COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – A woman in Columbia is hoping to become the next singing sensation on American Idol.

Cassandra Coleman is currently a barista at the Buckhead Coffeehouse. The 24-year-old says she’s moved around a bit but considers Columbia her home.

Coleman auditioned for American Idol and says the experience was one she will always cherish, as she feels music is simply her true calling.

“Music is my passion and has been part of my life since I was a child. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing or harmonizing with family or at church, always has seemed like a far off dream. I hated being center stage, people looking at me. I loved singing but not performing.”

Coleman says when she sings, she feels complete.

“That’s when I feel like everything is right in the world.  The fact I’m getting this opportunity, a small town girl who has no experience really with stages or performing is suddenly getting the opportunity to learn how to do that and be a performer. I’m just thankful, to me this is a blessing to get this opportunity.”

Coleman says the community encouraged her to audition for the show.

“Then I thought what was the worst that could happen? I didn’t want to look back years later with what ifs.”

Coleman told News 2 the audition process went well.

“Everybody has been so encouraging on the American Idol team. Just taking the shot and going for it, it has taken a lot of time. There have been a lot of nights I didn’t get to spend time with family and friends because I was practicing the piano, going over songs, just preparing myself mentally for something that’s just a huge shift, something I’ve never done before. It’s been exciting, met other contestants, amazed with how it’s been structured. Even with COVID, very safe, just a blessing to be there.”

Leading up to the audition, Coleman says she was terrified.

“They told me I could open the door, I opened the door and I heard my little sister say from behind me, good luck or something… giving me words of encouragement…and for some reason, which is so unlike me, because I always want to acknowledge what someone says, I did not turn around. I just had a feeling I couldn’t turn around or I was going to break down and lose all the courage had mustered up to that moment, so I just walked forward and went straight into the room and I don’t know how to explain it, all of my nerves were gone.”

Coleman says this experience gave her confidence.

“I’ve already learned so much, just the audition process alone has really bolstered my confidence in myself.”

Coleman’s audition will air in Sunday night’s episode of American Idol from 7-9 p.m. on News 2.