American Idol 2023 Recap Auditions 2: Season 21 VIDEOS

Nutsa American Idol 2023 Recap Auditions 2
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American Idol 2023 Recap Auditions 2 – We’re Live Blogging More Season 21 Performances!

American Idol 2023 Recap Auditions 2 – Season 21 continues tonight with MORE auditions from Las Vegas, New Orleans 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? Or better yet, will a hopeful earn a Platinum Ticket!

American Idol 2023: Full Season 21 Schedule
American Idol 2023 Auditions 2: Meet The Contestants (Photos)
American Idol 2023 Spoilers: Top 26 Season 21 Contestant List
American Idol 2023 Top 55 Contestants Guide (Videos, Photos)

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

Caroline Kole -25 – Nashville TN – Firework by Katy Perry

She works as a social media manager, and has been living in Nashville for the past 10 years. She talks about a bunch of “almosts” in the industry. Fun fact: She competed on Season 2 of Songland for the Ben Platt episode. Her song “Fools Gold” made round 2 where she polished it with Shane McAnally. Ultimately, her song wasn’t chosen the winner.

Nervy! Caroline covers Katy’s “Firework.” It’s not the greatest pick. Even Katy says it’s a hard song to sing! Caroline misses the high note and has pitchy moments. Her guitar work is unremarkable. At one point, though, Katy begins to sing harmony.

Despite the whiffy note, Katy thought the song paid off. Luke thinks she’s missing the mark on some of the delivery, but has all the tools. Lionel likes the smokey quality of her voice. Katy thinks she could be Top 24, but she’ll have to work. Not based on that audition.

3 yeses

Jon Wayne Hatfield – 21 – Goshen Ohio – Tell Me Ray (Original)

ABC previewed Jon’s touching audition last week. The singer’s grandparents raised him as his mother struggled with drug addiction. But ultimately, he had a happy childhood. Sadly, his grandmother died three years ago. Afterward, his grandfather, Ray, stopped communicating with John. It turned out he had a big secret. His grandmother knew and accepted it. But Jon was the last to know that his grandfather was gay. When Ray finally shared his secret with grandson, Jon simply said, “Don’t think that changes a damn thing, because you are my best friend and my dad.”

Jon wrote his audition song for his grandfather, Ray, who joins him in the audition toom In the acoustic, Americana styled song titled “Tell Me Ray,” Jon asks his grandfather to “tell me your fears” and asks “why did you wait so long, to tell me what was wrong, tell me Ray.” The chorus goes, “If I knew what was wrong, I could help you move on.” It’s a well constructed and touching story that Jon tells. The judges give him a standing ovation.

“What I love about being a part of this show is people come in and bare their souls in front of us, and people at home that may be dealing with the same stuff get to realize they are not alone,” Luke says. “What you shared with us today is so authentic, so beautiful,” says Katy adding, “You’re a songwriter. You’ve got a story to tell.”

3 yeses

Ashley Tankard – 23 – Durham NC – You Broke Me First by Tate McRae

Ashley tells producers during her Zoom audition that she’s been auditioning for the show since age 15, and got as many nos. But finally, she’ll be auditioning in front of the judges. She can’t believe it. She was very shy growing up, Ashley shares, but singing helped her come out of her shell.

She’s completely star struck, very excitable and obviously nervous in front of the judges. She has an interesting tone and is very passionate. But she has some issues with pitch and timing. Calm down honey!

Katy liked the song choice, but gives her tips on how to enunciate better. When Ashley sped up, her enunciation became garbled. When she sang the again after Katy’s tips, it was better. Lionel admits that he was terrified when he first performed. Luke loves her tones, but notes her loss of control at times. The judges vote is split. Katy wants to give her a chance. Luke says no. CLIFFHANGER COMMERCIAL before we hear from Lionel. He draws it out, and after Katy goes to bat for her, he says yes. She’s through to Hollywood

Katy and Lionel say yes, Luke says no

Cody Winkler – 25 – Marion Texas – Under a Neon Halo by Bill Green

Cody is a full time truck driver who farms and raises cattle on the side. He’s only been singing seriously for about two years.

He decides to sing acapella to “concentrate on my voice.” But unfortunately, he’s woefully pitchy and obviously unexperienced. He could have used guitar or piano accompaniment. As such, Luke gets up to play guitar for him. They sing “Give Me a Bottle” together. Cody is still off key. American Idol still putting singers through for laughs!

Katy calls him authentic, but suggests he practice more. Lionel compares him to Willie Nelson. Uhm. Nope. Lionel inexplicably says yes, Katy and Luke say no.

Katy and Luke says no, Lionel says yes

Matt Wilson – 21 – Buffalo NY – For Tonight by Giveon

ABC previewed this audition a few days ago. Matt is a teacher’s aid at a daycare center. He loves his job and hopes to set a good example for the kids. Matt competed in the American Music Awards Platinum Ticket contest, where fans saw a short clip of him singing. Matt and fellow competitor Haven Madison ultimately lost to winner Elijah McCormick. The singer shares that his supportive wife, Melisa, accompanied him, and encouraged him to audition for the show. She helped him deal with a confidence crisis.

Matt sings “For Tonight” by Giveon displaying a smooth R&B tenor. It’s not a perfect performance. He’s got some breath issues. But his tone is pretty and his delivery sincere. Cut to Melisa outside the doors listening anxiously.

The judges give Matt a standing ovation. “You have a purity and a believability,” says Lionel. “I just love the fact that it’s genuine.” Katy adds, “Tone, tone tone. It cuts through. It sounds like it’s already mixed and mastered.” “That was one of the most genuine, honest, real performances I’ve ever witnessed,” says Luke. The judges ask Matt to bring in his wife. Melisa reveals that she was in middle school the first time she heard Matt sing! The judges give him 3 yeses.

