American Idol 2021 Recap Auditions 3 Live Blog
American Idol 2021 continues tonight with Auditions part 3. Who will get a coveted golden ticket to Hollywood? Who will be sent home! We’re live blogging all the performances here.
Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan return, along with host Ryan Seacrest. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is the rule in the studio! Additionally, instead of auditioning hopefuls across the country, the crew taped episodes in three California locations, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Ojai.
The show opens with Katy leading a guided meditation with Lionel and Luke outside in Ojai. She makes them say, “I am a Goddess of Light and Love.” They are going to find amazing talent today!
Cecil Ray Talkin’ Tennessee – 20 – Cameron TX – Machine Operator – He’s a dad. He loves his daughter more than anything. Cecil grew up dirt poor in government housing. His friend died from suicide, followed by his brother and then his uncle. Horrible. “Music has always been a light,” Cecil said. His family wishes him luck in the Zoom room. As an obvious newbie, he’s exceeding my expectations. Cecil has a very nice tone to his voice. He’s super awkward up there on the seal. But with a little sanding around the rough edges, he’d be OK. Luke asks him to sing the chorus with his hands in his pockets. Ah. Luke already working on that stage presence, and his timing. Luke calls him “absolute perfection” but begins working on his “ants in the pants.” He calls his voice distinctive. Katy calls him a fireball. “You remind me of a country Justin Bieber.” Katy suggests he ground himself every morning. “Find how to control that energy.” Lionel says, “You have, in your rawness, no idea what you have.” 3 yeses
Samantha Sharpe – Titanium – by David Guetta ft Sia – 25 – Basking Ridge NJ – Singer – The scene opens with Samantha and her family band singing acapella. The singer is hoping to start a solo career after performing with The Sharpe Singers, currently a hit on Tik Tok. Her parents met on Broadway years ago, and now perform with their brood. Her tone is clear as a bell, and her voice strong. But it’s choir room perfect. There’s no soul or character in her presentation. She still hasn’t stepped beyond harmonies and background singing. Nevertheless, she gets 3 yeses from the judges.
Graham DeFranco – Part One by Band of Horses – 27 – Rockwall TX – He’s an aerial survey pilot. His dad flies planes too. Mom and dad say hi in the Zoom room. He explains to the judges that he does open mics every couple of months. He’s got a sweet tenor. But he doesn’t display much in the way of dynamics. He better be a songwriter, because doesn’t have a ton of charisma. Katy wonders why he’s never really committed to music. She’s scolding him for not following his dreams, hard. Luke calls his voice, listenable. But he needs to “get confident.” 3 yeses. He needs to improve a lot in Hollywood. In the men’s bathroom, Ryan coaches him through SNL like affirmations. “I’m Graham DeFranco!” Ok then.
Tom McGovern – 28 – Allentown NJ – Jingle Writer – Tom bills himself as a “comedic writer” on his website. Indeed, he will write a jingle for you. I wonder if he’d write a jingle for me? He’s singing about his mom wanting him to audition. He incorporates all the judges into his ditty. All the little factoids! Apparently from his mom. He’s written over 200 jingles. He’s clever, but unfortunately, the judges don’t take him seriously. 3 nos
Mary Jo Young – You Broke Me First by Tate McRae – 19 – Cleveland OH – OK. This story Mary Jo is telling Ryan about her name? How her name is Mary Josephine? But her mom wanted to call her Mary Jo? But sometimes people call her MJ? OK that’s my story 100% It’s a little freaky. True facts: On the first day of school mom would tell me “YOU MAKE SURE THOSE TEACHERS CALL YOU MARY JO. Or they would have gotten an earful at the PTA meeting. OK enough about me. We actually previewed this audition earlier in the week. Check it out HERE. Mary Jo is a Tik Tok star. She’s closing in on half a million followers, so that’s pretty good. And she only started during the pandemic last year. She’s never really performed for anyone. In 4th grade she yodeled in a talent show, and lost. She’s never sung for her mother, but her family is really musical. She has a strong voice with a good range, and she sings with a ton of emotion. What would happen on a bigger stage? That remains to be seen. The judges invite mom into the audition room to watch Mary Jo sing for the first time. She sings “Bruises” by Lewis Capaldi. Katy calls Mary Jo’s voice “incredible.” and felt her vulnerability, especially when she sang to her mom. She compares her to Julia Michaels – 3 yeses Luke thinks she’s Top 10.
Next, is a segment on how remote auditions allowed hopefuls to audition from anywhere and everywhere! Up next: Xavier Washington 22 from Atlanta Georgia, who is currently a senior at Yale. He sings in the school’s prestigious a’cappella groups. Next, is Celeste Butler 23 from Oceanside, Calif. She sings “Best of My Love” for the judges. She’s also an actress and a social activist. She sang on a cruise ship just as the pandemic hit. She’s followed by Dzaki 20 from Las Cruces New Mexico. He’s a farmer? All 3 singers get yeses
Christian McGuckian – Girl Crush by Maren Morris – 21 – Easley SC – Maid – She cleans houses and businesses. But she loves to sing. A couple of months ago she was in an accident. She only endured a couple of cracked ribs, but it changed her priorities. Inexperienced, she’s very very nervous. Luke helps her relax. But her voice cracks almost immediately. Hm. This isn’t very good at all. She sways back and forth with very little affect. She’s under pitch pretty much throughout. Luke says she has “magic country stuff” in her voice, but her timing is really off. She begins crying immediately. OK commercial break. But c’mon this singer IS NOT READY FOR THIS JELLY. Boy, they’re really helping this girl get through. They ask her to sing again, while they urge her on. IT’S STILL NOT VERY GOOD. Katy says “You have some things to work on.” Luke thinks she’s authentic, which is why he’s pushing for her. – 3 yeses. They should have told her to practice more and come back next year. Crazy.
