American Idol 2020 Recap – Auditions 4 Live Blog (VIDEOS)

American Idol 2020 Auditions 4 airs TONIGHT 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.

In the fourth American Idol audition episode of the season viewers will embark on a nation-wide journey across Savannah, Georgia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, California; and Sunriver, Oregon.

We’ve got a TON of Spoiler posts linked below. NO SPOILER DISCUSSION ON THE LIVE BLOG. Keep talk under the spoilers posts. Giving stuff away will result in an instant banning.

When Does American Idol 2020 Start? Full Season 18 Schedule
American Idol 2020 Auditions 4 Preview: Meet the Contestants! (PHOTOS)
American Idol 2020 Spoilers: Top 20 Contestant List
American Idol 2020 Spoilers: Top 40 Showcase Round/Song Choices

The show opens with the judges announcing Katy Perry’s pregnancy. After showing off her baby bump, there are hugs all around! And then Katy gets a splinter and the bys help her out. 

Danny La Rota – Royals By Lorde – He is studying dentistry at the University of Louisville. For a dentist, he’s not bad. Should he keep his day job? He’s a very soulful singer, if not distinctive. “You’re the most original person this season,” says Katy. I don’t know about that! Luke suggests that he keep his eyes open more, but then compares him to 90s rock giants like Eddie Vedder. Lionel compares him to Roger Plant. They love his range. Lionel says he needs to “carve out his identity.” Agree, he’s got the raw ingredients to be a great singer, but he needs to work on personality. Danny says he might want to be both a singer and a dentist. Mentor Bobby Bones says he needs to choose. And if he’s serious, yes. But then, Ken Jeong was STILL working as a doctor when he starred in Hungover! Hedging sometimes works–but usually not.  – 3 yeses

Next, it’s a montage of country singers who LOVE Luke–especially his white teeth. Or something! 

Lou Dawg  Feel My Lovin’ (Original) – 23 – Oahu HI –  The shtick is: He has no idea who the judges are. NOT EVEN KATY! Lionel is SO insulted he walks off the set. He comes back and keeps his back turned to the singer, like it was The Voice or something. Lou is a lightweight vocalist, but he’s not terrible. “You almost have something,” says Luke. But he lacks excitement. Lou reminds Katy of Jack Johnson, but Lou’s vibe feels “hobbyish” to her. In the end, the judges think he’s too flakey. And I think they are kinda insulted too. Luke and Lionel say No Katy says Yes

Makayla Phillips – Who’s Loving You by Smokey Robinson – 17 Temecula CA –  Fans who also follow America’s Got Talent are very familiar with Makayla Phillips.  In 2018 she was a 15 year old singer who dedicated her audition song, “Issues” by Julia Michaels to her firefighter dad. She was Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer and eventually eliminated in the semi-finals. She auditioned for Idol back in 2017, but she was two weeks too young. She’s still pretty young. But older and better than she was on AGT, for sure. The judges are loving it. Man, it’s so obvious she’s been singing for years. Her stage presence is 100% pro.  Katy calls her Top 10.  – 3 yeses

Devon Alexander – Not in That Way by Sam Smith – 22 Sonora CA – Devon grew up on a log cabin. They only got FOX on TV, so he watched American Idol. Devon sings soulfully, with a gorgeous tone and a lot of feeling. I didn’t realize he was nervous until he let out that big sigh at the end. The singer checks a crooner box for Luke. 3 yeses.

Mosean Wilson – Slip Away (Original) – 23 – Springfield IL – He never really had a childhood. He moved in with has grandma at two. His father was bipolar, schizophrenic and eventually OD’d on drugs. It’s horrible–Mosean found him dead. He thinks about it every day. He struggled in school. But then he turned to music. “I’ve been in the gutter. Now it’s time to make some changes,” he says. The singer has a two year old baby. He’s got an old school bluesy sound. It’s a little old fashioned. But he’s got the chops, including a strong clear voice. “You’re what it’s all about,” says Luke. Mosean is a little overwhelmed! Katy calls his voice incredible. She promises that they want to invest in him. Lionel gets up to hug him, “You’re trying to pick yourself up…your talent is the way out of all this madness.” 3 yeses

After a nameless montage of yeses, we get to Faith’s audition…

Faith Becnel – Lady Marmalade by Labelle – New Orleans LA – The judges like her a lot, but feel that she’s rushing her performance. They see character and personality though, so it puts them on the fence. Faith’s talent is clear. I don’t understand why they hesitate to hand a ticket. Lionel thinks she needs more time.  Katy and Luke say yes. Lionel says no.

Kat Luna 19 & Alejandro Garrido (Space Cowboy) 26  – Shallow – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper – The duo met at church. Luke calls them “American Idol Ken and Barbie.” Katy wonders if their hands come apart. They sing together.  They seem nervous. She has a good range, But I don’t like their harmonies. Katy is doing that fake crying thing. Luke tells him to ditch the stage name. Katy says Idol already has an Alejandro. So there can’t be two? Ban the names Kelly, Carrie and Adam immediately! Katy thinks they’ll both end up in the Top 10. She compared Kat to Dua Lipa. 3 yeses for both

Emma Kate – Come Together by The Beatles – 22 Sweet Home OR – She brings dad to accompany her on guitar. 

