American Idol 2019 Recap – Auditions 4 Live Blog (VIDEOS)

AMERICAN IDOL - "204 (Auditions)" - "American Idol" heads to Los Angeles, California; Louisville, Kentucky; New York, New York; and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, as the search for America's next superstar continues on The ABC Television Network, SUNDAY, MARCH 17 (8:00 - 10:01 p.m. EDT), streaming and on demand. (ABC/Nicole Rivelli) ASHLEY HESS

American Idol 2019 auditions continue TONIGHT  (March 17) on ABC at 8 pm ET/PT. Featured on the panel are veteran R&B master, Lionel Richie, pop star Katy Perry and country singer Luke Bryan. Ryan Seacrest returns to host.

We’ve got a TON of Spoiler posts on the left side bar. Gonna link them here. NO SPOILER DISCUSSION ON THE LIVE BLOG. Keep spoiler talk under the spoilers posts. Giving stuff away will result in an instant banning.

When Does American Idol 2019 Start? Full Season 17 Schedule
American Idol 2019 Spoilers: Top 14 Contestant List
American Idol 2019 Spoilers: Top 20 Solo and Celebrity Song Choices
American Idol 2019 Spoilers: Top 40 Showcase Round Contestant List with Songs

The judges are in Louisville on Katy’s birthday. Like last year, they plan a party with cupcakes, cotton candy and balloons. Dolly Parton sends a Happy Birthday message. And she hits a pinata with a Louisville Slugger.

Jessica Whitley – 26 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Idol (original song) – Jessica is VERY excited to meet Katy. She’s a Katy Kat. “We have a stalker in the building,” yells Katy. Jessica was on the show 7 years ago and calls it a “yikes” audition. She was 19. Oh we see it. She was awful. a joke contestant then. AND STILL A JOKE CONTESTANT. Why did they bring this girl back? She’s ridiculous. Next, she botches Katy’s “The Box.” She’s just so freaking LOUD. Luke thinks her voice is improved. So do the others. He calls her vocal coach “a miracle worker.” But it’s still a NO. “Not yet.” How about being honest and saying NOT EVER? That vocal coach is ripping her off.

Jacob Moran – 24 – Dansville MI – Into You by Ariana Grande – A geriatric nurse, he works in a nursing home. He loves his job, but loves singing as well. He has a pleasant tenor. Nice tone. But his experience consists of local karaoke–and it shows. He’s rough around the edges. Luke compares him to Gary LeVox. “Your the best voice we’ve heard in Kentucky,” says Katy. Lionel calls his voice “gorgeous.” Katy says they can transform him into an Idol if he commits. – 3 yeses

Next, it’s a montage of returnees from last season: Kay Kay 18, from Nashua NH (She got pretty far last season, but was barely shown on TV) She looks completely different! Tippy Balady, 17 from Dallas, Isaac Streetman, 18 from Georgia. I remember this dude–I liked him a lot. Payton Taylor, 22 from Nashville

We’re in Los Angeles!

Alyssa Raghu – 16 – Orlando FL – Shark in the Water by VV Brown – Luke and Lionel keep Alyssa’s return a surprise by shielding Katy’s eyes with papers.  It only takes a few notes from Alyssa before Katy yells “MY SAUCE!” (Last season, Katy referred to Alyssa as “my sauce” a play on the jarred spaghetti sauce.)  Man, it was SHOCKING when Alyssa left before the live shows last year. She was SOOOO good. We see a flashback, Katy thought she needed to work on her presence “sometimes you’re a little forgettable.” Alyssa has been taking dance classes, performing tons and tons of shows.  She seems VERY determined. She is way more comfortable in her skin, a year later. YEP SHE’S STILL AWESOME! “My first chill bumps of the day,” says Luke. “You’re really shining,” says Lionel. “I’m so proud of you!” Luke calls her natural and comfortable. Katy promises that they will always keep it real. Katy suggests that she loses the guitar next time. Katy plans on being her “stage mom.” – 3 yeses.

Time for a montage of bad auditions. So bad, the judges need a coffee break. Katy asks them all if they “play coffee shops.” 

Colby Swift – 19 – Midfield TX – I Cast No Stones by Cody Jinks – Colby is full of jokes, which impresses Luke. Oh. He has a sad story. When he was a kid, his mom got in her car, drove off and never came back. He was only 10 and thought she was going to get ice cream. “I think of my mom all the time,” he says. His dad always had his back. A country singer, he’s got an interesting tone. Luke asks him to stop playing the guitar. It was REALLY out of tune. So, yeah. Colby admits that he’s nervous. Luke sees himself at 19 in Colby. “You’re interesting.” Katy thinks he needs a lot of work. Lionel thinks he has magnetism. “Your so unpolished,” says Luke OHH COMMERCIAL BREAK. Luke pulls the fake out “I don’t think I can…let you go.” Colby gets 3 yeses

We’re in New York City! Winner Maddie Poppe auditioned there last season. We see a clip of her performance. 

Evelyn Cormier – 19 – Claremont, NH – Wicked Game by Chris Isaak – I do not watch TLC reality shows. But Evelyn was on one. She married her husband on 9o Day Fiance. She mentions that her husband lived in Spain and they were long distance for a long time. Of course, she does not mention the reality show that detailed the run up to the couple’s marriage. “David is my biggest supporter.” This song is covered a lot on singing shows. But she’s putting her own spin on it, using her rich alto to play with the melody. It’s interesting? But I don’t love it. Katy calls it one of her favorite voices. Lionel says he is “thrilled that we have you.” – 3 yeses.

