Hollywood Week begins on American Idol 2019 on Sunday. But before all the drama begins, let’s look back on the best auditions of the season. I have chosen 10 of my favorite performances. Which were yours? Sound off in comments!
Hollywood Week episodes air on Sunday March 25 and Monday March 26 at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC. Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan serve as judges. Ryan Seacrest host. Join our live blog.
Laci Kaye Booth – Mama Tried by Merle Haggard – I am typically not a big country fan, but Laci has a really special sound. Her raspy tone cuts through and grabs attention. She’s a young gal who sings like an old soul. SO effortless. “You’re the first voice that we’ve heard that’s really a diamond in the rough,” said Katy. “You’ve really got something different sounding than everyone else. ”
Shayy – Rise Up by Andra Day – A brain tumor lead to Shayy losing her sight only last year. But it hasn’t stopped the young singer from sharing her gift. Her beautiful, clear voice had judge Lionel Richie in tears. “You have wrecked me,” he said after she finished.
Alejandro Aranda – The show promoted Alejandro’s episode by declaring his performance the Best American Idol Audition Ever. It was overhype that threatened to overshadow his actual talents. Maybe not the best audition in 17 seasons of the show? But a talented singer/songwriter and gifted musician nevertheless.
Madison VanDenburg – Speechless by Dan + Shay – And NO. Sixteen year old Madison is NOT the next Kelly Clarkson as the judges tried to pass her off in her audition. I would refrain from comparing ANY singer to Queen Kelly. Nevertheless, Madison has a gorgeous tone and impeccable phrasing. And that range, OK? She’s one of my favorites. “It’s my first goosebumps,” said Katy. “There might be a winner now.” And then Katy and Luke Bryan take it too far, making the Kelly Clarkson comparison. STILL Madison is incredible.
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon – Almost Heaven (Original) – Jeremiah’s performance of his original song “Almost Heaven” was simply stunning. He’s a gay kid whose religious family can’t accept who his is–so he pours his emotion into song. For me, the performance was one of the truly moving moments of the auditions. “Do you know how good you are?” asked Katy. Lionel compared him to Billy Joel. Jeremiah is a gem.
Alyssa Raghu – Shark in the Water by VV Brown – Alyssa was a surprise cut last year at the Top 24. The talented singer took the judges notes to heart and has been working hard all year . I thought letting her go last season was a mistake. I’m really glad she’s back for another go.
Ashley Hess – Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones – She got a late start to music. But better late than never. Beautiful tone, effortless delivery and soulful phrasing–Ashley is a knockout artist. The judges were so impressed they made her stop so they could pull their chairs up to the piano to listen. “I think you could win this whole thing,” said Katy.
Chloe Channell – Stupid Boy by Keith Urban – Chloe reminds me a lot of The Voice 4 winner Danielle Bradbery, with her pure clean tone and impeccable intonation. She brought along 90’s country star Billy Dean to accompany her. Chloe obviously has made some connections over the years, including Kenny Rogers. She’s talented, and a real pro at 16.
Jorgie – Heaven (Original) – Jorgie literally comes out to his Israeli family via his audition. He does an impression of Katy and seems so silly, that I just assumed “joke contestant!” But surprise–Jogie is a solid singer and songwriter.
Jackson Gillies – Make it Rain by Foy Vance – Jackson’s bluesy and deeply felt style comes from a life full of challenges. The young singer suffers from an autoimmune skin condition that causes severe scarring PLUS he’s been diabetic since age 3. Music is obviously an outlet for his pain. I really like his style.
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