American Idol: KB Richins Had the Hollywood Arena in Tears (Video)

American Idol 2024 KB
(Disney/Eric McCandless) KB

American Idol 2024 Hollywood Arena: KB Richins brings emotion and power to her performance of ‘How Could You’

American Idol Season 22 Hollywood Week kicked off on Sunday night with a new format. which condensed the genre round and duet round into a single solo singing round titled “The Arena.” This meant the biggest cut ever occurred, going from 143 singers down to just 56. The stakes were high, but many of the contestants shown performed well under pressure, including Kaibrienne “KB” Richins, who put it all on the line with a bold song choice. (Read our Recap)

The 20 year-old singer from Henefer, Utah called the competition “intimidating” due to the level of talent there. Stating that she lacked a bit of confidence at her audition, KB decided to sing a song outside of her comfort zone. It’s one that she related to, and could have written herself. She shared, “As a little girl, I went through things that I don’t think a little girl should have to go through.” Her singing helps her cope with those things. She called the emotional song choice “risky.”

It’s fitting that KB who started to attract a following from viral YouTube videos of singing to her dad while in the car, is singing Jessie Murph’s “How Could You,” as Jessie was one of the first singers to become big off of Tik Tok. KB’s audition of “Something In The Orange” was imperfect but showed a lot of potential.

KB had the room in tears

This time around, she seemed more in command as she showed off a soulful tone with a hint of twang. Her sound is very “now.” I could hear it on the radio. As she hit the chorus, she displayed some unexpected range and a really cool rasp. Her emotion didn’t feel put-on; it felt very real as she broke down in tears, but seemingly recovered. She wrapped up the performance in a compelling fashion. This performance was engaging, and is sure to win over the Idol audience. The camera panned over to contestants who are in tears including the Platinum Ticket winners.

The rawness of KB’s sound is the first of its kind on American Idol since Season 19’s Mary Jo Young, who she is reminiscent of, slightly, but her sound is even more emotive. She seems like a potential star.

Katy Perry asked KB if she’s alright as she fought through some tears. Lionel Richie told her, “I know where you were singing from. I’m very proud of what you are doing.” Luke Bryan added, “I don’t know whoever the guy or person who hurt you, but you really channeled that in the song.” Katy said, “I’m so proud of you. Up here being so brave. Good for you.”

“I’m stronger than what happened to me”

KB shared with Ryan Seacrest that she got through her performance by thinking, “I’m stronger than what happened to me,” adding that when she returned to the audience, the girl sitting next to her told her, “I felt that,” and that’s exactly what she wanted to accomplish. She wanted others to relate to her music.

KB’s performance was one of the best of the night, but there were a few others who stood out. McKenna Faith Breinholt nailed her low notes on Adele’s “When We Were Young”, Ajii’s voice was captivating on “Simple Man,” and Kayko’s artistry continued to shine through with his original “What If,” about imposter syndrome. Honorable mentions go to Will Moseley on “Whiskey and You” and K-Blocks cover of “Valerie.” All of these contestants will be moving on to the Top 56 and the Showstopper rounds on Monday night.

As an added bonus: It appears that KB and Alyssa Raghu will fact the judges for their “final judgement” together. It looks like the two “sing off” against each other for a spot in the Top 24.

American Idol 2024 - KB Richens, Alyssa Raghu
(Disney/Eric McCandless) KB, ALYSSA RAGHU
About Blake Busch 255 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.