American Idol 2020 Recap – Auditions 5 Live Blog (VIDEOS)

(ABC/Scott Patrick Green) ROBERT TAYLOR

American Idol 2020 Auditions 5 airs TONIGHT on ABC at 8 pm ET/PT. It’s the LAST audition episode before Hollywood Week kicks off on Monday (March 16).  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 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 5 Preview: Meet the Contestants! (PHOTOS)
American Idol 2020 Spoilers: Top 20 Contestant List
American Idol 2020 Spoilers: Top 40 Showcase Round/Song Choices

Rob Taylor – Bruises by Lewis Capaldi – 27 Donaldsonville LA – Rob says he’s terrified of the judges. DUDE YOU WENT TO TOP 10 on The Voice season 8! You been to this rodeo before. Heh. He was a good singer in 2015, but he’s matured even more since then. Lionel calls him “amazing.” His father passed away recently and it was his dream that he audition. Oh wow. When he came out as gay last year his family disowned him. Including the mom Rob took care of after she had a stroke? He gave up going to Berklee for her. Dang, that’s cold. His father accepted him, but sadly died from a drug overdose last year. Luke calls it a “perfectly done audition.” Katy says it’s time for him to figure out the kind of artist he wants to be. Rob gets 3 yeses from the judges.  – 3 yeses.

Jafar Hurambi – When I Grow Up by Pussycat Dolls – 27 Chicago Heights IL – Joke contestant probably looking to boost his social media profile.  There’s….dancing. Katy seems to be enjoying herself. Luke is impressed that he didn’t tear something – 3 nos

Grace Leer – Crowded Table by Highway Women   – 27 Nashville TN – She made the Top 20 on American Juniors all those years ago! Fun fact: I absolutely refused to watch that show! Even Simon Cowell refused to be involved. However, once he realized kid acts were lucrative, he’s changed his thinking. BUT I DIGRESS! Grace and Ryan have a little reunion. He doesn’t seem to remember her, though. After American Juniors, she went back to being a kid, which is a good thing. Now she’s grown up and pursuing a country music career. I like warm, inviting alto. And she’s got range, and beautiful intonation, too. At Katy’s request, she sings a little bit of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” She’s got that country cry down pat. Katy loves the texture of her voice. But she wanted more yodel. Luke likes that’s she’s classic, but not forced. Grace tears up a little, so happy that the judges understand her as an artist. All 3 say yes! 3 yeses

It’s a montage of college students. They’re all genius. But probably no golden tickets for them.

Franklin Boone – Dreams by Fleetwood Mac – 27 Durham NC  – He teaches at the School of Rock. (Just like season 15 alum Dalton Rapattoni). Franklin has a raspy, breathy voice. It’s a little too laid back for my tastes. I’d like to hear more, though. “Way to be that first note kind of singer,” says Luke, who believes he has witnessed serious artistry. Katy thinks he has a chance to WIN. Lionel likes that he brings the entire package to the proceedings. Luke calls his audition a “Alejandro moment” referring to last season runner-up Alejandro Aranda – 3 yeses

Luke Stafford – 25 Anderson IN – Wow. Luke has released albums and appears to have a serious career as a jazz and standards artist. But this singing is really bad. REALLY REALLY bad. The saxaphone playing did not help. – 3 nos

Next it’s a montage of NO NO NOs. 

Roselyn “Rozzo” Carter – Mother Bound by the Pilgrim Travelers – 26  Watts CA – She was born and raised in Watts, a mostly African American neighborhood in Los Angeles. She “lost some folk” due to gang violence. She’s been singing her whole life, and wants to use her talent to make her life better. Her voice is strong, but unformed. Katy wants to hear more. She sings a more contemporary song. And here, she shows a lot more range, emotion and subtlety. OK. I’ve changed my mind. She’s good. Lionel calls it “natural talent.” Luke is moved. Katy thinks Roz embodies what American Idol is. “You are the dream…you want to use it for good…it would be amazing if we could help you go the distance.” The judges fake confer and then…they begin a chant: “let’s go Rozzo” before handing her a ticket. Her entire family waits for the verdict back at their home in Watts. Bobby is on hand to share the good news. Aw.  3 yeses.

