The final round of American Idol auditions has arrived. It’s the last day of discovering new talent before moving on to Hollywood Week. The first contestant up is Kaeyra. The 21-year-old’s parents are Polish immigrants, and she brings her mom along with her to the audition. She stuns the judges with her rendition of Chris Stapleton’s “Cold.”
Luke Bryan gives Kaeyra a standing ovation and says she doesn’t sound like anyone else in the competition. All 3 judges give her a “yes.” She gets a golden ticket to Hollywood!
Eighteen-year-old college student Elise Kristine wows with her rendition of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin. Katy Perry calls Elise the “next big thing.” She’s going to Hollywood, as well as bright talents like Sarah Mac and Jayna Elise.
Nate Peck is a rocker through and through. He starts out with a performance of “Lightning Strikes Again” by Dokken. Luke decides to try something out and has Nate sing “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake. Nate shows off his vocal chops in both performances. Katy wonders if Nate can emotionally connect in future performances. Lionel Richie thinks Nate has the potential to weave in and out of genres. Nate’s going to Hollywood!
Mikenley Brown has brought her dad along to her American Idol audition. The 17-year-old hasn’t had the easiest life. After being bullied in middle school, the singer stopped eating. Her body began to fail, but she has since recovered.
Mikenley shines with her performance of Rihanna’s “Love On The Brain.” Luke tells the young singer that she looks like she was “born to do this.” Katy thinks Mikenley is top 24 at least. Mikenley’s dad is in tears as she gets that golden ticket. He’s so proud!
Isaac Brown is a Los Angeles native currently working as a busker on Hollywood Boulevard. He starts out singing JVKE’s “golden hour.” Katy wants to see a bit more from Isaac, so he belts out “Essence” by Wizkid. “I am so happy you brought some flavor to the table. Your voice is very versatile and rhythmic,” Lionel says.
Luke believes Isaac’s voice “has a crazy amount of potential.” Katy sees that potential but wants Isaac to “capture a little bit more emotion and feelings” as he moves on to Hollywood Week.
Cam Amen has persevered against the odds. The 27-year-old was in and out of foster care as a teenager after his mom abandoned him. After he turned 18, Cam raised his brother and sister. He performs a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” He sings through his emotions, which elevates his powerful performance. All of the judges get up to hug him.
“Your style is so beautifully unique,” Luke says, adding that he can’t compare Cam to anyone else. Lionel says that “divine guidance” brought Cam to them. The judges have Cam bring his girlfriend in to hear him get a ticket to Hollywood. But not just any ticket. They give him the last Platinum Ticket of the auditions! Luke declares that Cam is the “best soul singer we’ve ever had.”
Sierra Harris belts out “Barracuda” by Heart for her Idol audition. Katy has the 20-year-old sing “Firework,” which causes Katy to put her head in her hands. Sierra has the chops! However, Katy feels like Sierra can feel karaoke at times. “Your voice is not your party trick anymore. Your voice is your purpose,” Katy says. Sierra is going to Hollywood.
Phil Kane is currently a college student at Belmont University. He performs his original song “Osage County” for the judges. The judges love his storyteller vibe. “I believed every single word. It was just so real,” Katy says. Lionel declares, “Honestly, that was dead on the money… that was brilliant what you just did.” The judges quickly give him a golden ticket to Hollywood!
Fire returns after getting a second chance from the judges. She’s been working hard to improve ever since and performs “Love In The Dark” by Adele. Lionel gives her “big props” on her “swings.” He notes that she has a “great tone,” but he’s not sure if she has what it takes to make it to the next level.
Luke points out that Fire has come back with a really different mindset and believes there’s “a lot left to discover” with her. The judges want to see what she’s made out of — Fire’s going to Hollywood!
Kaya Stewart, the daughter of Eurythmic’s Dave Stewart, auditions for Idol by performing her original song “This Tattoo.” Her dad joins her and plays the guitar during her performance. “You slayed it. I love the tone of your voice,” Lionel tells Kaya. Luke is “looking forward to hearing more” of Kaya’s original music in the future. She’s going to Hollywood!
The very last audition of American Idol season 21 is Oliver Steele. His dad was a professional guitar player but suffered a stroke that severely impacted the left side of his body. Oliver’s father is there to support his son on his Idol journey. He delivers a solid performance, with Luke calling the audition “an experience.”
Lionel asks Oliver to bring his father into the audition room. Oliver breaks down in tears in his dad’s arms. Oliver performs one of his father’s favorite songs, Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.” Luke gets up on the judges’ table and cheers for Oliver. The judges happily give Oliver a golden ticket to Hollywood. As Oliver and his father are walking out, Katy yells to the 25-year-old, “You could win this thing!”
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