‘American Idol’ Week 4 Brings Back ‘Idol’ Hopefuls for a Second Chance (RECAP) – TV Insider

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American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan rolled into the Sunset Strip where they were greeted by rock royalty in Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe.
This round of auditions from Los Angeles, Nashville, and Austin included a second-generation Idol hopeful, ventriloquist, Irish stepper and college football player turned viral TikTok country crooner.
Familiar faces also returned (one from this season!) singing for a second chance. With golden tickets running low as “Hollywood Week” looms on the horizon, find out who took their next step in realizing their Idol dreams.
ABC/Eric McCandless
If you want a reminder that you’re getting old, look no further than this 21-year-old stylist from Miami. She happens to be the daughter of season 4 Idol hopeful Nadia. Zaréh surprised mom and blindfolded her to the audition. Nadia was under the impression she was going on a spa day. Instead, she was greeted by host Ryan Seacrest. Adding to the nostalgia, Zaréh wore the same top from Nadia’s audition. She performed “Bust the Window”s by Jazmine Sullivan. Luke encouraged Zaréh to gritty it up but was impressed. Katy said she has a real opportunity and a cool vibe. Lionel loved the come full-circle moment experienced. The family got a golden ticket, but no word if Nadia got her spa day.
ABC/Eric McCandless
If this was Irish stepping Idol, the quirky marketing coordinator would have been a shoo-in. The Denver resident had the time of his life singing “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin before being cut off by the judges. They wanted the excitable 24-year-old to take it down a notch and be serious for his next song “River” by Leon Bridges. Luke said he had a singing voice, but his personality is bigger. Lionel said he is a natural-born entertainer. Katy was a yes, Luke was a no. And Lionel was a yes, thinking he would be hilarious during “Hollywood Week.”
ABC/Eric McCandless
The 25-year-old from Winterset, Iowa stepped back before the judges a month later after her Austin audition. Katy fought hard to get the piano teacher a second chance. Sam thought the first time in Austin didn’t really demonstrate who she was to the iconic trio. Katy proudly wore her Sam & Lydia & Grace shirt during the performance, remembering the three she wanted to go in the competition. Luke said he takes back what he said in Austin. Lionel said to put the yes on Sam’s name. Katy says it’s one of the best original songs she has heard all season.
ABC/Eric McCandless
The 20-year-old ventriloquist and nanny showcased all her musical theater experience. Maybe a little too much. Kenzie came with her grandmother, who she recalled took her to the 10th anniversary Idol concert stop. The Roseville, California performer passionately sang “I’m with You” by Avril Lavigne. Katy called her a Broadway babe and liked how she embraced who she is, but gave a no for Idol. Lionel appreciated the character but wasn’t sure how to make it pop music. Luke said no for right now.
ABC/Eric McCandless
The 21-year-old from Tyler, Texas was inspired to put himself out there by Phillip Phillips and his Idol journey. The 2012 winner surprised him on the video wall with words of encouragement. The security worker chose “Before You Go” Song by Lewis Capaldi. Katy felt the chorus was pretty good and has potential. Luke felt he has a little more growth and gave him a no. Lionel felt his attitude is right and gave him a yes to secure the golden ticket.
ABC/Eric McCandless
The 23-year-old spoke about why William Hung resonated with him. Less “She Bangs,” and more of his fearlessness. The New Orleans musician took the judges back with Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is.” Katy gave him a standing ovation. Lionel said he was incredible. Katy told him to continue doing what he did in the performance. Luke liked his smile as someone anyone can talk to. A Bourbon Street soul instrumental played him out to Hollywood.
ABC/Eric McCandless
The 27-year-old nurse with a voice didn’t make it past “Hollywood Week” in 2019. Reflecting on that time, Jacob felt he lacked confidence. The Dansville, Michigan hopeful since lost 60 plus pounds and learned from his time. He showcased that with a rendition of “Rise” by Katy Perry, who gave him a standing ovation. She loved his fighting spirit and said he did the song justice. Luke and Lionel wrote yes halfway through the performance.
ABC/Eric McCandless
The 23-year-old from Cedar Rapids, Iowa was five-and-a-half months pregnant. The temp agency worker wanted to show benign a mom shouldn’t stop you from chasing your dreams. She aptly sang “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. Luke said it wasn’t a perfect audition with some amateur moments mixed with some real ones. Lionel said a note may be quite difficult at certain times right now for her. Katy was on the fence, knowing how much pressure she will be under in this environment. Haley then sang “One and Only” by Adele and was presented a golden ticket.
ABC/Eric McCandless
The 19-year-old grew up in Nashville where her parents were in a bluegrass band. Those musical roots showed as she sat at the piano performing “Give You Blue Song” By Allen Stone. Katy felt she has a very commercial voice and was wonderful to listen to. Lionel called her a poster child for when the melody is king. Luke wants her to test herself and dig in a little more as she heads to Hollywood.
ABC/Eric McCandless
From the Virginia Tech football field to TikTok to Tinseltown. Quite the journey for the 24-year-old land surveyor from Chesapeake, Virginia. The former linebacker sang “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. Lionel saw him as a natural talent. Katy is already thinking about marketing. Although she felt he is not there yet the foundation for the land surveyor was down. Luke felt the guitar playing may have hurt him a bit in emoting, but called him one of the best country voices they’ve heard. Idol touchdown!
ABC/Eric McCandless
People told the 18-year-old he wasn’t good enough. The Houston student described music as his safe place away from the doubters and haters. Douglas gave a powerful vocal cover of “Strange Fruit” by Milt Raskin. Lionel called the audition superb. Katy called him a superstar who transcended time and space; iconic. Luke said he took them on a journey and was speechless about it. Lionel called him off the charts. The three wrapped their arms around him as a way of showing he was indeed good enough.
American Idol, Sundays and Mondays, 8/7c, ABC
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