NORTH LOGAN – It has always been her dream to perform on a big stage, and that dream was realized when Kenadi Dodds performed on the 15th season of America’s Got Talent on NBC. The audition was performed months ago, but was broadcast on June 30th.
“It has really been a dream come true to get on the big stage and a lot of hard work has gone into that,” Dodds said the day after the broadcast. “I’m just so grateful that I got to be there.”
And the praise rolled in throughout the evening once the episode aired, from friends, family and even some celebrities.
“Last night, on my Twitter account, Keith Urban shouted me out,” Kenadi exclaimed. “That was really cool.”
With guitar in hand, Dodds performed an original song for judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandell and guest judge Eric Stonestreet who was filling in for Heidi Klum. All four judges were moved by her performance and voted that she should continue on in the competition.
“I love artists, particularly people your age, who know what kind of lane they want to go down,” Cowell told Kenadi after her audition. “This is very, very clear. You know where you want to go and I think we can help you get there.”
The song, titled “One Way Ticket to Tennessee”, portrayed Kenadi’s dream of becoming a country artist in Nashville due to her family’s support. She said she writes all of her songs with her dad, Chris.
“I mostly try to perform originals the more that I can. The night before, we weren’t sure that my mom and my sisters could come to the audition due to the coronavirus but they ended up being able to come.”
A motivating factor for Dodds to audition for AGT came from her nine-year-old younger sister’s desire to see Kenadi perform on the biggest stage before going blind. Kenadi told the judges that everyone in her family, except her, suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye disease which causes vision loss. Kenadi said it meant the world that her family was able to be there in person to experience the performance.
“I don’t know what I would have done if they weren’t there. They’ve supported me throughout this entire process and they’ve gone through the ups and downs with me. I definitely was grateful that they could come and experience that with me.”
Kenadi has had to rely on the help of others to get herself to and from lessons with voice coaches in the Salt Lake area (a three hour round trip).
Mandell praised Kenadi for how she transformed when she performed, Vergara praised her boots and her style, and Cowell wanted to make sure Kenadi really was from Utah, and not Nashville.
“I’m only asking because your voice sounds as if you were from Nashville. It sounds very authentic,” Cowell said after Kenadi’s audition.
“That was hilarious!” exclaimed Kenadi on Wednesday about the exchange.
Since the episode aired, the family has been receiving multiple phone calls, texts, knocks on the door and posts on social media. When NBC will air Kenadi’s performance for the next round is not yet known.
You can see Kenadi’s national audition on America’s Got Talent here:
AUDIO: Interview with Kenadi Dodds about her national audition on America’s Got Talent, which aired June 30, 2020 on NBC