‘American Idol’ Hopeful Pays Tribute to Dad Nolan Neal, ‘The Voice’ and ‘AGT’ Star Who Died Last Year (RECAP) – TV Insider

[Warning: The below contains spoilers for American Idol’s premiere.]

After all the coveted statues were unveiled at the 95th Academy Awards, the night wasn’t over yet! American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan handed out more golden tickets to Hollywood during a special episode of the Academy Awards.

This week’s casting field saw talented college students, including “Top 10” material and a hopeful who could certainly pass as a relative of a certain “All Night Long” legend. The night also saw an audition with a virtual reality component and a contestant honoring her late father, who was formerly a contestant on The Voice and America’s Got Talent.

See who impressed (and who spooked) the judges below.

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Danny Ep

ABC/Eric McCandless

The 23-year-old hadn’t seen her mother for a year until she came out to audition. Katy, Lionel and Luke brought mom to the table as the “fourth judge”. The gymnastics coach performed “The One That Got Away” by Katy, who even joined in at the end. Mom said she has the emotion but needs to blindfold more. Someone come for the judgment seat! Lionel agreed. Katy and Luke thought it sounded good. Danny got the first four for four yeses and was sent to Hollywood.

Amara Valerio

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The 20-year-old recounted a time when she sang the national anthem on high school graduation, only to have another student take the mic away, sort of like a Taylor Swift Kanye West moment. Amara was unable to sing the national anthem at her own graduation next year because of COVID. Katy encouraged her to vent that anger. The aspiring singer certainly did when she sang Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows.” Success is the best revenge for Amara, who was sent to the next round.

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Savanna Christian

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Savannah said her friend created “Metaverse Idol” on the VR headset, which of course the judges wanted to experience. She performed Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” while wearing the simulator goggles. Despite the unique technological component, Lionel was a no-no, but he was having fun. Unfortunately, Katy and Luke felt the same way. “It reminds me of 1976,” Lionel said as he viewed the virtual world through the Oculus.

Hanna Nikolaisen

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The Houston volleyball player had big dreams of becoming an idol… maybe two months to make a really good piece of music. You’d never know the limited preparation after hearing her sing Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” “Well you just rammed the ball in our faces,” Katy said in compliment. Lionel thought she did everything right to tell the story of the song, which he feels cannot be taught. Luke added that some people are born to sing and are a star and she is definitely born to sing. In the case of the latter, the verdict is clear, but the 23-year-old is on the right track.

Save thorns

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The college student was motivated to show her addicted mother that there is something to believe in. The 20-year-old chose Idol winner Fantasia’s “I Believe” to audition. Reette burst into tears afterwards, which called for a Lionel Richie handkerchief. He said the first note was spot on but the rest was nervous. Lionel was touched and gave her a big yes. Katy added that perfection doesn’t exist anyway and it just needs a little maintenance. Since the Madison resident already had the golden ticket locked away, Luke gave her a no, just so she knew there was still work to be done.

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Trip Taylor

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The 18-year-old from Florence, South Carolina was particularly excited to meet Lionel as an old soul. This was evident in his selection of songs from Ray Charles’ “I Believe to My Soul,” which he also performed on the piano. “Are you sure he’s not your son?” Katy asked Lionel. Luke felt he had his own sound with just the right amount of gravel and sand. Katy said he had the “it” factor. Lionel appreciated his stage presence. Tripp takes a trip to Hollywood.

revenge karma

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Personally, I really appreciated Dio’s choice of songs from the rocker “Holy Diver”. While it was by no means up to par when Killswitch Engage reported on it, the 28-year-old brought something different with him. The judges were a little shocked. “Shall we pray,” Luke said. Katy said no, but encouraged her to keep going. Lionel liked the idea of ​​hearing that song again. The “Hello” singer has rock and metal street credentials. “Rob Zombie happens to be one of my dearest friends.”

Colt Glover

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The 21-year-old Texan was a freshman in college when one of his buddies encouraged him to take music seriously. He then bought an old guitar from a pawn shop, and here’s the result. He performed “Rock, Salt and Nails” by Flatt and Scrubbs. Katy said he’s the best country singer she’s seen and top 10 material. Lionel said they just had to teach him what to do with his hands. Luke was glad Colt was there. A radiant yes from the three.

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Cay Aliese

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The 24-year-old mother-of-two opened up about her father dying of a drug overdose a few months earlier. He happened to be Nolan Neal, a former contestant on The Voice and America’s Got Talent. The father and the daughter. united by a shared love of music. She saw auditioning as a way to honor her father, close his chapter and start her own. She chose to sing an original “City of Nashville” dedicated to him. Katy was on the fence and didn’t feel the emotional contact. Lionel agreed that she has a voice but needs to dig deeper. Luke encouraged her not to be afraid to mount. Katy rolled a yes. Lionel listened to his inner voice that said yes. Luke was a yes with room to grow. Cay’s dream is kept alive.

American Idol, Sundays, 8/7c, ABC

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