7:10pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'American Idol': Katy Perry Celebrates Her Birthday During Auditions
On the road to Hollywood Week, American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan saw a new slew of auditions tonight. All Idol hopefuls needed were two yes votes from the panel to advance.
The first singer to audition tonight was Trevor McBane, singing “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band. It was a straightforward country performance, but the judges seemed drawn to his charming personality. Bryan said he wasn’t perfect but that he believed him when he was singing. Richie added that he appreciated the rawness of his voice. McBane got a golden ticket.
Next up was Audriana Bolton, singing “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin. She oversang the song, and the melody was completely lost. American Idol supposedly wasn’t going to include joke auditions this season, but there have been at least one per episode, and this definitely seemed like that kind of audition. The judges did not send her to Hollywood, and her audition was followed by a montage of bad auditions.
Genevieve Linkowski auditioned next, singing “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz and accompanying herself on the piano. She showed a lot of range and raw talent in her audition. Richie said her high register reminded him of Celine Dion, and Perry said she should make sure she’s open to being coached. All three judges said yes.
The next Idol hopeful, Kenedee Rittenhouse, was from former Idol winner Carrie Underwood’s hometown. She opted to sing Underwood’s own “I Told You So.” She didn’t deliver a perfect vocal, but the judges saw something in her, agreeing that she had the right look. They had her sing something else, and she opted for Perry’s own “Firework.” “I think we can sculpt her,” Perry said. They opted to send her to Hollywood.
Brandon Elder, who has only been singing for a year, auditioned next with his emotional and deeply personal original song “Gone.” He had a soft rock vibe, and the lyrics were beautiful. “Songwriting is your wheelhouse forever,” Richie said. He wasn’t as sold on his voice, but in the end, he voted yes. “I didn’t see you coming,” Bryan said after also voting yes alongside Perry.
On Katy Perry’s birthday, Cody Martin became the first person in Idol history to get a golden ticket by merely singing “Happy Birthday.”
Victoria McQueen, singing “Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing” by Stevie Wonder, auditioned next. At just 15 years old, she didn’t have the most honed skills, but she still sounded strong and showed a lot of potential. “There’s something written in the stars for you,” Perry said. She was through to Hollywood.
Next, vocal coach Brittany Holmes sang “If I Don’t Have You” by Whitney Houston. She sounded really strong, but the judges weren’t sold for some reason. Richie and Bryan surprised by voting no.
After a montage of other singers who didn’t quite make the cut, a singer named Dominique auditioned with “A Song For You” by Donny Hathaway. He had a soulful, smooth voice and big range, giving an understated but memorable performance. All three judges said yes.
Former NYC subway busker Amalia Watty sang “To Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan and wowed all three judges. She had a unique tone and a strong sense of who she wants to be as an artist. Perry, Richie, and Bryan were all in agreement in sending her to Hollywood.
Daniel Ethridge, singing “Fire Away” by Chris Stapleton, was the next country music singer to audition this season. His original song that caught their attention. The judges have really been valuing singer-songwriters this season, and Ethridge was the latest to impress them. He got his golden ticket.
Taryn Coccia sang “Masterpiece” by Jessie J next, bringing along her older sister for support. Perry somehow got Taryn’s sister Payton to sing, too. She ended up singing “Angel From Montgomery” and the judges asked if she wanted to be considered for the competition. She somewhat hesitantly agreed, and the judges sent her straight to Hollywood before then deliberating for the younger sister. Perry said no, but Taryn ended up joining her sister with yeses from Bryan and Richie.
Samothias next sang “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton while accompanying himself on the piano. He made a big deal about his hair heading into his audition, and his piano skills were a lot better than his vocal abilities, but the judging panel saw something and decided to give him a shot at Hollywood Week.
The last singer of the night was Marcio Donaldson, who sang “Jealous” by Labrinth. His audition built gradually, which was an interesting vocal choice. Donaldson finished in tears, and Perry praised his vulnerability. His lyrical interpretation was on point, and he sang with conviction. The judges unanimously agreed to send him to Hollywood.