American Idol 2023 Recap Auditions 5: Season 21 VIDEOS

Kaya Stewart, Dave Stewart - American Idol 2023

American Idol 2023 Recap Auditions 5 – We’re Live Blogging the FINAL Season 21 Auditions

American Idol 2023 Recap Auditions 5 – Season 21 continues tonight with the LAST of the 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 5: Meet The Contestants (Photos)
American Idol 2023 Spoilers: Top 26 Season 21 Contestant List
American Idol 2023 Spoilers Showcase Round Contestant and SONG 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.

Kaeyra – 21 – Algonquin IL – Cold by Chris Stapleton

ABC previewed Kaeyra’s audition a few days ago. The singer explains that her parents are Polish immigrants. Kaeya works at a restaurant singing covers. Mom, a piano teacher, is with her today. She sings a torchy pop version of Chris Stapleton’s “Cold.” Kaeyra previously auditioned for America’s Got Talent in 2018 and has recorded a couple of songs with Postmodern Jukebox.

Her beautiful deep tone is mesmerizing. Rearranging cover songs seems to be her thing. Luke says, “You don’t sound like anybody else.” For some reason, Katy is dissatisfied with Kaeyra’s beautiful piano ballad and wants her to sing an uptempo song. Lionel is impressed with her range and potential. All three judges say yes, sending Kaeyra to Hollywood. Kaeyra promises to go uptempo in the next round.

3 yeses

Elise Kristine – 18 – Issaquah WA – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Elise explains that she has not sung since she was 3 years old. She has a good tone, but her phrasing is a little weird. She’s shouty and could use more dynamics in her delivery. But really? She hasn’t sung since she was 3 years old? Katy calls her the next big thing.

3 yeses

Sarah Mac – 24 – Carrollton GA – Stone Cold by Demi Lovato

Sarah performs with her boyfriend in a band. Her voice is big. Her boyfriend (?) is accompanying her on guitar. Besides some pitch problems, she sings like a pro.

3 yeses

Jayna Elise – 22 – Washington DC – Who Wants to Live Forever by Queen

After graduating from high school, Jayna joined her grandfather’s band. She’s a soulful singer, but attacks the song like a pop singer with a few jazz flourishes. She has to ditch those nerves though. Some interesting phrasing happening here.

3 yeses

Nate Peck – 21 – Linden MI – Lightning Strikes Again by Dokken

Nate is a big fan of 80s hair bands. Some of his favorites are Great White (NOPE) and Ratt. He’s here to bring back the era. He namechecks “Gen Xers” a few times. Probably dedicating the music to his parents! One of the Idol band members accompanies him on electric guitar. His sturdy vocals evoke the era pretty well. He’s no James Durbin, but not bad.

The judges aren’t taking him very seriously. Luke joins him in the circle and they sing “Here I Go Again” together. Katy jumps on the piano like a Sunset Boulevard babe. Now, they are just kind of mocking him. But later, Nate calls all the “shenanigans” wonderful. Katy wonders if he’s more than a funny gimmick. He admits that he does not listen to new music. And they actually say yes.

3 yeses

Mikenley Brown -17 – New Castle IN – Love on the Brain by Rihanna

Mikenley describes her dad as her “best friend.” He’s along to play guitar. She explains that she’s been through a lot. During middle school, kids bullied her and she developed an eating disorder. Her body began failing putting her in and out of the hospital. She’s since recovered, accepts herself and is pursuing a career in music.

Her voice is mature and soulful, and her phrasing deft. She also has a lovely lower range and a natural sense of timing. She’s good! Dad is very proud.

The judges give her a standing ovation. “You just got a thing,” Luke observes, “It just comes out of you.” Katy says, about her recovery, “Now the house will be built correctly.” Lionel thinks she has style. Three very easy yesses. “I say Top 24,” says Katy.

3 yeses

Isaac Brown – 21 – Los Angeles CA – Golden Hour by JVKE, Essence by WizKid

He lives with his mom in LA and busks on the street. His personality is bigger than his vocals. His voice is kind of soft, but he makes the most of it. He’s expressive. That smile is something. Katy wants “entertainment” so he segues into something more upbeat, which allows him to use the stage. Again. Not a spectacular voice, but he’s got charisma.

“Finally we get some sauce in New Orleans,” says Katy. Lionel calls him a great entertainer. Luke thinks his voice needs work, but has a “crazy” amount of potential. “You’re fun,” says Katy. “But I think you need to capture more emotion,” she says. 3 yeses from the judges.

3 yeses

Laine Hardy (!!!) and Laci Kaye Booth pay a visit

Hoo boy. Look who is visiting the judges. It’s Season 17 winner Laine Hardy and Top 4 finalist Laci Kaye Booth. So does that mean Laine is no longer cancelled? The singer was ARRESTED last year a few days before the “Great Idol Reunion” special. His ex-girlfriend caught him wiretapping her. Pretty creepy stuff. Anyway, it was too late to edit him entirely out of the special, still, the show pulled down photos and videos of Laine’s appearance. But here he is, returning like the prodigal son. A couple of hopefuls share how they both inspired them.

Cam Amen – 27 – Omaha NE – Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen – PLATINUM TICKET WINNER

Cam went in and out of foster care growing up after he and his siblings got taken away from his mother. At 18, he took in his younger siblings. For five years, he raised them.

His take on the oft-covered “Hallelujah” is almost conversational. His interpretation is emotional and raw. The judges are visibly moved. His phrasing is beautiful. At the end, he’s so emotional, the judges get up to give him a group hug.

