© Provided by TIME Inc.

As if just making it on American Idol isn’t impressive enough, contestant Lindita Halimi lost 150 lbs. to prepare for her audition.

The singer from Kosovo wowed the judges during the second round of auditions Wednesday night, with judge Jennifer Lopez remarking, “She sings like a heavy girl,” in approval.

Fellow judge Harry Connick Jr. agreed, adding, “Yeah, she didn’t lose that part.”

Halimi, 26, says she faced criticism for her size back in Kosovo.

“In my hometown when I started singing a lot of people were like, oh she has a nice voice, but she’s really fat,” Halimi recounts. “And when you’re a teenager that does touch you emotionally a lot. So it came to the point where I was like, I can make a change for myself and I can do better for myself.”

With the help of a personal trainer, who she later married, Halimi says she dropped the weight with, “a lot of working out, a lot of dieting.”

“It was not an easy journey, you know. You have to work for it.”

And now she’s a personal trainer herself.

“I love to be a part of somebody else’s transformation,” Halimi says.

Halimi won the judges praises with her performance of “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown, earning a ticket to Hollywood for the show’s farewell season.

Judge Keith Urban praised her for putting her entire body into the performance.

“She sings with every part [of her body] too, which I love.”