St. Joseph junior sings for 'American Idol' judges (w/video)
Jan. 16, 2014 at 11 p.m.
Updated Jan. 16, 2014 at 7:17 p.m.
After being turned down for a spot on the hit reality series "The Voice," 17-year-old Megha Chandna decided to give her pipes another shot.
The St. Joseph High School junior auditioned for this season of "American Idol," making it all the way to the judges.
"My main passion - all my goals - center around singing," Megha said Thursday night before watching the final night of Austin auditions on television. "I don't live in an area where I can record music; this is the only way to get out there."
During auditions with "The Voice," Megha said producers gave her a lot of great advice about her technique, and she took it all into consideration. She once again sang The Jackson 5's "Who's Loving You" at the "American Idol" auditions.
"I didn't really think about my nerves at that point and how my life could change at that moment," she said. "I just sang."
Megha didn't get a ticket to Hollywood but said the experience solidified her passion. She said judge Harry Connick Jr. told her, "You have it. You just have to mature and then come back."
"That meant a lot to me because I really look up to him," she said.
Her mother, Dr. Manju Sachdev-Chandna, said she and her husband, also a doctor, fully support their daughter's creative side.
"I support her because it's her dream," she said. "It (the show) brought a certain amount of reality - these people literally devote their whole life to singing. She got to see that. She learned a valuable lesson."
While Megha isn't entirely sure whether she'll try out for auditions again next season, she said she'll continue to work on her voice and plans to attend either the University of Texas at Austin or the University of California-Los Angeles, where she'll double major in music and a science.
As for regrets, Megha said she doesn't have any.
She stands by her choice in song, saying, "I'm best at R&B. I wouldn't have gotten there without it - I feel a certain connection with the music; it's soulful."