3 yeses

Kaylin Hedges – 15 – New York NY – I’m Already There by Lonestar – Platinum Ticket Winner

She grew up singing at county fairs. Her dad deployed in the military so that Kaylin could move to New York. I’m not sure how that works? He’s missed her birthday 9 years in a row. You all know what’s coming next.

She’s obviously been in NYC working on her craft. She sings like a pro. She has a beautiful tone and thick vibrato. The song is about a dad who is away, but sends his. It’s obviously emotional for her. The verse lacked dynamics, but she soars on the chorus. Lots of potential there.

Luke thought she was using falsetto a lot, but then her big notes came out. The judges have dad on video, sharing that he loves her. “Take a look around” he ends the message. TA DA. There he is. Who didn’t see that coming? Still, it’s a very touching reunion. It’s a surprise for mom too!

OH HECK. Not only does Kaylin get a big reunion with her dad, but nabs Nashville’s Platinum Ticket.

Aiden Adair – 19 – Clover SC – Break My Heart Again by Finneas

Inexplicably, the judges are singing Carole King’s “You’ve got a Friend” as Aiden walks into the room. As if the poor kid isn’t nervous enough. He works in a pizza shop. He admits that he’s completely out of his comfort zone.

He has a nice tone, but his affect is kind of flat. He’s not sure how to use his voice yet. He’s obviously inexperienced. Katy asks him to sing “Let it Go.” Katy and Lionel join him on the seal to help. Luke urges him to “dig in.” He loosens up a little. What’s funny, the dude has almost 400K followers on Tik Tok and 2 million likes, which he does not mention. It’s likely he’s done most of his singing in his bedroom.

The judges think he improved a lot in only 5 minutes, so they say yes to Hollywood.

3 yeses.

McKayla Stacey – 16 – Wichita KS – She Used to Be Mine by Sara Bareilles

Dang, the feels are coming up. It seems like only yesterday, when I hung out backstage at American Idol Live in Manchester, NH with the Season 6 Top 10 in 2007. Contestant Phil Stacey had a bitty baby in his arms. And now here she is, auditioning for American Idol. It’s the ultimate full circle moment.

Phil, a Top 6 finalist, missed McKayla’s birth as he auditioned for Idol. “I was actually born into American Idol,” McKayla says. Her mom went into labor the morning of her audition. The episode literally ended with Phil finally making it to the hospital to meet his daughter. Paula Abdul shows up on video to reminisce on the past. “I can’t wait to hear your sing,” says Paula.

Phillip accompanies her performance. She has a really pretty tone. She’ll be even better when she’s older, but she has potential. Phil is also a really good singer.

Lionel advises that she “think when she sings” and not break character. Katy notes the inexperience “You got to make a meal out of the first part.” Luke thought the chorus was good. Luke says no. Katy and Lionel says yes. Hey, Phil got a split decision too!

Katy and Lionel say yes, Luke says no

Next, it’s a montage of international contestants including 20 year old Alessandra Aguirre from Lima Peru, 16 year old Stefan Benz from Centurion South Africa and 28 year old Jeverson from Grenada. All three are headed to Hollywood.

Nutsa – 25 – Georgia – Lady Marmalade by Labelle, Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston

Nutsa Buzaladze is a singing show pro from the COUNTRY of Georgia. She won New Wave in 2014 and Albanian competition Kenga Magjike in 2021. She also has competed on The Voice of Turkey, Georgia’s Got Talent, X Factor Georgia, All Together Now Russia, and more. American Idol has been her goal for 8 years. Luke jokes “Me too” when Nutsa says she’s from Georgia. Ha ha. She currently lives in Dubai.

She sings in a big theatrical voice in a style that’s really popular where she comes from. She’s very expressive when she sings, like she’s acting in a Broadway show. She’s exactly the kind of singer fans vote out early. She’s very enthusiastic.

“There’s a voice in there,” oberserves Katy, but calls her performance “too hot.” She asks for another song and suggests she not oversing this time. She’s better once she’s calmed down. But, she’s still kind of old fashioned. Lionel thinks she “nailed it.” Katy advises her to “be real.” Nutsa gets 3 yeses. Luke calls her the “J lo from Georgia.”

3 yeses

Next, 26 year old Madison Neisus shouts her way through Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” accompanying herself on electric guitar. Katy is totally rocking out, so hard, a hair extension falls out. Oops. Luke tries it on and sings Achy Breaky Heart with Madison’s guitar. Then, Katy gives Lionel a mullet. Who even knows if Madison advanced to Hollywood or not!

Trey Louis – 21 – Santa Fe Texas – Stone by Whiskey Meyers

Trey is a mattress salesman born and raised in Santa Fe Texas. Despite being an affable dude with a mullet, the singer has a dark story to tell.

The young singer has a strong and compelling voice, made for country music. He’s forceful and passionate, which belies his easy going personality. His stage presence could use some work. But he’s got raw talent.

“You got the perfect voice,” says Luke, who compares him to Chris Stapleton. When the judges ask why Trey auditioned for American Idol, he shares a terrible story. In May 2018 a gunman walked into Trey’s school. Trey was hiding in a classroom the gunman entered. “I lost a lot of friends” Trey said. Eight students and two teachers were killed.

Luke says he let his performance come out of his heart. “That’s what we love around here.” Katy puts her head on the desk, looks up and shouts “Our country has failed us. This is not OK.” She proceeds to have a real meltdown. “Somethings got to change,” she says. “Facts,” Trey replies. Lionel also begins to tear up. The judges all say yes. “You’re perfect,” says Luke, choked up.That…was a lot.

3 yeses

About mj santilli 34829 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!