American Idol recap: Auditions wrap up with a few familiar faces
It's the final night of American Idol auditions, which means we'll get one more look at some of the singers who will be joining the judges for Hollywood Week. As a parting gift, throughout this batch of auditions, a few familiar faces pop up. One of those happens to be one of last season's Top 5 contestants. He arrives — and even sings! — with his brother, Kiko, who, unfortunately, fails to impress the judges as much as Francisco did. We'll get to the other Idol alum who pops in for a visit later. On to the final auditions!
Madison Watkins / 25 / Fayetteville, Ark.
"Your Little Girl" by Madison Watkins
Madison is all sunshine as she walks in and greets the judges, and immediately you can tell they're won over by her personality. She sings an original song she wrote about her father, who is her biggest supporter and best buddy — they are very cute together as they wait for Madison's audition. She's got a great pop-soul voice, and all of the judges are pleased to find that Madison is "the whole package." Lionel "love[s] the timbre of [her] voice" and thought she really nailed it once she opened up later in the song. Katy tells her that she's "what we look for on Idol." Madison wins three easy yeses, and she and her dad celebrate. Okay, well, first he cries, then they celebrate.
Deshawn Goncalves / 19 / Cleveland, Ohio
"Everything Must Change" by Quincy Jones
Oh, hello, I'm just over here being obsessed with this audition. His voice! His piano skills! The emotion! Here's hoping Deshawn sails through Hollywood week (he must, right?!). His voice is smooth, and his vocal phrasing choices are smart, plus he seems to be a highly skilled musician. The judges are left in tears after his performance. Lionel calls the audition "powerful." Katy calls it "magic." Luke is moved by both Deshawn's voice and his "conquering the odds" backstory. They can't say yes to Hollywood fast enough.
Tryzdin Grubbs / 15 / Columbus, Ohio
"Before You Go" by Lewis Capaldi and "Nobody" by James Arthur
Tryzdin has been bullied in school ever since he made his dreams to be a singer known, and you can see that his confidence has taken a hit because of it. After just a few bars of his Lewis Capaldi song, Luke stops him because the judges are worried his nerves and self-doubt are getting the best of him. They want him to sing a second song. By the end of it, the judges are on their feet, cheering him on. Katy tells Tryzdin to sing like he did "in those last 20 seconds," and Lionel assures him that when he brings the attitude he did in the second song "with that vocal style," there will always "be fireworks." They're nervous about sending him along to Hollywood but believe there's some real potential, so they're betting on him.
Andrea Valles / 23 / Houston, Tex.
"Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac and "Dance Monkey" by Tones and I
Andrea has a good voice, but her Fleetwood Mac cover is really "linear," as Katy points out, and doesn't go anywhere interesting. The judges are really on the fence here and as they're debating, Andrea simply breaks out into a second song to ease their apprehension. She's "fighting for it," Katy says, impressed. This second song shows off a bigger range and more energy. The judges are still not 100 percent convinced, but Andrea's done enough to get them to take a chance on her. Katy tells her that she needs to sing like she did on the second song when she gets to Hollywood.
Zachary D'Onofrio / 19 / Wesley Chapel, Fla.
"Golden Slumbers" by The Beatles and "Falling" by Harry Styles
Don't be alarmed if Zachary looks vaguely familiar to you — he made it to Hollywood Week in season 16 by winning over the judges with his Frank Sinatra songs. He's back because he doesn't feel like he showed them everything he can do. There's certainly a new, more confident vibe when Zachary sits down at the piano and sings "Golden Slumbers." But Katy wants to hear another song. He asks if he can bring in his girlfriend to accompany him and it turns out his girlfriend is... season 16's Catie Turner! The two met at Hollywood Week that season, got back in touch, and have been dating for a year. Catie joins Zachary for his Harry Styles song and the two sound great harmonizing. That's a good sign, right? The judges want Zachary to "pour the gas" on his voice and bring some more power, but they're ready to send him to Hollywood again.
Brianna Collichio / 15 / Spencerport, N.Y.
"Scars to Your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara
Brianna has cystic fibrosis and the night before her audition, she collapsed and had to go to the hospital and it had to be rescheduled. She's super positive and bubbly and the judges love the light she's bringing. She has a big, belting voice, but is definitely rough around the edges. Lionel "loved [her] texture" and "[her] high end" but could tell nerves were in play. They thought she did well under pressure but needs to work on a few things — and they would like to do that with her on the show. She's headed to Hollywood.
Colin Jamieson / 22 / Boxford, Mass.
"Six Feet Under" by Billie Eilish
Colin was in a boy band called Kik-It as a young teen and he's at the Idol auditions with one of his friends and former bandmates, Danny Falco. Danny goes first but his transition from boy band to hard rock guy fails to win him a golden ticket. Colin comes in after and is all smiles. His performance is super breathy, but he shows off some range and artistry. The judges tell him to ditch the breathiness and stick to what he was doing in the chorus and he'll be fine. They see a lot of potential in Colin. Lionel tells him he "want[s] to discover the rest of [his] voice," which he'll get to do in Hollywood.
Vahhley / 23 / Brooklyn, N.Y.
"One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston
This is a tough one to get through. Vahhley and her young son MJ have been living in a homeless shelter for the past eight months, so this audition could really make a big difference in her life. This is a big, big song to take on and Vahhley might not be the most confident belter, but she does infuse every line she sings with a moving vulnerability. In fact, after her performance, Luke advises her to focus on being the type of artist who can deliver "a meaningful lyric" rather than attempt to be a powerhouse singer. She's very effective in that way. Otherwise, the judges simply want Vahhley to believe in her talent, and to start, they're sending her to Hollywood.
Wyatt Pike / 19 / Park City, Utah
"Best For You" by Wyatt Pike
Wyatt gigs around Park City all the time, so he brought along his usual gig suitcase in hopes of collecting the biggest tip of his life — the golden ticket. He's singing an original he wrote for his younger sister who suffered from some mental health issues. The guy is a storyteller, for sure. The judges are excited because Wyatt is unique to the competition and very much "in [his] own lane" on Idol. Katy thinks he was nervous and was "going faster than the actual pocket" but that's fixable and the guy's cool sound is undeniable. Lionel calls him a "Park City James Taylor." They love him. He's headed to Hollywood Week.
Althea Grace / 21 / Chicago, Ill.
"Saturday Morning" by Althea Grace
After a Katy Perry "mom-tage," a young mother walks in and tells a wild story about how she didn't know she was pregnant until she was seven months along and then how when her daughter was 11 months old, she ended up needing a liver transplant and was given days to live before they found one. Little Lennon is doing great now, but it's safe to say Althea has been through it. She's got a nice easy-to-listen-to singer-songwriter vibe going on and Luke compares her to Stevie Nicks. There's clearly "something to work with" when it comes to Althea's vocals, and the judges are willing to take a chance on her, they just want her to bring some more energy and spark when she takes on Hollywood Week.
In addition to those Hollywood Week-worthy auditions, we get a few montages of other artists who've made it through, including mega-Katy Perry fans Liv Grace Blue and Ava August, both teens with singer-songwriter vibes, and athletes-turned-singers like Alana and Cameron Allen. And that's a wrap on season 19 Idol auditions. Who will you be rooting for during Hollywood Week?
Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.