American Idol is in the thick of season 21 auditions, and the talented singers just keep on coming. Mariah Faith is the first singer to audition during the March 19 episode. The 21-year-old hairstylist from South Carolina performs “Whenever You Come Around” by Vince Gill.
Katy Perry stops Mariah and says she is playing it safe. Katy pitches Mariah to sing “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt, and Mariah nails it. Luke Bryan tears up a bit. “I had chills the whole time,” Luke says. He admits that she’s “on the edge of greatness” and has “got it all.” Lionel Richie thinks that Mariah’s potential could take her “seriously all the way.” Katy goes so far as to say, “You are a star. You really are.”
Mariah’s going to Hollywood! But first, Luke tells her that she’s going to be the opening slot for Noah Thompson and HunterGirl’s Nashville concert.
Nailyah Serenity shines with her rendition of “My Man” by Barbra Streisand. Lionel tells the 22-year-old that he “totally thoroughly enjoyed it.” Katy raves over Nailyah’s song choice and loves that she “straddled it” with her own flair. Nailyah gets a “yes” from all three judges!
Kayleigh Clark starts out with a rendition of “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. The judges want to hear a second song from the 17-year-old, so she performs “I Surrender.” With some work, Luke believes that Kayleigh is a top 10 contender. While Lionel and Luke are all about Kayleigh, Katy gives her a “no.” Luke is still adamant that she’s top 10, but Katy quips, “If she doesn’t find that next gear she ain’t.”
PJAE didn’t have the easiest time growing up. He’s been on a weight loss journey after graduating high school at 400 pounds. He’s lost 150 pounds since then and has gained confidence through music. He wows the judges with his rendition of “Mirror” by Madison Ryann Ward.
“It was so beautiful, so effortless, so angelic, and emotional and sad and painful. I felt like you were telling that story, and it was your story,” Katy says. She thinks PJAE is top 24 material and that’s “playing it safe right now.” He’s going to Hollywood!
Warren Peay is a 23-year-old appliance repair technician from South Carolina who is ready to show off his voice to the world. He stuns the judges with his performance of “To The Table” by Zach Williams. He gets a standing ovation from the judges.
“That was badass,” Luke says. Lionel tells Warren that he’s “heading down the top 10 road.” Luke believes that Warren is going to shake this competition up. He’s going to Hollywood.
Sixteen-year-old Paige Anne performs “What About Us” by Pink for the judges. Lionel admits that Paige didn’t really show up for this performance until the second half. “I don’t know what to do with you quite yet,” Luke says. She’s young but talented. Despite some hesitation, Paige is headed to Hollywood.
Ophrah Kablan takes the judges to church with her powerful performance of “Baby I Love You” by Aretha Franklin. She gets a “yes” from all the judges following the performance.
Kamron Lawson auditioned for American Idol while working his shift at Walmart. He performs “Take On Me” by a-ha for his audition. Luke tells Kamron that he’s playing it safe. Kamron offers to perform Lionel’s song “Truly.” The 21-year-old gets nervous and chokes right at the beginning, but he eventually shows the judges his vocal range.
Lionel is impressed that Kamron performed that song given how hard it is to perform. He points out that Kamron has “moments of complete control” but wants him to work on his vocal delivery. Luke adds that Kamron has a “great falsetto” but needs him to get some confidence. He gets a “yes” from everyone!
Country singer Owen Eckhardt is currently attending Oklahoma State University studying animal science, but he’s always wanted to be a musician. He performs Zach Bryan’s “Something In The Orange.” Katy says there’s a “little Elvis Presley” in there. Luke tells Owen that the performance had “a lot of things wrong, but there’s a cool voice in there.” The judges believe in Owen’s potential, so he’s going to Hollywood.
The last performance of the episode comes from 22-year-old Fire Wilmore. She’s a stripper living in Oklahoma and brings her daughter along for the audition. Fire had a rough upbringing and ended up in Indian child welfare.
She performs “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars. Luke admits that he wanted Fire’s voice “to be more.” Katy adds that “there wasn’t enough fire there.” Luke and Lionel don’t think Fire’s ready, but Katy gives her a “yes.” Katy doesn’t want to give up on Fire. She gets up and tells the singer that they’re going to be in Nashville in a month. She wants Fire to audition again. “You deserve a second chance,” Katy tells Fire.
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