Laurens Native Gets the Golden Ticket on American Idol

March 20, 2023

Who says dreams don’t come true?

Laurens native Ophrah Kablan will tell you she is living her dream right now!

This past Sunday night Kablan appeared as one of the contestants on American Idol. In her audition that took place in New Orleans, Kablan performed a rousing rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Baby, I Love You.” Her performance brought the judges to their feet and got her a golden ticket to compete in Hollywood on the 21st season of American Idol.

Just getting to this level is an accomplishment. Kablan went through three rounds of producer auditions for Idol Across America and after the third round they told her should would be going to New Orleans for the live audition in front of show hosts, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

Kablan grew up in Laurens and enjoyed the simple life surrounded by family, friends and easy-going people. She attended Ford elementary, Laurens Middle School and Laurens County District 55 high School. Kablan found her home church during high school in Laurens Pentecostal Holiness church.

It should come as no surprise that some of her fondest memories in Laurens are from competing in Laurens Idol as a kid. She participated twice but never won.

“I’m so glad for the experience of competing in my earlier years,” said Kablan. “I enjoyed getting ready for the shows and my mom made sure my outfits were the cutest.”

It wasn’t until her 9th grade year of high school that Kablan became serious about singing. She says it was then that it started to feel less like a chore. Singing just started to feel natural.

Kablan has not had any professional vocal training but credits her grandmother Roma Nell Turner for teaching her everything she knows from songs, pitches, highs and lows, Dora (as she called her) taught her everything.

Her music style is Gospel with a lot of Rhythm and Blues influence. She likes to include both and add a soulful flare when performing.

Kablan got a taste of winning for her singing talent when she was 10-years old. In 2012, she won the Black Expo in Greenville, South Carolina and took home the $2000 cash prize.

She currently lives in Clio, South Carolina. Haven’t heard of Clio? Well, if you think Laurens is small you should see Clio – there’s one way in and out of town.

When asked how she chose her audition song, Kablan said her mom, Leah Deshaun Turner, helped pick the song. Based on her performance, it was a good choice and one she could put her own spin on to earn her the golden ticket.

“It felt amazing to perform before the judges and then win,” said Kablan. “I can’t believe that I took ‘em to church and they actually loved it. I would have expected them not to be engaged with my performance because of who they are but that apparently didn’t matter because they loved it anyway.”

It truly was a great performance, and you can click HERE to see for yourself.

“I want people to know that stars can come from anywhere and can be anybody,” said Kablan  “When I sing it’s real and raw and is intended to move people physically, spiritually, and emotionally no matter what genre I’m singing. I just hope my music and talent puts my hometown of Laurens, South Carolina on the map.”

Click on the images below to see some pics of Ophrah performing in earlier years.