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AMERICAN IDOL Season 22 Opener: Contestant Reunites with Birth Family, Former NFL Pro’s Emotional Journey and More

Photo: ABC

You really needed the hankies for the season 22 premiere of American Idol that aired on Sunday night on ABC. In what was edited, pretty darn perfectly, to hook viewers into the back-story of some of the talented contestants, we got our first glimpse of just who could wind up in the top ten or be your next ‘American Idol.”

Judges Katy Perry (who just announced this season will be her last), Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan were back as the two-hour episode featured auditions in the hometowns of three music superstars: Santa Barbara for Perry, Tuskegee, Alabama for Richie, and Leesburg, Georgia for Bryan.

‘Idol’ starts out red hot with young male singer Mackenzie Sol, a Las Vegas resident hails from Newcastle, a small town in England. He sings Bring it On Home to Me by Sam Cooke, and tells the judges he did not tell his mother he was coming to audition, in case it went badly. With soulful voice he wows the judges and his mom shows up to surprise to boot! He’s in tears, so are we, and we have one of this year’s heartthrobs in the making.

Later we meet Triston Harper from McIntosh, Alabama. The 15-year old country singer says he’s been through a lot at his young age. At one point he and his mother were homeless after escaping his abusive stepfather. He is also the first Idol contestant with Choctaw Indian heritage, that we know of. Triston sings Cover Me Up by Jason Isbell.. His mother comes into the audition room to hear the good news that the judges are sending the young teen to Hollywood.

In one of the more poignant moments of the episode, we meet Blake Proehl, a 24-year old from Charlotte, North Carolina. In the clip package viewers learn that he is actually a former NFL pro football player for the Minnesota Vikings. His life change dramatically when he suffered a career-ending leg injury and had to learn to walk again. He credits his grandmother for saving him and pushing him to sing. Blake sits down at the piano and sings “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young. The judges get emotional and amped up on this guy that he could be the one to take it all.

In Santa Barbara, we meet Micaela McCall is a 28-year old voice and piano teacher who performed Stevie Wonder’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered with her own unique singing style. The rendition brings Katy to tears!

Currently living in a small hotel room with his five children and his wife, viewers meet Odell Bunton Jr. from Dallas. He works the nightshift in security at the airport, and he wants a better life for his family. Not only does he impress the judges with Bring it On Home to Me by Sam Cooke, he later receives a surprise on the local Fox station that the judges have deemed him one of three platinum tickets winners for the season. That allows him to skip the first week of competition at Hollywood week.

Jack Blocker, 25-year old graphic designer who currently lives in Nashville performed an original song of his with his guitar called, I Was Wrong.  Problem was his facial expressions while he was singing made his face look quite distorted and when the judges took a vote only Luke gave him a “Yes”. Then, in a first for “Idol”, Luke asked the crew what they thought and they wanted him in the competition. Jack was brought back into the audition room and given a golden ticket. Thank you behind the scenes crew!

Finally, in the heart-tugger of the night, McKenna Breinholt, a 25-year medical assistant from Gilbert, Arizona tells the story of how in three weeks she slated to meet her birth family. Her biological mother was a singer who passed away.  Her adopted family was with her at the audition (or so she only that).  She goes to the piano with her smoky voice and sings There Was Jesus by Zach Bryan and Dolly Parton.  Next, she is in for a surprise when after she received a gold ticket to Hollywood in walks not only her adopted family, but members of her birth family. Everyone is crying, and so are we.  Then, McKenna in honor of her mother sits down and the piano and plays one of her songs.

So, after night one of the audition of American Idol? Who were you most impressed by? Let us know in the comment section below.

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We were screaming wth! when Jack Blocker was told no!!!! Omg!!!! About came unglued!!!! Beautiful song, wonderful lyrics, & sounds like it should already be on a CD!!!!!

American Idol

AMERICAN IDOL: Should Former ‘Bachelor’ Juan Pablo Gervais’ Daughter Camila, Been Voted Through to Hollywood Week?

On the final round of audition to make it into Hollywood Week, Sunday night’s March 24th episode of American Idol brought with it some top-notch musical performances by contestants around the country.

An interesting moment occurred when the former ‘Bachelor’ Juan Pablo Gervais revealed himself. Gervais’ daughter, Camila, who we watched grow-up before our eyes, before and after Juan Pablo’s season on the reality dating series is now 14-years-old and entering the competition.

When Camila explained who her dad was to the judges: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Perry, he was brought into the audition room.

Photo: ABC

Katy asked Juan Pablo, “You know what it’s like to be on television, and you’re trying to throw her in this lion’s den?” Juan Pablo admitted he has been actually trying to temper Camila’s musical aspirations until he felt she was ready to audition and be a part of ‘Idol’.

When it was time to perform, Camila choose to performance Joaquina’s “Rabia.” Her audition drew mixed reactions from the judges. It was a “no” from Lionel Richie. It was a “yes” from Katy Perry although she expressed her concern about Camila’s vocal limitations as measured against the other singers who made it through.

Photo: ABC

The deciding vote was from Luke Bryan who gave Camila another “yes”. However, Luke was originally a “no.”  He said with the right producer she could make it. Katy mentioned that Spanish music is the industry’s fastest growing genre, and Camila is “authentically that.”