Ashley Hess – 27 – Fremont, CA – Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones – She was a dental hygienist, but didn’t love it. Currently, she works in Nashville.  She performs sitting at the piano. Ohh. Her tone is gorgeous. So pretty. Effortless phrasing.  The best so far tonight, Ashley is a special talent. Luke stops her in the middle. The judges move over to the piano before allowing her to finish the audition. “I think you could win this whole thing,” says Katy. I hate when they say that! She is very good and has a real chance to go far, but…TOO SOON. Those kind of proclamations early in the competition are like a curse. – 3 yeses 

Oh look. It’s a montage of “family moments” brought to you by Lipton Tea. Oh boy.

Elizabeth Gaba – 19 – Los Angeles CA – All I Ask by Adele – They’ve been teasing this storyline ALL SEASON. Elizabeth just found her anonymous egg donor. Her mother encouraged her to search. Egg Donor was a member of the SoCal VoCals and 20 years later, so was Elizabeth! Both mom and Egg Donor flew out to Idaho to cheer Gaba on. She’s a last name person. Just Gaba. She delivers the song with a strong, pretty vocal. The song choice is boring, though. Gaba tells the judges her Egg Donor story. They sing alike! Katy wants a duet. They sit at the piano and warble a bit of Sara Bareilles’ “Bright Light and Cityscapes,” pretty badly, actually. Katy is crying. Luke suggests she add a little grit to her voice, which is actually very good advice. Her presentation is too vanilla – 3 yeses

Peach Martine – 16 – Miami Beach –  Zombie by the Cranberries – Peach declared that she is not nervous. She’s a singer, songwriter, film maker, straight A student and Varsity Cheerleader. Her declarations of self-confidence verge on parody. Katy wonders if she’s a robot.  Maybe, maybe not. But this video package paints her as the annoying chick from Election. Or Rachel Berry from Glee. She plays piano! Guitar! Violin! Harmonica! She totally plans on being class valedictorian! She’s the perfect villain. That package was so bad, I expected a joke contestant. She’s not exactly. Decent voice, but she sings the song just like the record, including all the eh eh eh eh ehs, which never seem to end. Next she plays an original at the piano. The original is actually better, because her personality came through, finally. Luke says it showed her character. Lionel thinks she’s “fun and sellable.” But to Katy, it didn’t feel like Peaches was having fun. It was like she was trying to ace a test. To sing rock n roll, she needs to loosen up. Good advice. Lionel and Luke – Yes – Katie – No – Katie won’t say yes until Peaches reveals her true authentic self. 

We’re in Louisville. 

Next, it’s a montage of artists and their crazy out of tune instruments. Luke has become the onsite guitar tuner! That is, until Katy snatches a guitar out of Luke’s hands and tunes it herself. The scene ends with the two bicker/singing “Anything you can do I can do better…”

Dalton Elliott – 26 – Chincoteague Island, VA – Boy by Lee Brice – Dalton got his first guitar at 4. He has a 3 year old son and he comes first. He quit music and got a “real” job as a construction worker. Dalton has a really sweet tone and is able to deliver a song with emotion. He’s a story teller. “There are songs you’re going to be able to sing the fool out of,” says Luke. “You were telling that story like a master,” says Lionel. Luke suggests that he lean even more on his artistry. Katy cautions him not to strain on the high notes. The family rushes into the audition room after Dalton learns he is going to Hollywood – 3 yeses

Mize Well – 25 – Chickamauga, GA – Mize is a beatboxer. Or he thinks he is. It might be the worst beatboxing I’ve ever heard. Blake Lewis HE IS NOT. “You’ve got a whole EDM festival in your mouth,” says Katy – 3 nos

Katie Belle – 19 – Atlanta GA – Golden Slumbers by The Beatles (Jennifer Hudson version supposedly) – She’s a full time musician, but has a few “side jobs” including acting and modeling. “I have expensive tastes…who doesn’t like to feel special,” she says. When she’s rich and famous, she plans to “save the ocean.” Hm. Her pitchy performance traverses through several “voices.” I don’t get where “Jennifer Hudson” comes into the picture. That was bad. Idol should be pouring on the best singers at the end. I don’t get the pacing here. Lionel says she has a sound, but it needs to be developed. Katy thinks she needs to work on her voice, but what the heck! She’s going to be a star one way or another. What? 3 yeses. Have we just entered an alternate universe? Because THAT was not good. Luke seems to be in love. He faints when she shakes his hand. Still don’t get it. 

We end in Los Angeles–as Idol is wont to do–with a real tear jerker. 

Lauren Engle – 27 – Redlands CA – Her brother in law is along to accompany her on guitar for a reason. A really sad reason. She and her husband, whom she married in 2014, were in a terrible car accident last year. He died. They were driving home from dinner. A driver ran a red light and t-boned them. The couple connected through music–he is responsible for bringing her back to music after she had left it behind. So to honor him, Lauren will pursue her musical dreams. She brought her brother in law to stand in her husband’s place. She performs an original song she wrote that details the timeline of their relationship.  She has some pitchy moments, but her country tone is very pure. And her songwriting is solid. Katy was “really invested” in the lyrics. She can’t imagine what Lauren has been through.  Lionel says her late husband was a lucky man. Luke thinks she has a “good good good” country voice. “really solid.” – 3 yeses


About mj santilli 30575 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!