American Idol Super Early Preview: Returnees, The Voice Contestants, and more!
The landmark American Idol season 20 will premiere on ABC on Sunday Feb. 27. But contestants have been advancing through audition rounds for months. After virtual tryouts took place this summer, the judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan auditioned singers in Austin, Los Angeles and Nashville.
The singers who made the judges round cut moved on to Hollywood Week, which took place in early December. Fifty-nine contestants emerged from Hollywood to perform in a Showcase Round in front of a live studio audience. The judges/producers will further whittle those contestants down to a group of semi-finalists.
While all this went on, super-sleuths were checking out the new talent, which allows us to present to fans an American Idol SUPER EARLY PREVIEW that includes returnees, The Voice Contestants and more.
Idol Returnees & Idol Alum Progeny
Zareh Isa – Zareh also known as Zaza is a 21-year-old stylist from Los Angeles. Why am I mentioning her? Her mother is Season 4 8th place finisher Nadia Turner. There are no singing clips of her online, but if she is as talented as her mom, I bet she will impress. – Instagram.
Jacob Moran – Jacob, a singing nurse from Dansville, Michigan, was on Season 17 of American Idol when he was 24. His audition of Ariana Grande’s “Into You” had the judges gushing over him calling him the best voice they had heard in Kentucky. Three years later, he is now 27. He is a great technical singer, who has a big voice with range suited well for taking on female divas.
Other notable returnees are Jade Flores (Season 17) and Abby LeBaron (Season 19) Both were fan favorites. Jade is a country singer and Abby is an indie pop vocalist. They both were cut during Hollywood week in their respective easons. Abby wowed during her audition of “All I Want,” but the judges thought she needed more confidence. She wasn’t shown again. Jade was cut during group rounds after turning in one of the best Hollywood performances in recent years of “Unchained Melody.” Both are looking for redemption this time around.
There She Is…Miss America!
Betty Maxwell – She was Miss America 2016 (as Betty Cantrell, now married) hailing from Georgia. The 27-year-old posted a Tik Tok video a few months back, saying she had made it to the celebrity judge round after producers reached out ot her. The 27-year-old, now of Jupiter, Florida, also had a few viral impressions videos. After winning Miss America, she pursued a country career in Nashville, but now it appears as if she isn’t doing much country as most of her covers are either theatre based or pop songs. Watch: Impressions performance.
Semifinalists from The Voice, America’s Got Talent
Allegra Miles – She was on The Voice Season 18, the season that went virtual, so it is great to see her back with a chance to be fully showcased. Miles, now 18-years-old, from South Florida, made it all the way to Semifinals on The Voice as a member of the inaugural Team Nick Jonas. She wowed with her singer-songwriter vibes and became a fan favorite. Watch her blind audition where she absolutely slays “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon on the piano. Idol fits her more as she is a true artist, so I expect her to wow.
Christian Guardino – Christian is a singer similar to style as Jacob Moran, singing mostly pop and soul ballads. He first appeared in “Showtime at the Apollo” in 2016 and then appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2017 at age 16 (now 21) auditioning with “Who’s Loving You.” He received the Golden Buzzer from judge Howie Mandel and made it all the way to the semifinals.
Yoli Mayor – She made the America’s Got Talent semifinals on the same season as Jacob at age 21 (now 26). Her audition is memorable as Simon made her stop, stripped her of her “old-fashioned” style, and then allowing her to wow with “Make It Rain”. The Miami soul singer looks to make it far on Idol this season. It’ll be fun to see her growth.
More The Voice returnees
Mike Parker – At 23, Mike was a member of Team Jennifer Hudson on Season 15 of The Voice. His style was a mixture of pop and R&B. He got a last-minute turn performing “So Sick” but was later eliminated with a performance of “Breakeven” in the Knockouts.
Jordan Chase Torrez – Jordan is a mixture of soul and country, auditioning for The Voice at age 19 on Season 17 with Drake White’s “Makin’ Me Look Good Again.” He was on Team Blake Shelton and got cut in a montage battle. Hopefully, he sees more screen time on Idol.
The MOST Viral star
Tyler Allen – Tyler is a viral gospel singer. This video of him went viral amassing over 12 million views. He is a preacher, writer, and actor according to his socials. This season appears to have a number of soulful singers. Tyler is one that should stand out. – See the Viral Moment on Facebook.
Others who are notable that you may see on this season are pop vocalist Kendra Checketts (The Voice 16 Playoffs), country singer Rebecca Howell Thomason (The Voice 16 Playoffs), Delaney Renee Wilson (Viral Babysitter Singer) & Manda Malina (X Factor Sweden 7th Place as Manda Nilsenius).
Delaney Renee (3.3 million Tik Tok viral video): WATCH
Manda Malina X Factor appearance:
If you want to know how far some of these people went, check out the spoilers for the Top 59 (58 have been revealed). Keep this thread spoiler free. This season looks to be fun with several past competition stars and new raw talent that Idol has become known for.
It does seem like the show is pushing country a bit more after the last few seasons having a bit less country even if we ended up with a country winner from a technical standpoint (he didn’t really sing straight up country on the show). Also, through an early look, there’s a decent amount of gospel/r&b singers too. The country singers may be due to Gabby’s success and their strong backing of Chayce. Keep an eye out for promos and other news and tune in on February 27th for the premiere.