American Idol 2022 Recap: Season 20 Auditions 2 (Video)

(ABC/Eric McCandless) LADY K

American Idol 2022 Recap – Season 20 Auditions 2

The landmark American Idol season 20 continues tonight with week 2 auditions from Austin, Los Angeles and Nashville. Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan along with host Ryan Seacrest will introduce a new crop young hopefuls. Who will snag that golden ticket to Hollywood?

In a new twist, one contestant from each city will be awarded the supercharged Platinum Ticket, which allows the artist to sit out the first round of Hollywood Week. ONE hopeful will receive the Platinum Ticket tonight

American Idol 2022 Auditions 2: Meet The Contestants (Photos)
Spoilers: Top 24 Season 20 Contestant List
What Did Top 24 Sing in Hawaii? (Spoilers)
Showcase Contestant List and Song Choices (Spoilers)

Reminder: Comments on this post are a SPOILER FREE ZONE. Do not spoil outcomes. Keep spoiler discussion confined to specific spoiler posts.

The show kicks off with Luke Bryan driving Katy and Lionel around his “hometown” Nashville (AKSHUALLY Luke is from Leesburg, Georgia, same as Season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips). 

BETTY (Maxwell) – 27 – Warner Robins GA

A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson – Betty Maxwell won Miss America in 2016. For reals. Now here she is on American Idol. Looking back on the pageant, she didn’t believe she’d win until it happened. A bunch of things went wrong. For instance, she sang opera for the talent portion, but vocal issued plagued here. Betty brings THE crown to show off to the panel. She warns that nobody can try it on! But Katy want to, so bad. 

Fittingly, the pageant queen sings the OG coronation song, “A Moment Like This.” It’s pretty underwhelming. She hits a few clunkers. If she’s serious, she should sing a contemporary song. Katy asks her to sing country music, so she croons Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel.” She should have performed that song to begin with. Luke says she doesn’t sing like a “pageant girl.” Hm. Really? Lionel thinks she needs to find a style. Betty tears up, hoping she can prove herself beyond Miss America – 3 yeses

Leah Marlene – 20 – Normal IL

Steal My Girl by One Direction – American Idol previewed this audition a few days ago. Leah enters the audition room and she’s FULL of ENTHUSIASM. The judges are impressed. Her dad is also a musician, so she grew up around music. She sings a jazzy acoustic arrangement of the 1D favorite. She’s got some guitar chops, for sure. Leah attended Belmont University for a couple of years, but dropped out. Katy calls her voice “tremendous” and asks for an original song. She performs “Wish Her to the Well,” written with two Belmont pals. She’s a serious songwriter! After the performance, Katy compares her to Catie Turner from season 16. Both are super weird, she says. Leah takes that as a compliment. Lionel finds her confidence refreshing. Luke appreciates her unpredictability. 

Mike Parker – 27 – Warrenton VA

Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter  – You may recognize Mike. He competed on The Voice season 15 as part of Team Jennifer Hudson. He left the competition after the Knockouts. His parents were both in a band, and were a big deal in town. Right now, his mom is sick. She might have Leukemia. A reminder that this audition was filmed months ago. Hope she’s OK. He feels guilty being away from his mom right now. But she’s rooting for him.

“Strawberry Wine” is a country classic. But Mike performs a beautiful R&B version of the song. It’s like hearing it for the first time. Luke says he should stay silky in his delivery. “I think you’re a country singer,” says Luke. Katy is sure he could make the Top 24. Lionel suggests not leaning into runs and riffs. He compliments the “cry” in his voice. He gets up to give him a hug and tell him that he doesn’t need to stay in a box. The judges are trying to convince him to go country. But Mike calls himself an R&B singer who loves country. Perhaps that’s how he sees himself, and the judges should step off. – 3 yeses

Kelsie Dolin – 18 – Boone County West VA

Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson – She describes Boone County as “the boondocks.” She says “there ain’t nothin’ there.” Her grandparents raised her, after her sister was born addicted to opiates. Her grandmother recently passed away from Covid, and always wanted her to do something with her voice. Now she is. Her grandfather is in a wheelchair.

She’s very nervous and raw. She’s probably seen a lot in her short life. Her tone is interesting, but she needs more experience. She confesses that she’s never performed in front of people before. Next she sings Adele’s “When You Were Young.” Katy tries to coax her out of her shell. She comes alive at one point, and Lionel wipes away tears. Luke says they are overcome because she’s so pure. “You’re worth it,” says Katy. But “We know there’s more there.” They send her to Hollywood, But really, she’s not ready yet – 3 yeses.

Next, it’s a silly bit with Katy singing about Queso as Luke plays piano. Oh look. American Idol thinks #TheQuesoSong is actually going to go viral. OK then. Apparently. Lionel never snacks.

Skylie Thompson – 17 – Cyril OK

Oklahoma City by Zac Brown – She tells the familiar story of growing up watching American Idol “all the time.” Home movies depict her American Idol themed 5th birthday party. As Skylie muses, a montage of famous Idol stars flashes across the screen: Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Lauren Daigle, Adam Lambert, Jennifer Hudson, Gabby Barrett, Alejandro Aranda and Chayce Beckham. She describes herself as a country singer. But she’ll be singing a song she wrote with dad titled “Buckle Bunny.” He’s there to accompany her on guitar.

It’s a clever song, and she sings with a credible retro country vibe, although she’s a little flat.  Next, she sings Oklahoma City by Zac Brown Band. Dad does harmonies. Katy thinks her second vocal was stronger (It was!) Skylie confesses being nervous singing her original. Luke and Lionel agree that she dropped notes, especially at the end. Lionel loves her personality, though. Katy says no, calling her “undercooked.” Lionel agrees. She needs more experience, he says. She’s crying. Dad jumps in to say she’s raw but good! He’s shocked they said no. Luke gives her a yes, but he agrees with Katy and Lionel. Aw. Sad. But the coaches were correct. If she comes back improved next year, she could make a comeback. Or maybe The Voice will take her!

