7:12pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'American Idol': Judges Hand Out More Golden Tickets to Hollywood Week
The American Idol revival continued on ABC tonight with more artists vying for a shot at the show’s infamous Hollywood Week, where judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie will eventually make dramatic cuts. But for now, Idol hopefuls just have to get through a quick audition in front of the three judges and get two out of three to vote in their favor. As with last night’s premiere, the judges seemed to especially favor singer-songwriters in tonight’s batch of auditions.
The first Idol hopeful of the night was 15-year-old Mara Justine, who sang “Love On The Brain” by Rihanna. It was an ambitious song choice, and Justine took even more risks by putting some of her own spins on the melody. It was a great audition, and all three judges said yes without hesitation.
Fellow teen singers Andrew Weaver, Griffin Tucker and Christina Jones were all rolled into a montage about some of the younger folks who auditioned this season. They all got golden tickets.
Next up was William Casanova, singing “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway. He seemed very present while singing, putting on a good show in the short amount of time that these Idol auditions allow for. He got three yes votes.
Michelle Sussett from Venezuela gave a fun and memorable audition, singing in Spanish and dancing a lot. She was entertaining, but she also had a strong voice. Perry had some reservations about her voice but praised her personality. Sussett got a golden ticket.
Misha Gontar from Ukraine beatboxed and rapped in his audition, and even though the judges thought it was entertaining, they told Gontar he wasn’t a good fit for Idol.
Brandon Diaz next sang “Unaware” by Allen Stone and played guitar. He had a singer-songwriter vibe, and his falsetto was gorgeous. Richie was especially impressed by the high notes. Diaz sailed through to Hollywood.
Construction worker and singer-songwriter Trevor Holmes auditioned next, announcing his crush on Perry right off the bat. He accompanied himself on the guitar, and the judges were smitten—especially Perry, who flirted back a bit. Holmes is headed to Hollywood.
In New Orleans, Laine Hardy sang “Hurricane,” playing guitar and adding a lot of rasp. Bryan said he could win the whole thing. He secured a golden ticket with ease.
Gabbii Jones sang “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. She said that if she didn’t make significant progress in her singing career, her dad was going to make her go back to school. She had a raspy voice, too, and she gave an over-the-top performance, but her vocal was strong. Jones was thrilled to get a golden ticket.
Cameron Theodos sang an original song, and even though the judges weren’t super impressed by him, they thought he had potential to become something bigger and gave him a golden ticket.
Next up, Thaddeus Johnson sang “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia. He first competed on Idol during season nine and made it all the way to Hollywood then. He got three yes votes.
Rissa Watson auditioned next with “When We Were Young” by Adele and played guitar. It sounded a little too close to the original, but her head voice was really gorgeous. Bryan encouraged her to get rid of the guitar next time, but he was a fan. It was yet another easy decision for the judges, who unanimously voted yes.
Garrett Jacobs sang “A Man’s Man’s Man’s World” and also played guitar. His tone was unique, and he was charming, bringing a soulful sound to the song. Bryan said his voice was raw. He was unanimously voted through, and he called his grandma to share the good news.
For the final audition of the night, David Francisco sang “Isn’t She Lovely.” Francisco was hit by a car after moving to Nashville, resulting in paralysis from the waist down. Now he’s able to walk with the help of crutches. He had a charming voice, and Perry was moved to tears. It was another three-yes vote to end the night.
The American Idol auditions continue next week on ABC. What do you think of the new judges so far?