7:16pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'American Idol': First Night of Auditions Brings Several Hollywood Tickets
American Idol returned for its second season on ABC, with judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan returning alongside host Ryan Seacrest. Contestants need two yeses in order to go to the next round in Hollywood.
First up was Walker Burroughs, a sophomore at Belmont University. He sang “Love Like This” by Ben Rector. Perry said he sang very naturally and compared him to Ben Folds. Bryan compared him to Randy Newman. He easily sailed through to Hollywood with three yeses.
Johanna Jones from Las Vegas auditioned next, singing “I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith. Her friend accompanied her for the audition, and Jones showcased strong potential in her singing. Richie suggested that she has the full package to be a star. She also got three yeses.
After a montage of rejections, a contestant named Kai was up. She sang “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran and shared her backstory of her family experiencing homelessness. She was nervous in her audition, but the judges saw potential and told her to take another stab at it, so she also sang “My Girl” by the Temptations and accompanied herself on the piano. She also ended up getting unanimous yeses.
Tyler Mitchell next sang “Whenever You Come Around” by Vince Gill and had a small-town charm that the judges were into. He was a solid country music singer and brought emotion to his vocals. He sailed through with three yeses.
An artist going by Vokillz went next and sang an original metal song. Perry said yes, but Bryan and Richie said no, so he did not advance.
Margie Mays next sang “Shot” by Lawrence. She was very nervous, but she had a lot of passion. She oversang, but it was enough to get Perry and Bryan to say yes, and she moved on to Hollywood.
Another montage of bad auditions followed, and then it was time for 19-year-old Myra Tran, who sang “One Night Only” from the musical Dreamgirls. She had a powerful voice, and Bryan actually compared her to former winner Kelly Clarkson. She unanimously advanced to Hollywood.
Uché from Texas next auditioned with “Ain’t No Other Man” by Christina Aguilera. He talked about his experiences being openly bisexual and active in his church. He was an entertainer, dancing alongside his vocals. He advanced to Hollywood.
Laci Kaye Booth also got three yeses for singing “Mama Tried” by Merle Haggard with a lot of emotion. She made it clear that she has strong storytelling abilities in addition to her vocal skills.
It was another unanimous decision to send Nick Rogers to Hollywood for his audition of “Mine” by Bazzi. He showed off rapping skills, which interested the judges.
Tiffanne LeMay also got three yeses for her audition. She had simple but solid ad libs and runs in her performance of “Best Part.” Bryan gave her some technical feedback, but she still sailed through.
Closing out the night was Nick Townsend, who gave an emotional performance of “Let it Go” by James Bay. He shared the story of losing his brother to suicide. The judges were moved by his singing and sent him through to Hollywood.