Many on social media and viewer reaction felt if her father, former ABC star Juan Pablo, was not standing in the room awaiting the judges decision, they would have given her a hard pass, since they continually brought up she needed more time to develop her potential and to come back and audition in a few years.

This was yet another controversial pick by the judges.  You can watch Camila’s performance below.  Then let us know, do you feel Camila should have been voted through to Hollywood Week? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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American Idol

AMERICAN IDOL: Was it Shady of Former Contestant Alyssa Raghu to Sneak in on Best Friend Julia Davos’ Audition and Score a Golden Ticket?

Show business is really cutthroat and it was fully on display on Sunday night’s latest episode of American Idol.  We’re not sure after the dust settled if we should be more upset with the judges: Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry, or former contestant Alyssa Raghu.

But, here is what went down. 20-year-old Julia Davo, auditioned for the judges with a performance of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” She also had mentioned that she is best friends and roommates with former ‘Idol’ contestant Alyssa Raghu.

The judges felt Davo needed more work, and should come back and audition again, once she has honed in on her vocals a bit more while allowing for her voice to grow. However, when the judges gave their verdict, Raghu was now in the audition room.  They told Raghu, “When she’s absolutely ready in your eyes, bring her back to us.”

Photo: ABC

It was at the point, there was a swerve by Raghu when she addressed the judges, “I know you said that my voice was going to grow until it was 21. You said that when I was, like, 15. Just for giggles, I’d love to sing you something.”

At the point, Katy Perry gave her the OK to sing. But, while viewers initially thought at home, that she may just be singing for the judges to prove that she has become a better singer, she was actually angling to get in the competition, once again.

Photo: ABC

“I think this was a really weird plot twist,” Perry confessed after Raghu’s performance of Mariah Carey’s “My All.” Katy added,“I think you could go in. Do I think you could win it? No, personally. If you were going to go to Idol one more time, I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could win.” So with that, Katy gave Raghu a “no.”  However, Luke and Lionel were being generous and gave her two votes as “yes.” Therefore, Raghu received a golden ticket right in front of her friend who received a “no.”

Davo tried her best to say how happy she was that Raghu is receiving another chance, because as she said, “She deserves this.” But in the end, it was awkward and uncomfortable to watch.

Alyssa’s previous journey on Idol went something like this: She made it to the Top 50 of Season 16 but was eliminated by the end of Hollywood Week. She returned for Season 17, making it all the way to the Top 8.

Watch the auditions of Davo and Raghu below.

Now let us know, do you think Raghu should have auditioned after her friend did not receive a golden ticket? Should the judges have allowed Alyssa to sing and then vote to put her in the competition for the third time? Weigh-in via the comment section below.

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American Idol

AMERICAN IDOL: Ziggy Krassenberg and Abi Carter Impress the Judges and Bring the Tears

On Sunday night’s February 25th episode of American Idol, there were several strong performances by young talent. However, when the smoke cleared, two will remain most memorable. Just how far they will go as the competition progresses no one knows, but in the case of one of them, two of the Idol judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, think they found the season’s winner.

First, viewers met Holland’s Ziggy Krassenberg. Previously, Ziggy revealed he competed on the Dutch version of ‘Idol’ and came in at seventh place. A social media influencer, Ziggy is known for his blue and pink-tinged hair.

Fans of the show on social media seemed split on Ziggy, including those that felt he should not compete in the American-version of ‘Idol’, since he comes from The Netherlands. But a cautionary tale here folks! Nutsa made it into the Top 25 and beyond on last season of ‘Idol’ and she hailed from the country of Georgia.

Photo: ABC

Once in the audition room, when Katy, Lionel and Luke asked Ziggy about his background, he said people don’t like him in his home country because of his “big personality” and call him “cotton candy.”

Next, Ziggy let out a beautiful rendition of Lady Gaga’s “A Million Reasons.” Following his performance, he was asked about his mother, who he said was a drug addict and not around, and his father, who he had a difficult relationship passed away last year, and so he raised himself. Lionel noted that Ziggy had been trying to be accepted by people his whole life, now it’s their turn to help raise him up. Ziggy was in tears and received a golden ticket. Watch went down below.

Later in the episode, we meet 21-year-old Abi Carter from Indio, California. She is about to play the piano and sing “What Was I Made For?” by Billie Eilish from the Barbie movie. As she does, members of her family – brother, sisters and mom, listen in the doorway, while the brother tries to watch Abi’s audition looking through a crack of the door on the floor.

Inside, Carter delivered her own rendition of the Eilish Grammy-award winning Song of the Year. The judges fell in love with her perfect performance and how unique her voice was juxtaposed with her rendition of the tune. Afterwards, Abi is in tears.

Photo: ABC

Katy Perry stepped out from behind the judges desk and walked over to a Carter, praising her for singing from the heart and asking “What were you made for for? You were made for this, 100-percent.” Next, Abi’s family ran into the room for a group hug, bringing everyone to even more tears.

Watch Abi’s performance below.

What did you think of Ziggy and Abi’s performances on American Idol and the emotional moments that their auditions brought with it? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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