Welcome to your second helping of ABC’s rebooted American Idol this week. You can never have enough Idol, right? Just kidding, you totally can, but we will cross that bridge together when we come to it. We’re still early on in the audition process, and tonight Katy, Lionel, and Luke spend time in New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, hoping to find a superstar. Or, if you’re Katy Perry, a boyfriend.
Guys, what if the real story of this Idol season was about Katy finding true love? She gets rejected tonight, but honestly, what a throughline that would be!
Tonight’s auditions are filled with your requisite people chasing dreams, sob stories, and teenagers. There are so many teenagers on this show!
Let’s see who shows up.
New York City serves up Mara Justine first. She’s all of 15, and she is in complete awe of everything American Idol. She walks into that audition room like she’s taking a very VIP studio tour. What unbridled enthusiasm! She also has some serious pipes on her for just 15. She sings Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” and the judges are mesmerized by the voice coming out of this kid. She’s an easy pick for Hollywood. Mara’s tour will continue down the hall to the right…
Next up is a whole slew of high school students, here to remind us all of our mortality and impending death. Fun!
There’s 16-year-old Andrew Weaver. He sings “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, your basic teenage heartthrob fodder. Andrew is followed by Griffin Tucker, who wows Lionel with both his voice and ability to play piano. And there’s also Christina Jones, an 18-year-old who should be commended for her audition. And not just for her killer voice — but because she sings her heart out while still wearing the rubber bands on her braces. Those things don’t mess around.
The good news is all three of these kids get tickets to Hollywood. Now, go study or something!
We meet William Cassanova from Washington, D.C. Is that his given name? No. Does it matter, as long as you live up to it? I mean, maybe. William here loves the ladies and works his 9-to-5 selling beautiful women’s shoes. He sings a nice version of Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You.” Lionel thought he sounded nervous, but has tremendous talent. Luke has been waiting for someone like William, and Katy enjoyed it so much, she hands William his ticket with her feet. Some of the best on the internet, she says. Hard pass on this whole situation.
For something completely different, we head to Los Angeles. Michelle Sussett, who moved to Miami from Venezuela three years ago, is here to entertain. She wants to make people dance, baby. And she completes that mission with her rendition of Selena’s “Techno Cumbia.” All three judges are up dancing with her. And then one is down. Way down. Katy takes a fall. Stars, they’re just like us! On top of making the judges feel good, Michelle has a pretty decent voice, too. Katy isn’t convinced Michelle will be competitive, but they enjoyed the performance enough to send her through to Hollywood.
Also entertaining, but not as lucky? Ukrainian singer-songwriter-rapper Misha Gontar. The judges were having a good time, but not enough to give him a pass.
Things get back on track with Brandon Diaz, a 21-year-old from Virginia who warms hearts with both his falsetto and his relationship with his dad. Brandon’s dad is a musician who came to the U.S. from Cuba as a child. Brandon succeeding in music is his dad’s biggest dream — he’s learned everything he knows from his dad and is doing this for him. Brandon goes through to the Hollywood rounds and the tearful group hug commences. I’m into this whole thing.
Less heartwarming is Katy’s quest to find love in the audition room. She falls hard for Trevor Holmes, a handsome construction worker who takes care of his mother and has had a crush on Katy for most of his life. Luke approves of Katy’s love because according to Luke, Trevor is a dreamboat. No one really cares about his performance, it’s not Top 10 material just yet, but it is enough to leave Katy hot and bothered, so Trevor is moving on to Hollywood. But alas, Trevor only has eyes for his girlfriend, so Katy won’t be finding her true love tonight. What a roller coaster! (Recap continues on page 2)