American Idol 2019 premieres on Sunday (March 3). Here’s a look at a the crop of contestants who are set to sing in front of the judges, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. The crew, including host Ryan Seacrest, travel to all five audition cities in this episode which include auditions in Louisville, Kentucky; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; and Denver, Colorado.
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Nick Townsend’s audition is the major tear jerking moment of the night. The 25 year old lost both of his brothers to suicide. “There’s no pain like that” he shares. He got the news about losing his older brother while in Los Angeles. Months later, while he was touring Japan, Nick learns that his younger brother has also taken his own life. This clip is already pretty sad. But after performing “Let it Go” by James Bay, there are more tears as Luke Bryan shares his own story of losing two siblings–a brother in a car accident, and a sister to a sudden illness.
FYI: Nick was a no turn audition on season 12 of The Voice in the Spring of 2017. He also auditioned for season 13. This may have been his audition video for The Voice? If you want a taste of his Idol audition song, here it is…
Hopeful Margie Mays auditions for “most annoying hopeful EVER.” And the 25 year old comes pretty close. Her audition consists of a very, uhm, excitable rendition of “Shot” by Lawrence.
More contestants you’ll see on Sunday’s premiere
I watched a screener of Sunday’s episode. Here’s what you can expect.
Walker Burrows – Red headed Walker from Birmingham, Alabama actually a pretty impressive musician. Currently a 20 year old student at Belmont University, he is destined to be a nerdy favorite. He sings “Love Like This” by Ben Rector. Katy compares him to Ben Folds.
Johanna Jones – She’s a 23 year old raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s not her dad in the photo. She brings a musician friend along to accompany her on “I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith. Also. She swears her secret weapon is potato chips, which has Katy almost choking on a bag.
Kai the Singer – This 19 year old singer’s family struggles financially day to day back in South Carolina. She performs Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and also “My Girl” on the piano. Nerves play heavily into the drama.
Tyler Mitchell – 26 year old singer travels all the way from the oil fields of Louisiana to New York City to play some country music. In his video package, Tyler is a hayseed out of his element. Familiar trope! He repeats several time about sharing his “God given talent” to the point where he seems full of it. But then…SURPRISE! He performs Vince Gill’s “Whenever You Come Around.”
Vokillz – Hailing from Buffalo, New York, 24 year old joke contestant Vokillz insists he invented a new genre called “Mystic Death Trap Metal.” It’s basically a variation of screamo. Katy is so alarmed she yells “Satan I rebuke you!” That fundy upbringing sure comes in handy, sometimes.
Myra Tran – 19 year old Myra is a tiny Vietnamese girl with a great big voice. She sings “One Night Only From Dreamgirls.” Some of you are going to love her.
Uche – 24 year old Uche grew up in the church. And despite being bisexual, he is sure God loves him. He wants to reach LGBTQ kids in the church who are struggling. He sings “Ain’t No Man” by Christina Aguilera. There are dance moves. He follows up with a gospel song, proving he can stand still and sing.
Laci Kaye Booth – This 23 year old from Livingston, Texas is the product of teen parents. She was estranged from her dad until music brought them back together. The country singer performed “Mama Tried by Merle Haggard and is one to watch.
Nick Rogers – 17 year old dedicated “Mine” by Bazzi to Katy. He raps part of the song. Katy “loves” his flow. He claims Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Lionel Richie are his influences. One of these things are not like the other! And Katy calls him out on it…
Tiffanne LeMay – 20 year old singer is a Lionel Richie fan for real. And so is her mother. She sings a super soulful “The Best Part” by h.e.r. and Daniel Caesar.