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‘American Idol’ recap: You get a ticket, you get a ticket, everyone gets a ticket to Hollywood

ABC/Scott Patrick Green

ABC/Scott Patrick GreenAnother Sunday, another episode of American Idol.

Katy PerryLionel Richie and Luke Bryan took viewers on another emotional night as hopefuls vied for their chance at stardom. Here’s who impressed, stunned, and, confused the judges with their auditions. 


Louisiana’s Robert Taylor started out the show with a moving story about being your authentic self. The 27-year-old sang “Bruises” by Lewis Capaldi and shared how he was disowned by most of his family when he came out as gay. His father, though, never turned his back on him and provided unconditional love all the way up until his untimely death due to drug addiction. His vocals had all the judges clapping before they issued him a golden ticket to Hollywood. 

27-year-old Grace Leer had everyone in smiles when she auditioned The Nashville singer wowed the judges with her country-style voice and earned herself a trip to Hollywood. If her name or voice sounds familiar, that’s probably because over a decade ago she made the Top 20 on American Juniors, a youth version of American Idol. At the time, Leer decided to pursue a more normal childhood than to chase stardom, but now she’s back and ready to win over the nation. 

Music teacher, Franklin Boone from North Carolina did his fair share of impressing the judges too. He did so much impressing that Katy says he could even win the competition…if he really wanted to. While his raspy vocals covered “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, his hands strummed the guitar proving that he’s got the full package and a ticket to the west coast.

Also a package was 18-year-old Aliana Jester, who brought her adorable emotional support pup along to the audition. Cuteness aside, her vocals were so on point that Lionel compared to the late great singing legend Whitney Houston. Needless to say, she earned herself a trip to Hollywood. 

Another young American Idol hopeful was 18-year-old Jahzan from Kingston, Jamaica, who revealed that she was homeless. Despite the unfortunate situation, Jahzan’s mother joined her for some quick fun and danced along as her daughter sang “Rockabye” by Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul and Anne Marie before she made a quick outfit change to take on Demi Lovato‘s “Warrior.” Inspired by her story and the potential in her unique voice, which Katy described as a mix of Toni BraxtonCher, and Shakira, they gave Jahzan hope for a better future with a golden ticket. 

Surprise! There’s another baby on the way — and, no, Katy Perry’s not having twins. The judges were equally surprised when they found out that 23-year-old Amber Fiedler was pregnant as when they heard her soothing voice cover “Trust In Me” by Etta James. Fiedler inspired the judges with her brave decision to give her baby up for adoption due to her not being ready to be a mother. Ultimately, she earned a ticket to Hollywood, which also happened to be around the same time as her due date. Will American Idol welcome it’s first baby? Fans will have to stay tuned to find out. 

Though he slayed his dance movies, the vocals weren’t quite up to par for Jafar, who sang “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls

The same held true for Luke Stafford, though it was his saxophone skills that were impressive — just not so much the singing.


For the first time in American Idol history, the judges held an audition on a boat and Megan Knight was the lucky one to do the honors of being the first contestant to perform for Katy, Luke, and Lionel in this setting. Another first for Knight, a trip to Hollywood to try to make her dreams come true. 

23-year-old Gilberto Rivera gave audiences and the judges some excitement when he showed up in some red, shiny, thigh-high, platform heels and a rainbow-striped shirt. At first it seemed like his audition would simply serve as comic-relief, that is until he opened his mouth and shocked everyone with his theatrical performance of Tina Turner‘s “Proud Mary”. He’s rolling his way over to the west coast now.  

Jordan MoyesDemi Rae and snake-hunter Makayla Brownlee will also be taking their talents to the next round. 

American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

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