Laine Hardy eked out a narrow win over Alejandro Aranda on the finale of “American Idol.”
Sunday’s “American Idol” kicked things off with a soulful rendition of Calum Scott’s “You Are the Reason,” sung by a 17-year-old gospel singer-turned-viral video sensation.
Cyniah Elise brought both powerful vocals and her entire family to her audition, leaving the judges excited for her future. And the fact she comes from a musical family left judge Lionel Richie excited for the future of the show.
“Congratulations, now we know what Season 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 is going to be,” Richie said. “I want the rest of the family to come back one by one.”
Next up to audition was Kay Genyse, 19, who had a lot of attitude and spunk but who failed to make much of an impact with her voice. Her cover of Duffy’s “Mercy” fell flat with the judges, especially Luke Bryan. With a “no” from Bryan, judge Katy Perry was on the fence, but Genyse begged for another chance to prove herself.
Perry decided to let Genyse battle it out in the streets, and put her fate in the hands of an impromptu audience the judges gathered on the spot. With everything on the line, Genyse sung her heart out and secured a ticket to Hollywood.
‘American Idol’ premiere: The emotional singers who vied for their ticket to Hollywood
“American Idol” judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry gathered a crowd to decide the fate of contestant Kay Genyse. In the end, she got the thumbs-up and is going to Hollywood. (Photo: Eliza Morse, ABC)
Also going to Hollywood is Kyle Tanguay, 21, who knows a little something about beating the odds. Tanguay is one of the first males to make the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders, and for his “Idol” audition, he brought along some of his squad to cheer him on.
Tanguay’s bubbly personality was infectious, but it was his singing that really won over the judges. He gave a great performanceof Shawn Mendes’ “Mercy” (same title, different song) that brought one of his fellow cheerleaders to tears.
Sarah Isen, 20, also had a large and unconventional crowd to support her. Isen brought along her two mothers, her biological father, who was a sperm donor for the couple, and nine of her half brothers and half sisters. Isen tracked down her biological father when she was 14and together they discovered she has 26 half siblings.
Fortunately for Isen, the judges found her voice just as interesting as her story, though her version of Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy” was shaky at times, perhaps due to nerves.
Jovin Webb, 28, and Julia Gargano, 21, were the stand-outs of the evening. Gargano played an original song, “Growing Pains,” that made Perry give the singer a hug. Webb channeled the great blues musicians before him and the grief he felt at the loss of his mother, who was his biggest supporter, in a haunting take of “Whipping Post,” from The Allman Brothers Band.
“I could sit and drink a lot of bourbon listening to that voice. I saw your whole life in that performance,” said Bryan, who left his chair to shake the Webb’s hand.
“American Idol” hopeful Jovin Webb wowed the judges with his haunting audition performance of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post.” (Photo: Scott Patrick Green, ABC)
Season 2 contestant Margie Mays, 26, returned to “Idol” for another shot at her dreams, performing “I Found a Boy” from Adele. And this time she brought along her boyfriend, 23-year-old Jonny West. Mays was voted off last year during the round in Hawaii. Unfortunately for Mays, the judges fell more in love with her boyfriend’s performance. West was professional from beginning to end, singing an original song that was a mixture of soft notes and rapping.
“I don’t want this for you and your relationship, but you may go farther than Margie,” Perry told him. “You need to know and understand this is something that could possibly change your life.”
Mays and West weren’t the only couple auditioning together. Country music singer Curt Jones, 23, and Hannah Prestridge, 24, tried their luck for Hollywood. While Jones didn’t impress with Travis Tritt’s “Help Me Hold On” (his voice sounded off-key), Prestridge tugged at the heartstrings with an original song about the struggles she’s gone through the past few years. While pregnant, Prestridge developed an opioid addiction, recovering with the support of Jones and their two daughters.
The judges may not have liked Jones’ singing, but they saw him as a good man. After the show, Jones congratulated Prestridge for moving one step closer to their dreams.
“I’m proud of you. Everything happens for a reason, Hannah,” Jones told his wife, hugging her. “You can win this thing.”
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2020/02/24/american-idol-recap-judges-crowdsourcing-send-more-hopefuls-hollywood/4852331002/