'American Idol' Season 16 Auditions Conclude

The judges handed out the last of the golden tickets ahead of Hollywood Week.
Courtesy of ABC
American Idol

The lengthy audition phase of the American Idol revival came to a close tonight, with judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie handing out the last of the golden tickets to singers across the genre spectrum. Tomorrow, the show’s notorious Hollywood Week begins, throwing the Idol hopefuls into a chaotic process of performances, group work and drastic cuts. For now, here is a breakdown of the last lucky artists who made it to the next phase.

First up was 17-year-old singer Gabby Barrett, who sang past Idol Carrie Underwood’s “Good Girl.” Perry interrupted her audition to ask for something more, concerned that she sounded too much like Underwood. Barrett followed with a worship song that was more impressive to the judges, who all encouraged her to be herself instead of just trying to be like established singers. In the end, all three judges said yes.

Next up was Caitlin Lucia, who took a risk and sang Perry’s own “I Kissed A Girl” but did an acoustic rendition. It was an original cover that impressed Perry. Singing a judge’s song doesn’t always work out, but it did for Lucia, who sailed through to Hollywood. 

After a montage of Idol hopefuls obsessed with Elvis Presley, Drake Milligan sang country song “You Look So Good In Love.” Milligan said he was inspired by Elvis, but his audition was much different. Bryan was pleased that he didn’t try to sound too much like his idol. He also was unanimously voted through to Hollywood.

Next, Mylon Shamble sang “Stand By Me,” a song choice that gave the judges some pause. But she made it her own and showcased a lovely tone. They all said yes.

Lee Vasi followed, singing “Love Shoulda Brought You Home” by Toni Braxton. She didn’t nail it, and her voice wasn’t powerful enough for the song choice, but the judges thought she showed a lot of potential. They all ultimately voted yes, which was surprising.

After some very bad auditions, Michael J. Woodard sang “Make It Rain” by Ed Sheeran. Although he had some nerves, he ended up giving a very good audition. His voice had the raw quality that the judges have been appreciating this season. He got a golden ticket.

Choreographer Brielle Rathbun next sang “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles. Her voice had a lot of texture and rasp that didn’t seem forced. Her voice suggested that she could sing in a lot of different genres. All three judges were on board, sending her to Hollywood.

She was followed by Carly Moffa, singing her original song “Let The Lion Out,” which she wrote for her mother. She had a strong singer-songwriter vibe, and her artistic sensibilities came through in the short performance. She got three yes votes.

Ayana Lawson next sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt, accompanying herself on the guitar. She was a stronger guitar player than singer, but she brought a lot of emotion to her performance, delivering a strong lyrical interpretation. Still, the judges didn’t think she was ready for the competition and voted no.

Singing “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, Samuel Swanson auditioned for the judges with his soulful tone. He was a bit nervous, but his vocal was still solid. Bryan said his voice was “pure velvet.” He was voted through to Hollywood.

Rocker Damiano Scarfi screamed “More Than A Feeling” for the judges and received three rejections.

Next, 18-year-old, out singer and songwriter Jurnee sang “Rise Up” by Audra Day. She showcased impressive range and really shined on the high notes. She showed a lot of experience and strong musical instincts. Richie praised her command over the vocals. She got three yes votes.

The last Idol hopeful to audition for this season was drag queen Ada Vox, who previously auditioned for the show during season 12. Vox sang “House Of The Rising Sun” and gave one of the best auditions of this season, showcasing huge range and incredible technical skills. She was more than ready for the competition, and the judges were thrilled to send her to Hollywood Week.

Tomorrow night, Hollywood Week begins. What did you think of these last auditions?