Luke calls his style “beautifully unique.” Lionel says, “Divine guidance brought you to us. We’re going to have one heck of a ride.” Cam brings in his girlfriend. The judges want her there to witness him being awarded a Platinum Ticket, which allows him to sit out the first round of Hollywood.

3 yeses with a Platinum Ticket.

Next is a montage of jokey contestants. Somebody brought puppets. She’s on the wrong show. America’s Got Talent is THATAWAY.

Sierra Harris – 20 – Lexington MA – Barracuda by Heart, Firework by Katy Perry

She’s passing herself off like a trailer park gal. But Lexington is a VERY tony town. So I kinda doubt that her family is as trashy as she says they are.

Right off the bat, she’s underpitch. Heart songs are difficult to sing. But the second half of the song is better than the first. The fake spoon microphone is kind of a weird touch. Katy asks her to sing her song “Firework.” She pulls off the high notes. Luke warns her to get serious. Lionel says she doesn’t need gimmicks. “Your voice is not your party trick,” warns Katy. The judges are on the fence, but they all give her a yes.

3 yeses

Phil Kane – 18 – Pawhuska OK – Osage County (Original)

ABC previewed this audition a few days ago. Phil is studying songwriting at Belmont University in Tennessee. The young artist shares that he writes about “dirt roads, girls…” His voice trails off. His song will be self-explanatory, he adds, when he sings it for judges.

He performs his original, “Osage County” while accompanying himself on piano. He performs with a distracting facial tick, and his vocal pitch could use some work. But his singing is raw. The song isn’t some shallow bro country number. It’s a heartfelt and earnest ballad–an ode to small town life. The singer is conflicted. It’s time to leave Osage County behind, but knows that he will miss the simplicity of country life.

The judges give Phil’s performance a standing ovation. Luke calls him a “country Jackson Brown,” adding “You got it done there, big boy!”

“You check all the boxes, your parallels were perfect, your hook was perfect, your storytelling voice was perfect,” Lionel says of his songwriting ability. Katy advises Phil to remain true to himself if he advances to the Hollywood round. “Don’t try and compete with everyone else. Just try to highlight who you already are. Don’t try to be something you’re not.”

3 yeses

Brooklyn From Brooklyn – 21 – Brooklyn NY – I’m Still Standing by Elton John

We join Brooklyn midsong as she tunelessly makes her way through the Elton John classic. Lionel points out rightly that she is a better musician (she is a very good piano player) than vocalist. Katy agrees with Lionel. They suggest she work on her vocals and come back and audition again. However, her place in music may be in a band playing keys and singing background vocals.

3 nos

Fire Willmore – 22 – Lawton OK – Love in the Dark by Adele

She’s back! Fire Willmore, who auditioned in Las Vegas last week did what the judges suggested. She returned a month later to sing again in Nashville. In the meantime, she got a glow up–new clothes and a sleek new hairstyle. Fire shared her story last time: She’s a single mom, aspiring singer who works as a stripper to make ends meet. She tells Ryan that she’s been practicing all month.

This time, Fire chooses a more emotional song. And she leaves her young daughter at home, allowing her to focus 100 percent on her audition. She was good enough last time to get a ticket to Hollywood. It feels like manufactured drama to bring her back. She’s not really better than last time. But at this point, they HAVE to give her a ticket, right?

Lionel compliments her tone, but he’s still not sure. Luke agrees with Lionel. But he’s impressed that she came back. He thinks she can be pushed. Katy thinks something about her shifted. This time, she gets 3 yeses.

3 yeses

Kaya Stewart – 22 – West Hollywood CA – This Tattoo (Original)

Kaya brings her father Dave to accompany her on guitar. YES. He is THAT Dave Stewart, of the iconic 80s duo Eurythmics. Lionel recognizes him right away. Fun Fact: Idol creator Simon Fuller managed Dave’s Eurythmics partner, Annie Lennox, for years. Maybe he still does? Lionel and the Eurythmics were inducted into the Rock Hall together.

She’s singing a song she wrote with her dad. She chose to audition for American Idol because it’s the show that allows artists to sing their own songs. Her tone is really pretty, and she seems comfortable on stage. Being a nepo baby pays off. The song is solid. I mean, her dad co-wrote it!

The judges give her a standing ovation. Dad is very nervous! Lionel says, “You slayed it.” He loves her tone and calls her an artist. Luke compliments her stage presence. Katy likes how she flips into her head voice. She promises to go hard with the critiques.

3 yeses

Oliver Steele – 25 – Mt Juliet TN – In My LIfe by The Beatles, Change the World by Eric Clapton

His father was a professional guitar player, singer and songwriter. But, he had a stroke that affected the left side of his body. “I remember feeling very powerless,” says Oliver

Oliver’s voice is bluesy, with a ton of character. He’s very soulful and authentic. He reminds me a little of season 9 winner, Lee DeWyze. Dad is with him. He’s in a wheelchair and uses a cane to walk.

Katy thinks he lost focus during his audition, but compliments his voice. “Keep milking it!” When Lionel mentions his dad, Oliver breaks down into tears. Father and son hug. There are more tears. “If I had it my way, He’d play for me” Oliver says before serenading his dad with his second song “Change the World.” He’s more focused and intense singing to dad. There’s is obviously a very strong bond between father and son. Dad asks the judges to sing along. Oh. Dad has the use of his arm. That’s good. (I know all about dads and strokes. It’s personal. This one got me good).

About mj santilli 34997 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!