By THOUSIF INC
In the first round of the Season 20 finale of 'American Idol,' local musician Leah Marlene was voted off the show.
The Town of Normal native's long road to the final episode has seen widespread local and national support.
The first round of performances consisted of songs from the songbook of Bruce Springsteen.
Leah was the first performer, singing her version of 'Cover Me' from Springsteen's 1984 album Born in the USA.
Each of the finalists' trips to their respective hometowns was highlighted to open the second round.
Marlene once again was the first for this round, with a montage of her return to the Town of Normal last Tuesday.
It opened with her visiting Parkside Junior High and Normal West High Schools, where friends in the halls greeted her.
Festive yellow decorations were seen donning the walls as she sang with the school choir and reunited with former teachers.
A visit to her family followed, during which she joined them for dinner ahead of her performance downtown later that evening.
"I could not be more proud of you." said her dad Derry Grehan. "You are the most wonderful daughter any father could want."
The montage concluded with her arrival downtown in a private escort and her live performance to a crowd of thousands.
"It has been the most beautiful experience of my entire life," Marlene told the crowd, expressing her shock as she took in the multitudes in attendance.
Following the montage, Marlene performed a song of her own for the judges, titled 'Flowers.'