Katy says “Hey wouldn’t it be fun if we did an audition on a boat!” as if it were some spur of the moment thing. SURE JAN. They just “grab” some “random” auditioner, and head for the boat docked in a harbor in Washington DC.

Meghan Knight –  When Your Mind’s Made Up by Glen Hansard – 21 Williamstown NJ – It’s a little weird for her to sing outside, with the wind blowing and the sun in her eyes. It’s a disadvantage, I think. She’s a strong singer with a wide vibrato. Luke thinks she’s overdoing the vibrato. Hm. I think it’s part of her sound? Katy thinks she’s playing the guitar too loud. SHE’S FREAKING PLAYING OUTSIDE. This judging is stupid. At least they said yes. ETA: Stills released by ABC show Meghan singing indoors. Hm. So she probably already did her audition, and the boat thing was 100 percent a stunt. – 3 yeses

Katy hams it up with a Titanic pose. Gotta do it, I guess. 

Gilberto Rivera – Proud Mary by Tina Turner – 23 Orlando FL – The singer enters an empty room. Maybe the judges are still on the boat! Luke invites Gilberto take a load off of his patent leather platform boots. Lionel serenades Gilberto, and suddenly they are singing a duet. His personality is delightful. And what’s a boy in red patent leather thigh high platform boots to sing for his audition? Why Proud Mary by Tina Turner OF COURSE. AGAIN THERE’S DANCING. His vocals are very shouty. When the song kicks up, Katy joins him in a twirl-a-thon. Lionel appreciates that he’s unique. Theater may be your stage, he says. Gilberto disagrees. He begs. Katy says he has to get his chest waxed first. WHAT? She says he needs to be more serious. But she says yes. Lionel says no, and  then Luke says….yes. OK then. Drama in Hollywood, I guess. The clip ends with Gilberto receiving that painful wax. It isn’t over until they’re shouting Kelly Clarkson! Heh.  Katy and Luke says yes, Luke says no.

Justin Oliver – Treasure by Bruno Mars –  24 Tuscaloosa AL – Phredley Brown, who plays the piano for Idol co-wrote the Bruno Mars song Justin sings for his audition. FUN FACT! It’s a dream come true, for Justin. Unfortunately, Justin’s vocals are subpar. His runs are pitchy and imprecise. There’s potential, but Justin definitely needs work. Phred is asked what he thinks. Mean. “Technically it’s great, the energy could have been a little bit higher.” He says that he realizes that playing for Bruno every night makes him a tough critic. Nice save!  Phred is all “YOUR JOB IS HARD!” Katy felt he was OK, but not exceptional. The judges stress that it takes more than a good voice. There has to be that “spark.” – 3 nos. 

And now, it’s a montage of singers who can sing generally, but are just not good enough. “We can tell what talent is going to work, right off the bat,” Luke says.

Aliana Jester – Who’s Loving You by Smokey Robinson – 18 – Tampa FL – She enters the audition room with an adorable French bulldog. Nova keeps her back steadfastly to the judges! She’s Aliana’s emotional support dog. She grew up with her mom mostly. She was also a singer. Growing up, they did everything together. But at 12, mom got into a wacky religion. When Aliana began dating someone from outside the cult, mom virtually locked her in the house. Aliana became so depressed, she tried to commit suicide. When her military dad found out what was happening, he got Aliana out of the situation. Man, if it weren’t for the braces, I’d guess Aliana’s age at mid twenties! The doggo seems to like her voice. As well she should. Aliana sings with a clear, strong voice. Katy calls her gift incredible. She suggests that she put her pain “in her words.” Luke calls her a “special singer.” Lionel calls her a star and comperes her to Whitney Houston. I agree with Katy. She can sing, but it’s like she’s singing from behind a wall. She’s holding back a WELL of emotion. – 3 yeses