Marcus Tinsley  – Mine by Bazzi – 28 Phoenix AZ – Marcus has his wife and baby….and PIG with him!

Chase Jerico –  Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford – 24 Pocatello ID – Dude is totally old school. He brought a fiddler along to play backup! 

Tavia Smith – I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor – Compton CA – She brings her best friend and “girl-tarist” Terry along with her. She’s from Australia! The show subtitles her remarks. Not really necessary. girl-tarist compares Tavia to Jesus and…Fergie. OK they’ve only known each other for 48 hours? Hm. I was expecting this audition to be at least competent. Tavia is completely off key. She’s like an old-school Idol joke contestant. And girl-guitarist is just…strumming. Katy thinks they should stick to together, but calls the performance “dicey.” Luke loves her attitude. Lionel says she needs experience. In a coda, it’s explained that the two have remained best friends and are planning a Washington state tour. Watch out for that coronavirus, girls.  – 3 nos.

Sophia Wackerman – Water by Bishop Briggs – 20 Long Beach CA – We posted a preview of this audition HERE. Her dad is a drummer, and her mom was a singer. Sadly, mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, and passed away 4 years ago. She and mom watched Idol together all the time. Katy suggests she change her last name to her mom’s stage name, which was Star. Sophia accompanies herself on piano for an emotional performance. Luke and Katy call her tone “signature.” He likes her “sparkle.” A star! Says Katy. Lionel calls her “several different threats.” He sees the potential. He dubs her “Top 10.” Katy thinks there are technical things, like enunciation to work on. But she loves her. – 3 yeses

Jimmy Levy – Wicked Game by Chris Isaak – 21 Miami Fl – He appeared on the YouTube series “Best Cover Ever” with Bebe Rexha. He’s got over 30K followers on Tik Tok. But also, his mother is a clairvoyant, his grandmother was a famous psychic, Micky Dean? He sees dead people. Hm. Although he has “the gift” he wants a career in music. Mom gives the judges a reading. And the stuff she says can be found on the internet in about 2 seconds. OMG. Mom claims that Luther Vandross and Phoebe Snow are watching him from above. Jimmy holds his ear to stay on key. That’s not a good sign. Katy stops him. “You seem really nervous, like you seen a ghost,” Katy quips, before asking for a new tune. He sings a Tori Kelly song a cappella. It’s better! But still not great. Lionel thinks he could front an alternative band. Katy thinks his voice is interesting. I’m on the fence with this guy. He seems to lack confidence. -? I am 3 yeses

Olivia Ximines – Language by Tori Kelly –  16 Menifee CA –  She’s on the Orange Vista dance team. They accompany her to her audition to support their friend and show off a few dance moves. Olivia has a huge range. That’s a great big voice coming out of a little gal. And a ton of raw talent right there. Katy calls her voice “phenomenal.” She loves her joy and positivity. They see her child like qualities. She shouldn’t lose them, they say. Her voice is immature at this point, but in a couple of years, watch out. 3 yeses.

Marna Michele – Million Reasons by Lady Gaga – 27 Costa Mesa CA – She has dreamed of getting a golden ticket since childhood. She has a rare condition called Arthrogryposis that confines her to a wheelchair. She started singing in 6th grade. She can move and feel, but can’t walk or raise her hands high. At this point, she’s accepted her disability. She wants to be a role model for people like her. She’s a good singer. The backstory helps her cut through, but she’d probably get a spot on the show if she were able bodied. Luke wants to hear a cry in her voice. Katy coaches her. They want more emotion from her reading. Katy is pleased that she passed the coaching test. I wonder if they dished out critiques, so the yeses didn’t appear condescending? Because Marna is just as good as a bunch of people the judges put through – 3 yeses

Zach Dobbins – Miss Use (Original) – 18 Clay WV – His town is small and very rural. And to be honest, it looks very poor. His grandfather and father played bluegrass. He’s never flown on a plane. Even if he gets famous, he’d like a single wide trailer on a plot of land. Oh dear. Luke jumps up to tune his guitar. Well, holy cow. This kid actually has something. He reminds me a little of the kid from Deliverance. Heh. But that kid was good! There’s raw talent there, but he’s not worldly or experienced at all. Katy calls him authentic. Lionel appreciates his heart and soul – 3 yeses

Ren Patrick – Dancing on My Own by Robyn – 26 Cypress TX – We previewed this audition HERE. Ren got out of a 7 year abusive relationship. She left Los Angeles for her hometown, Cypress TX, where she has been repairing her family relationships. Mom coaxed Ren to audition for Idol, and now here they are. Years ago, at a Hollywood party, Ren and her boyfriend were fighting, Katy walked by and said “Ew girl dump him!” Ren accompanies herself on acoustic guitar. I like her deep rich tone and unique phrasing. The judges are full of support. Ren breaks into tears!

Next week, Sunday is the last of the auditions and then the first of FOUR Monday shows airs on March 16! Hollywood Week begins, with new twists and turns (including duets).


About mj santilli 35004 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!