Ophrah Kablan is a 20 year old nail tech, who aims to take the American Idol judges–Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to church with a cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Baby I Love You.” The clip below is a preview from Sunday’s (March 19) American Idol auditions 4 episode.
The singer covers the 60s classic as if she were leading a revival. “I’m trying to get y’all outta your seats today,” Ophrah declares before launching into a spirited and soulful version of the song. “Wake us up!” Katy declares. Lionel mouths the words as she sings along with piano accompaniment.
“Hallelujah,” Ophrah shouts as she finishes her confident and effortless rendition, tearing up as Lionel jumps out of his seat. The judges panel begins reacting to Ophrah as if they were a church congregation, waving their hands and shouting.
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Pianist Phredley Brown, gets in on the act, immediately launching into some church riffs as Ophrah dances around the circle. Luke sings in a southern revival style as Katy dances around the panel. The room has broken out into chaos.
Finally, Lionel says, “Please, please! The congregregation, let’s come to order,” adding “Look what you did Ophrah. You became our salvation, girl! You have brought us back to some sanity!”
Hallelujah! You’re going to Hollywood!
The three sing and shout their yesses “YOU-ah YOU-ah YOU-ah….” sings Lionel. Katy and Luke jump out of their seats, “You are going to Hollywood.”
Afterward, Ophrah says, gold ticket in hand, “I took them to church. They wasn’t ready! I love an old wooden floor, stomp your feet kinda church service, and that’s what we had on American Idol today.”
American Idol Auditions 5 episode airs on ABC, Sunday March 19 at 8 pm.