Jahzan – Warrior by Demi Lovato – 18 Kingston Jamaica – She grew up in Kingston with her mom, but both live in New York City now. The two busk together in the city. She and her mom are currently homeless. They left the island “for safety,” but can’t discuss the reasons on television. Huh. They live in her uncle’s salon. The kids at school don’t know. (Well, they do now.) The two demonstrate for the judges how they perform in the subways. They sing “Rockabye Baby” by Clean Bandit. Jazhan’s voice is so deep. She sings like an older woman. I mean that in a good way. Her voice has character. Jahzan does a quick change with mom’s help. It’s a subway thing probably! Her voice is odd, but intriguing. She needs to work on pitch, though. Katy compares her to Toni Braxton, Cher and Shakira. I agree. She suggests that Jahzan dial her performance down to a 7. Luke notes how unique she is, but she needs coaching. Lionel assures mom that she did a good job. – 3 yeses

Jordan Moyes – I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen – 25 Provo Utah  –  It took me a minute to recognize the song. That’s because Jordan sings it in a sweet, high tenor. With only his tone and phrasing, the singer turns it into a completely different song. Luke loved his guitar playing and singing. “It screams massive songwriter,” he says. Katy loved his crisp, musical guitar playing as well. – 3 yeses

Demi Rae – Mad at You by Noah Cyrus – 26 San Jose California – We previewed this episode HERE. Demi’s father was in and out of jail during her childhood. But when she was 15, he got clean and turned his life around. They grew closer. She sings in a rangy voice, with unique phrasing. She sings with confidence, so it’s a surprise when she confesses insecurities. She doesn’t think she has the right look. “There’s a million girls watching the television…you have such a great voice,” says Katy. She can be a role model to other girls who feel like she does. Lionel can’t imagine how good she’ll be when she gains more confidence. 3 yeses.

Nash – Should Have Been a Cowboy – 18 Newman Lake Wa – The judges cook giant s’mores in Oregon before “mullet man” crashes the party. The audition turns into a sing along. First and foremost, Mullet Man needs to put on a shirt. Katy doubts his schtick will work in the real world. Luke calls out his nasally vocals, before giving Nash a much needed singing lesson – 3 nos

Makayla Brownlee – Travelin Soldier by Dixie Chicks – 17 Wellington KS – Her city is the wheat capital of the world. Unsurprisingly, she sings at a lot of wheat festivals. Her flight to audition was her first. She loves singing and SNAKE HUNTING. She gets bit. Takes pictures, and then throws them back in the water. Hoo boy. I’m a little surprised she’s covering the Dixie Chicks. That’s all I’m saying. Lionel gives her a sip of his drink. Her throat is dry! She’s got a lot of “cry” in her voice. Maybe too much. She’s obviously nervous, rushing her performance. She could probably use a few more years to mature. Katy doesn’t know country, she says, but likes what she hears. She suggests Makayla enunciate more. Luke warns Hollywood will be a dogfight between the country singers. But he wants he in to shake it up – 3 yeses

Amber Fiedler – Trust in Me by Etta James – 23 Coeur D’Alene ID – We previewed this audition HERE. Amber had a tough childhood, with a drug addicted mother. She also drank too much. She got pregnant, and it straightened out her life. However, she doesn’t feel ready to raise a kid, so she’s giving her baby girl up to an open adoption. Her mom is clean now, and the two have a good relationship. Amber has a beautiful, effortless style. She’s got a lovely tone and intonation and a big big range. “That’s with a foot in her rib!” exclaims Luke. Indeed! Katy thinks she has a really big shot to go far. But Hollywood is right around her due date! Will she be pregnant or not when it comes around? 3 yeses


About mj santilli 34997 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!