Oh, friends, I am a little embarrassed to admit that Idol totally got me with that Maddie Poppe prank. They introduce an extreme goth chick as “Lady Mapo” and I thought, here we go with Idol needlessly mocking people, and then she starts singing and rips off her wig and there is that little pop star we know and love! I was had! I’ll blame it on the fact that we are in hours nine and ten of auditions. Maddie’s not the only contestant from last year to show up—her boyfriend and runner up Caleb Lee Hutchinson pops by with a friend who is auditioning (but surprisingly does not make it through) and both Catie Turner and Dennis Lorenzo stop in to say hi. This last installment of auditions isn’t the strongest one we’ve seen, singing-wise, but overall it’s a nice celebration of the series to lead us into Hollywood Week.
Before we get there, though, let’s see who else will be joining the rest of those golden ticket holders.
Jade Flores, 22, Waxahachie, Tex.
“Strawberry Wine” by Deana Carter
Well, what a little bubble of joy Jade Flores is. She’s so excited to be on this show, singing for Miss Katy Perry, that honestly I worried this was another joke audition. But it’s not! She just loves life that much. And you know what? She deserves some good things. She shows off her authentic country voice and makes it easy for the judges. There’s talent, there’s personality, there’s a ticket to Hollywood.
Christiaan Padavan, 19, Hampton Bays, N.Y.
“Vienna” by Billy Joel
You know when I decided I couldn’t love Luke Bryan any more than I already do? When he heard Christiaan was from the Hamptons, saw him wearing a popped collar, and the only question he had was, “Do rich ladies loaded up on wine hit on you?” Luke’s the best. But we’re here for Christiaan. The power in his voice is surprising! With one note the judges know they’re sending him through, so they spend the rest of the time embarrassing Christiaan’s girlfriend by having her come in and sing too—she’s not bad but Christiaan will pay for that.
Ryan Hammond, 25, Modesto, Calif.
“Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith
Ryan, who like Katy Perry grew up singing in church, struggled with his weight his whole life and recently lost 170 pounds after having weight loss surgery—a surgery which almost killed him. Katy calls him a miracle and once he starts singing, tells him he sings like a miracle, too. She wants him to work on smoothing out his runs, and Luke also mentions some technical issues, but overall the judging panel is impressed. Emotion will trump technical perfection every time, Idol hopefuls!
Chloe Channell, 16, Pace, Fla.
“Stupid Boy” by Keith Urban
You guys, remember when Keith Urban was an Idol judge and openly wept all the time? I miss Keith. I’m excited to see Chloe choose one of his songs for her audition. As if she needs any more country star magic in her corner. She’s friendly with Mr. Kenny Rogers, who then hooked her up with 90s country stud Billy Dean to teach her everything she knows. Billy plays guitar for her audition. Both Luke and Lionel are like, little lady you don’t even know how good you got it. She’s another tiny, perky country singer to add to the list in Hollywood. The true test doesn’t come until they all start competing against one another.
(Recap continues on page 2…)
Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.