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‘American Idol’ Recap: Katy, Lionel and Luke introduce a “fourth judge” and the tears keep flowing

Kat Luna, Alejandro "Space Cowboy" Garrido
ABC/Scott Patrick Green

ABC/Scott Patrick GreenAmerican Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan were back on the prowl for the next singing sensation on Monday night’s episode, but not before they made a major announcement.

“Guys, I can’t tell you how excited I am that we’re going to have a fourth judge on the show,” Lionel began. 

Luke then took over and teased whether or not they should tell audiences before leaving it up to Katy to drop the bomb. 

“We’re having a baby!” the “Never Worn White” singer revealed as she turned to the side and cradled her baby bump. 

Now, with a growing pair of ears to help out, it’s back to business.

First up to audition is Danny La Rota, a 24-year-old from Alabama with his original rendition of Lorde‘s “Royals.” The judges seemed on the fence about La Rota’s future as they exchanged half smile glances during his performance, but they liked his range and the grittiness the voice. His rendition of the song even earned him the title of “one of the most original artists” by Katy.  

Makayla Philips made her way back to the American idol auditions after being turned down last year due to her age. Now, 17-years-old, it’s her chance to blow away the judges and that’s exactly what she does. Her cover of “When I Had You” by The Jackson 5 earned her a unanimous “Yes” ticket to Hollywood. 

23-year-old Mosean Wilson had all of Katy, Luke and Lionel in their feelings with the story of his troubled past. He was raised by his grandparents and discovered that his father was dead…Add that to the soulful audition of his original song “Slipped Away,” and cue the waterworks. “You’re what its all about,” Luke proclaimed as Lionel got up to give Mosean a hug.

Another tear-jerker comes from Kat Luna, 19, and her boyfriend Space Cowboy or Alejandro Garrido Cortes, who stunned the judges with their duet of “Shallow” from the A Star Is Born soundtrack. Not only did both parts of this adorable couple get golden tickets to the west coast, Katy raved that they could “both be in the top 10,” if they wanted. 

Sophia Wackerman‘s audition may sound familiar because American Idol released it a few days ahead of Monday night’s episode. The 20-year-old, who the judges rename Sophia Star after her late mother Naomi Star, grant her a trip to Hollywood after she sang “Water,” by Bishop Briggs and they spread the news to the other contestants who are still waiting. 

“Just want to let you know that people are really good here,” Katy said.  

Where to start? Maybe with 23-year-old Lou Dawg who didn’t even know the judges’ names. He mistook Luke for Justin Timberlake, asked if Lionel if he was from the show Wheel Of Fortune and thought Katy was the singer behind Sia‘s “Chandelier.” The 23-year-old from Hawaii did no better when it came time to impress the judges with his original song and earned a resounding “No” across board. 

29-year-old Tavia from Compton, CA tried to tackle “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor but it was her British “girl-tarist” who actually had the judges attention. Although Katy, Lionel and Luke were mesmerized by their friendship and encouraged the duo to keep performing together, Tavia won’t be joining the group in Hollywood. 

Notable Mentions
Marcus Tinsley brought along his pet pig, sang “Mine” by Bazzi and made it through to the next round. 

17-year-old Olivia Ximines, also brought along support and was able to celebrate with her dance team after singing “Language” by Tori Kelly.

Determined to forge his own path, Jimmy Levy, 21, who comes from a family of mediums, sang Tori Kelly’s “Nobody Love” A cappella and won over Katy, Lionel and Luke with his raw alt-rock voice.

Wheelchair–bound Marna Michele snagged a trip to Hollywood after some voice coaching from Katy on how to sing a line from “A Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga.

Ren Patrick, 26, closed out the show and shared that she escaped a toxic relationship and dumped her boyfriend after Katy had yelled, “Girl, dump him,” after seeing them arguing at a party. She won the praises of all three judges with her cover of “Dancing On My Own” by Calum Scott

American Idol returns next Sunday, March 15, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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