Helena woman makes first cut of American Idol

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A Helena woman is looking to be the city’s next American Idol star after she earned a ticket to Hollywood during the show’s auditions in New Orleans.

Natalie Moon

Natalie Moon, who lives in Helena and serves as the worship arts instructor at Riverchase United Methodist Church in Hoover, was one of 37 contestants selected from the New Orleans audition to travel to the next round in California.

At the two-day New Orleans audition, judges asked contestants about their musical history, their inspiration behind auditioning and why they would make a successful contestant on the show.

Moon, whose husband, Seth, is the middle school youth minister at the Methodist church, said in her audition interview she would bring a “different style” to the show.

“I think I have a different style voice than maybe has been on American Idol before, so hopefully people like me and the judges like me,” she said in her interview. “I am willing to work really hard and practice long hours and put in the time to make it a great performance and make every song special.”

Moon said her favorite musical artists are Patty Griffin, the Indigo Girls and Brandi Carlyle.

“I just love those artists. I love their songs and their style,” she said.

Moon began singing in her church choir when she was in first grade, and said it would be a “dream come true” to be selected for the show.

“I started singing when I was in first grade,” she said. “I was in the choir at church, and the choir director pulled me out and had me sing the solo, and all of a sudden I have this big solo with the sanctuary choir.

“I auditioned just because I’ve always loved American Idol,” Moon added. “I love to sing, and it would be a dream come true to be on the show.”

After passing the New Orleans audition, Moon moved onto the singing auditions in Hollywood, which will air on Fox beginning Feb. 16.