Meet the 'American Idol' contestants making New York City proud

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Two performers from New York City will begin their "American Idol" journey when the show premieres Sunday night.

One is from Harlem and the other is from Queens.

The performer who calls herself just Sam has been singing in the NYC subway since middle school.

She made it through several elimination rounds to audition for judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

"Although I've dreamt of it my entire life, I could have never have pictured this as a kid. Ever. Not that moment," Sam said.

Sam and fellow contestant Alisa Ermolaev from Far Rockaway began their "American Idol" journey last summer during the first round of auditions in Brooklyn last July.

"The wonderful people on the way just made it easier," Ermolaev said. "Everybody was supportive and just smiles all the way around. It was great."

While they can't reveal how far they get in the competition, we know from the promos that Ermolaev at least got to audition for the judges.

And it has already been revealed that Sam got a Golden Ticket to Hollywood week: a week she admits was "super intimidating."

"It was tough, I wanted to go home," Sam said. "I wanted to go home."

"The voices everywhere resonate, it's like being stuck in heaven with angels singing, and you can't just, you can't turn 'em off," Ermolaev said.

Don't miss the big season three premiere of "American Idol" Sunday, February 16 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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