Since the season 20 finale of “American Idol” On May 22, 2022, life for the third-place finalist was full of ups and downs — and suitcases Leah Marlene. After the show ended, the soulful singer returned to her family’s home in Normal, Illinois, and then relocated to Los Angeles on July 15. But in early September, she made the “very difficult decision” to move again — this time to Nashville — and just shared with fans how it’s going and why she’s there.
Leah Marlene says she loves her new apartment and her roommates
Nashville is familiar territory for Marlene, who enrolled at Belmont University in 2019 to study songwriting for two years. In 2021, she auditioned for “American Idol” and landed a ticket to Hollywood, which she rolled through each round of the competition with flair. But shortly after moving to LA, She posted vulnerable on social media that she struggled with competitors landing record deals and concert tours while receiving no offers.
“I’ve been busting my ass non-stop to make something of this and I feel like I’m going in an endless circle,” she wrote. “I feel very misunderstood by the industry and it has made me question everything about who I am and what I want.”
After some thought, the 21-year-old decided she needed to live in Nashville for a while, so she gave up on her LA sublease. In an Instagram live session on 11 .
“My heart is in LA, I love LA,” she said of her new rental in Nashville. “But it just made professional sense to be here now. And I feel so good about it. It was really a very difficult decision and I was undecided about it for a while.”
Marlene has three roommates, including roommates Idol Graduate Kailyn Roberson, who dropped out of the competition during Hollywood Week. Marlene called her new roommates “amazing, wonderful people.”
“I didn’t even know two of them. I didn’t even know their names before I moved in,” she revealed. “They made me feel at home. I have never felt so at home in a place that wasn’t my home. So I’m really grateful. The living situation could not be better.”
Marlene will join many other “Idol” graduates in Nashville
Marlene will likely see a lot of familiar faces in Nashville since so many “Idol” graduates have also made it their home or come to work frequently. Season 20 runner-up huntress lives there and winner Noah Thompson is often in town for songwriting and recording sessions.
Among the other recent “Idol” grads who found success in Nashville is the season 19 winner Chayce Beckhamseason 18 Grace Leerseason 17 laci kaye booth, Winner Season 15 Trent Harmonand several Season 16 contestants, including winners Maddie Poppe and longtime love Caleb Lee Hutchinson as well as Gaby Barrett and husband Cade Föhner.
Superstars from Idol’s first decade also live in Nashville, including the Season 4 winner Carrie underwoodand Season 10 Winners Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alenawho just landed a brand new record deal there.
Marlene will continue to settle into her new nest in Nashville this week before heading out Series of autumn shows beginning September 19 in Canada and the US, including two shows in Los Angeles.
https://heavy.com/entertainment/hgtv/leah-marlene-announces-move-nashville/ “Idol” star Leah Marlene reveals “very difficult decision”