A lifelong dream of this Bellport native’s is about to be realized.

On Sunday, Shannon Gibbons will be heard by millions as a contestant on “American Idol.”

“When I was little, I always watched,” she said. “I was looking up to people like Kelly Clarkson.”

This actually isn’t Gibbons’ first time auditioning for the popular reality singing competition. She first auditioned at Nassau Collesium when she was 15 years old after her mom encouraged her to try out. She was told she was “really good” and sang well, but unfortunately, she was just too young. 

“They said just come back, work on yourself and work on your music,” said the 20-year-old.

She believes the talent may come from her late grandmother, who was a professional singer. Although they never met, Gibbons’ passion for performing was almost destiny.

She started writing her own music and even formed her own band, The Om-en. She gained experience performing at gigs and music festivals with her older bandmates. 

“They are all so cool,” she said. “They are all such good musicians and so experienced that I get to learn from them.” 

Five years later, she felt it was time to audition again. 

This time the audition was in Savannah, Ga. The day started at 7 a.m., and Gibbons knew it was going to be “a long day ahead.” Fortunately, she had her family with her for support and to keep her focused. 

“I was just so excited,” she said. “I was crying and I was with my mom and dad — they were so excited for me.” 

After a few interviews here, she finally made her way to the audition room, walked onto the “American Idol” sticker in the center of the room’s floor, and stood in front of the three celebrity judges: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan.

She said it didn’t feel real. 

“When you have three decorated artists like that in front of you, it really is surreal,” Gibbons said. 

The moment she found out she had the opportunity to sing for the famous performers was a “dream come true.” Regardless of whether she advance in the competition or not, she was grateful to have the chance to showcase her talents. 

“It was my dream to be there in the first place,” she said. “I knew whatever happened would be up to fate.” 

Gibbons said she is fortunate to have the support from not only her family on this journey, but from the Bellport community as well. 

“My parents have always been in Bellport, I’m the youngest of five children,” she said. “We’re kind of wrapped up in the community and to have that support means everything.” 

To see if Gibbons advances, make sure to watch her audition this Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Top: Shannon Gibbons performing on American Idol (credit: Getty Images)