American Idol 2023: Brave Olivia Soli Sings Lionel Richie’s “Hello”

American Idol 2023 Auditions 3 Olivia Soli
(ABC/Eric McCandless) OLIVIA SOLI

American Idol 2023 Audition: Brave Olivia Soli Sings Lionel Richie’s “Hello” in Front of Him

It takes a lot of guts for a singer to audition with a song by one of the judges who will decide their fate. But that’s exactly what 20 year old Olivia Soli did in her American Idol audition. The singer sat at the piano and performed her own unique rendition of the massive 80s hit, “Hello” by Lionel Richie.

Lionel looked pleased as she performed, while Katy Perry chimed in, “She’s coming for your job!” in a preview clip from Sunday’s (March 5) American Idol episode.

American Idol 2023 Auditions 3: Meet The Contestants (Photos)

After Olivia put her distinct stamp on the song, Lionel was out of his seat, clapping. “I want to be the first in your long career to rush the artist,” he gushed before giving the hopeful a huge hug. “I was praying…when people say ‘I’m going to sing your song’ please don’t sing it like us. Own it. Take it and turn it into your song,” He added, “You did it to perfection. I know who you are now as an artist.”

“Yes it’s my song,” Lionel continued. “Yes I wrote it. Yes I sang it, but it’s your song. Best so far in this audition. Congratulations.”

“I thought it was tremendous,” Luke Bryan observed. Obviously piano is holding you back.” Katy suggested Lionel should have played for her. “It was a really strong audition,” Luke continued. “One of the best I’ve seen. Awesome.”

“You were coming after me!”

“You put Lionel Richie out of a job, girl,” said Katy, to Olivia’s objections. “You were coming after me!” Lionel added, jokingly. “You really re-interpreted it,” said Katy. “You put your own spin on it. You have a tremendous voice. So many incredible runs, so much soul.”

“That’s the best compliment anybody could give me,” said an awestruck Olivia.

“You seem like you’re ready,” said Katy, “You’re worth a shot. You can take some notes. We’re probably going to push you harder than others because we know that there’s a diamond in there.” Or a “ruby,” Katy added, in a nod to Olivia’s red hair.

Each of the judges gave Olivia an enthusiastic yes. Next stop, the Hollywood Round.

American Idol 2023 Auditions 3 airs on ABC Sunday March 5 at 8 pm ET/PT.

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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!