Features Kaneohe musician turns in ‘chill’ audition on ‘American Idol’ By Mike Gordon email@example.com Jan. 14, 2016 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! FOX Ashley Lilinoe says she tried out for the final season of the show not to win, but to connect Ashley Lilinoe, Hawaii’s latest contestant on “American Idol,” must surely rank as one of the most laid-back performers the show has ever seen. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Ashley Lilinoe, Hawaii’s latest contestant on “American Idol,” must surely rank as one of the most laid-back performers the show has ever seen. The 21-year-old singer and guitarist from Kaneohe reached the audition phase, which airs at 7 p.m. today on Fox, and said she brought “a chill vibration” to her performance — from the way she walked on stage to her cover of Alannah Myles’ “Black Velvet.” “I was known as the chill one,” Lilinoe said in a call from her home in Kaneohe, where she grew up in a musical family. Lilinoe rejected the idea of auditioning for the show three times before. She doesn’t watch TV (or listen to the radio) and said she doesn’t fully understand the immense following enjoyed by “American Idol,” which has produced such stars as Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. “There wasn’t that drive to be on ‘American Idol,’” she said. “I felt like I didn’t want the title. I wanted the experience and the connection to my family. I wanted a connection to all the people I would meet.” Lilinoe has been playing music since she was 6. She would watch her family members when they jammed in the backyard, then hide out in her bedroom and practice. At first she gravitated to the ukulele, then picked up a guitar when she attended Castle High School. She loves woodwinds and percussion instruments as well. “I love using my hands and making a beat,” she said. “If I touch anything and I get to spend time with it, I can play it. I just made a video using Whole Foods lunchboxes and rubber bands and chopsticks. It sounded like magic.” Lilinoe grew up enjoying reggae, rock, soul and R&B. She said her sound has been described as bluesy. She prefers to call it “soul-filling music.” This is the 15th and final season of “American Idol,” which aired a special, two-night premiere last week. Lilinoe’s audition for judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. was taped last summer in Denver. Contestants who advance were invited to another round of auditions in Hollywood. Lilinoe is contractually prohibited from revealing whether she won over the judges. She did say she was not pleased with her performance but doesn’t want to blame nerves. “You could say the pressure is so intense that you just leave your body and go off to another place where your soul feels safe,” she said. “I can honestly say I do remember what happened, but I also didn’t deliver the best performance that I think I could. I accept that. It was the experience that happened.” Previous Story Coffee growing in popularity this year Next Story Bay does Benghazi!