragement of her sister, Wilson tried out, first before Idol producers in Winston-Salem last year.
"Her voice is beautiful ," said Cindy Jolly, Wilson’s former middle school guidance counselor, who was just one of many who turned out for a watch party at the District Roof Top Bar and Grill.
“Every time she sings she just brings tears to my eyes,” Jolly said.
“I knew whenever she was at Kennedy Middle School she had a great voice,” said Wilson former middle school Principal Sandra Hunter. “We would have her sing at our special programs, the national anthem ... and she was awesome. She was awesome 10 years ago.”
Wilson started singing in church at the age of seven. Though Wilson says she can sing any type of music, her heart is in gospel.
“I give all the glory to God,” she said. “He is why I’m here.”