Olyasdream – Vladivostok Russia – She’s a Handpan artist, and only brought on to be made fun of. Although, after looking at her Youtube channel, it’s clear that she considers herself a serious artist. Lionel and Luke are playing along on their own freaky instruments. Oh Luke broke the triangle thingy she brought. Katy has some understanding of what she’s about. But that’s the joke. That Katy is also kind of out there. 3 nos
Alanis Sophia – Anyone by Demi Lovato – 19 – Wesley Chapel FL – College Student – Her mom, originally from Puerto Rico, was only 19 when she had Alanis. She notes that her daughter is way more mature than she was at that age. Alanis feels that her parents gave so much up in order to support her career. The singer has already competed on La Voz Kids and had a record deal with Big Machine Records which she eventually lost. She was named after Alanis Morissette. Alanis bring in her American Idol microphone. She’s had it since childhood! She sings into it, like she did as a child. It’s rather sweet. She’s one of those young singers who have been at it for so long, she’s like a seasoned pro. But, she hasn’t QUITE developed her own style yet. She is a good singer, though. Katy calls Alanis “pure” and “natural.” Lionel says DON’T CHANGE. He loves the simplicity of her craft. Mom comes into the studio. Katy tells her that Alanis is the best she’s seen today. – 3 yeses
Jeremias William – Simple Man – 23 – Apopka FL – Firefighter – While Jeremias waits, the judges are marching around playing “when the saints go marching in” on kazoo. His dad is 80. He had Jeramias in his late 50’s. When he was younger, he dreamed of being on American Idol, as he grew up in a shack with 8 siblings. They were impoverished. A mentor helped Jeremias get into EMT school, and now he’s a firefighter. Jeremias cries as his fellow firefighters cheer him on in the Zoom room. He’s a decent singer for someone who has never sung anywhere. He’s got to work on some pitch things, though. He’s very amateur. He’s a little shouty in his upper register. Katy thinks his voice is missing some of that “smoke.” She says “you gotta find it.” He needs to sing more. Lionel likes the timbre in his voice. “There’s a lot in there.” Luke thinks he needs more time. 3 nos – Lionel suggests he come back.
Timmy Skelly – 23 – Sandwich IL – Sever – I have no idea why, but Timmy is singing “My Funny Valentine” with his…mom. It’s the backdrop for a montage of couples. We get a little glimpse of Catie Turner in there! They get a standing ovation and 3 yeses
Erika Perry – ET by Katy Perry – 26 – Orange County CA – People call her “ET” because she’s “Extra-Terrestrial.” OK then. She calls “Erika” her “government name.” She plans to prove all the kids who bullied her wrong…or something. She’s a better singer than I expected. She came off as a joke contestant at first. Luke wonders if she’s singing English. Her enunciation is terrible. Lionel wonders if her deal is a gimmick. After a commercial break (that really warranted a cliffhanger?) Katy wants to hear 30 seconds more without gimmicks. She sings another song, but she’s still not enunciating the words. Her tone is fine. But she sings with a super super affected style. Erika cries as Katy pierces her soul with some critiques. “Nobody has ever believed in you!” It’s a yes from Katy, a no from Luke, and a reluctant yes from Lionel Katy thinks she should call her ex to rub it in. She doesn’t have his number. So instead, she shades him on camera.
Hunter Metts – All the Pretty Girls by Kaleo – 22 – Franklin TN – Software Engineer – Both Hunter and Luke worked at the Franklin Chop House! We previewed Hunter’s audition yesterday. Watch it HERE. Hunter’s sister Maddy came along to the audition with Hunter. He’s a software engineer. But only due to lack of confidence. It’s his third try at Idol. Oh wow. He couldn’t pass before because of his sister’s employment at Disney. SHE QUIT HER JOB SO HE COULD AUDITION. Wow. Hunter has a gorgeous, high tone. But he does this thing where he audibly sucks in his breath between breaks. It’s a little distracting? But that tone is undeniable. He’s also a passionate performer. Luke got the “real deal chills.” Katy is on her way to Mars, or something. The judges invite Maddy into the room. Luke jokingly yells at Maddy for not quitting her job sooner. Katy and Luke think Hunter is Top 10. Along with so many others! Hunter is done with playing it safe. – 3 yeses
Ronda Felton – One Night Only from Dreamgirls – 19 – Milwaukee WI – Unemployed – She explains that her life has been hard. She’s crying, and hesitant. Ronda was raised by a single mom. Often they were homeless. They moved around a lot. By high school, she had been in 12-15 schools. In her video package, Ronda tells Ryan that to comfort each other, they’d sing Zoom by the Commodores together. Welp. When Ronda’s tears flow in the audition room, Lionel hand her his magic hankie. I can’t imagine she’s performed in many places. Nevertheless, she has an incredible. It’s big, but she sings with finesse. She’s got a very well-developed and unique style. Her phrasing is beautiful. Papa Lionel is crying. He says that God provided a crack, just big enough for Ronda to get through. He says her life will change. Luke believes her best performances are to come. Mom comes in to the audition room for the big reveal. TEARS ALL AROUND. Of course, the two sing Zoom for Lionel. He sings along with them. You KNEW that was gonna happen. Lionel confesses that he wrote the song at a hard time in his life. “If I have touched you in anyway…that is the greatest gift ever.” – 3 yeses