New Jersey is showing love and lots of Jersey pride for our latest talent to make an impressive run on American Idol. (SPOILER warning here, as there's live voting involved, folks.)

Lionel Richie lamented he doesn't "know what's wrong with America," as American Idol's youngest contestant of the season, Mara Justine was sent home on Monday. Richie's fellow judges, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan also voiced encouragement for the 15-year-old from Atlantic County. The Galloway teen graciously turned in an encore performance of "Love on the Brain." (Mara auditioned with the Rihanna hit, when she scored her 'golden ticket' to Hollywood.)

Bryan also later tweeted "Keep working on this dream," while viewers at home vented their frustration with seeing Mara cut before the top 10.

Mara Justine then tweeted thanks to supporters, saying she's 'blessed for the opportunity' and 'thankful to have been part of something so amazing.' She added the hashtag #AnotherJourneyAwaits.

For her young age, Mara Justine has had quite a run on TV, starting five years ago with Maury Povich. 'The Maury Show' recently posted the throwback clip. The then 11-year-old wowed the crowd, before chatting with the host about loving the Shore.  A year later, Mara made it to the top 12 on 'America's Got Talent'.

Despite the disappointment of her 'Idol' exit, something tells me we're going to see Mara Justine on even bigger stages, not too far down the road.

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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