WATCH: 20-Year-Old With Tourette’s Syndrome Blows Judges Away


Anilee List wowed the judges with her rendition of Aaron Taylor’s “Blue” on American Idol, and Katy Perry called it “one of the most technically-perfect” auditions in the history of the show.

Anilee List Gets Standing Ovation From Judges And A Surprise From James Durbin – American Idol 2021Anilee List reflects on how being diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome at 10 years old has affected her life up to this point and how seeing James Durbin audition for American Idol in 2011 reignited her confidence in herself and her voice. Katy Perry calls Anilee’s performance “one of the most technically-perfect” auditions they’ve ever had…2021-02-15T01:47:36Z

Perhaps unsurprisingly, List made it through to Hollywood, and fans have made it clear they’re excited to see more from the Berklee College of Music student.

Here’s what you should know:

Anilee Opens up About Having Tourette’s Syndrome


During her audition for the show, List shared that when she was seven, she started developing facial and motor tics. “My parents started to get a little freaked out. I couldn’t get work done. I couldn’t go to sleep,” she explained.

List said that at ten-years-old, she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome.

While watching Season 10 of American Idol, List watched James Durbin compete. Durbin was, similarly, diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome when he was younger. The performance was what gave List the courage to go on the show, herself.

Prior to watching Durbin, List says that she was struggling with self-confidence and experiencing a lot of self-doubts.

“I hope to prove to people I am much more than my Tourette’s,” List tells the cameras.

Discussing Tourette’s Syndrome on her website, List says, “In the early days of this disorder, my confidence waned. At times, I didn’t want to be around people so I wouldn’t have to explain my tics. Then I saw the story of American Idol contestant James Durbin who also has Tourette Syndrome. I was so inspired that I wrote him a letter sharing my experience. He gave me hope that having TS didn’t mean I had to forfeit my dreams of singing. I eventually got to meet him when we both performed at the same fundraiser. Through performing for the TAA, I gained more confidence than ever.”

She added, “I am forever committed to my involvement with the TS community and to advocating for everyone with TS by being forthcoming about my disorder. I want people to know that disabilities, no matter what they might be, don’t have to stop us from pursuing our passions, being who we are, and doing what we love.”

Luke Bryan Said He Got ‘Six Waves of Chills’ During Her Performance

After List’s stellar performance, Lionel Richie said the word “amazing” repeatedly, while Luke Bryan went up to give the singer a socially distanced high-five.

When it was Perry’s turn to speak, she exclaimed it was “one of the most technically-perfect vocals I think we’ve ever gotten”

Bryan concurred, calling it “flawless”. He added that “no one needs to critique [Anilee] on her voice.”

Today, according to Meaww, List is a student at the Berklee College of Music. She is slated to graduate in 2022.

On her website, she writes that her talents have taken her to the Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Dolby Theater, and Carnegie Hall. In 2018, the website reveals, List was named a 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a 2017 Youngarts Finalist. She is also an alum of the prestigious Pitch Slapped a capella group at Berklee College of Music.

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