Luke Taylor – 24 – West Chester PA

Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash – Fun fact: Luke played a “carpenter” on the FOX musical game show I Can See Your Voice, and managed to stump everybody. He talks about his LOW VOICE. We did this already with Scotty McCreery in 2011? The panel is all WHOA over his voice. Luke shows off his “movie trailer” voice. Impressed, the judges encourage him to pursue voice over work.

And they may have a point because his singing is…not great. His lower range is crazy low. But so what? His voice wanders around the notes unpleasantly. I wonder if he has any range? He’d be great singing bass in an acapella group though. Luke asks him to sing “Frosty the Snowman” like Burl Ives. He has no vibrato, which is part of the problem. It’s a lot of…bellowing. Katy wants more musical notes. Exactly. Katy says no (CORRECT) Luke and Lionel say yes – 1 no 2 yeses

Kenedi Anderson – 17 – Crozet VA 

Applause by Lady Gaga – OK MAJOR PIMPAGE of this girl before the last commercial break. In her video package, Kenedi describes moving around a lot because her dad is in “the football industry.” She says, “It can get pretty lonely.” She’s one of six kids, and that helps. She accompanies herself on the white piano. The judges are smiling big. She’s got a clear, commercial sounding voice with a huge range. And what’s more she is GORGEOUS. The FULL PACKAGE as singing show judges say.

Katy is literally gushing “I’M A KENI CAT” and “I’M FEELING THREATENED.” She’s kidding. Probably. Luke calls her a “five star recruit.” The judges can’t stop gushing. “You’ve answered our prayers.” Luke calls her the biggest star, top 10. Their heads are about to explode. CALM DOWN GEEZ. And unsurprisingly, they hand her the Los Angeles PLATINUM TICKET. – 3 yeses and a Platinum Ticket

Watch out! Joke contestants dead ahead! 

Isaiah Jaay – 25 – Music Teacher. A music teacher who can’t sing in tune. Wow. I’m impressed. Kaitlyn Rose – 17 – Upland CA – She’s an aspiring entertainment mogul. She brings a weird dance entourage with her. Kurtis Bell – 25 – Dallas TX – This kid doesn’t warrant mockery, though. He sings a 50s boogie woogie version of “I Feel Good” on the piano. It’s not a great fit for Idol, but he’s a decent musician. 3 nos

Aaron Westberry – 20 – Greer, SC

2016 by Sam HuntAmerican Idol dropped Aaron’s audition on Saturday. He has no experience singing in front of people. Right now, he’s stocking shelves at a local grocery store. His video package edit makes him look like a space cadet with no personality. He accompanies himself on guitar, and has a beautiful tone, but it lacks variation. He needs a little more oomph. A million young guys on Tik Tok sound like this now.

Luke calls his tone “heartbreak.” Katy says, “You’re really good, your voice makes us melt.” She doesn’t think he needs range. Lionel tries to pull some passion out of him, calling it key. “You may be one of the most limited singers we’ve sent to Hollywood,” says Luke. But he compares Aaron to James Taylor, whom Aaron doesn’t know (!!!) Luke compares his voice to Melatonin. If he ramps it up, he could be great, the judges all agree – 3 yeses

Allegra Miles – 18 – St. John. Virgin Islands

Allegra competed on The Voice season 18 as a member of Team Nick Jonas. The singer left the competition at the semi-finals. She performs sitting at the piano. Her tone is so pretty. The judges gush over her artistry, as she sings an original song titled “Tainted.” They are so excited. Why do we only get a glimpse of her audition? Well, the producers did the same to season 16 winner Maddie Poppe, so.

Christian Guardino – 21 – Long Island NY

A Song for You by Donny Hathaway – And tonight’s 3rd singing show alum is Christian. He is an America’s Got Talent alum who got Howie Mandel’s golden buzzer in 2017 at age 16. ‘I’m one year older than American Idol,” Christian declares. His mom is outside waiting for him as he auditions. Christian is very soulful, but he sings LOUD. His phrasing lacks finesse, and character and subtlety. Plz stop yelling at me. But the judges are very, very impressed. They bring mom inside. She loves Lionel. Luke says to mom that Christian is “touched by the man upstairs.” He calls him a natural. Lionel says, “That kid is fabulous.” Katy says, “Voice of gold, heart of gold and this ticket is made of gold.” – 3 yeses

Lady K – 25 – Tuskegee Alabama

Wide Awake by Katy Perry – Lady K hands out gifts to the judges. But they can’t open them up yet. She grew up in Mobile with a young single mother and 4 siblings. They lived in a shelter for awhile. She breaks down as she shares that one of her brothers committed suicide. Rough, rough childhood. As the oldest sibling, she wants to make sure the rest of her family stays safe. She’s auditioning for American Idol to honor her late brother.

It’s a surprising and risky song choice. Nevertheless, she’s a pop singer with an R&B flair and delivers a moving rendition. This gal is going to get a glow up this season. Watch for it. She could make pop records right now. What a beautiful. soulful tone. Lady is a big Katy fan. Her songs got her through. “It’s like you reinvented the song…your heart shines through your vocal chords,” replies Katy. Luke calls it “magic.” Lionel is proud that she lives in his hometown now. The gifts were lovely notes written on greeting cards. So sweet. – 3 yeses

The show ends with 20th season celebrating fireworks.


About mj santilli 34550 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!