‘American Idol’ Has A Fourth Night Of Amazing (And Unusual) Auditions

Jill O'Rourke
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Season 17 of American Idol was back for a fourth night of auditions on Sunday. The judges heard a number of impressive voices (and a few that could use some improvement).

This episode also had a few weird moments. From an extreme fangirl of Katy Perry, to a beatboxer, to a girl who might be an actual robot, there was no shortage of interesting auditions this time around.

Jessica Whitely

This 26-year-old from Ohio is a huge Katy Perry fan, which she made clear as soon as she walked in. Jessica had a not-so-great audition seven years ago, but has since taken voice lessons. Although Luke Bryan said her vocal coach worked a “miracle,” Lionel Richie and Katy encouraged her to find more “control.” The judges didn’t think she was ready to be on American Idol, and said no.

Jacob Moran

This 24-year-old from Michigan works in a nursing home, where he sings to his residents. Although he went into nursing to be safe, he now wants to start a music career. Jacob’s cover of Ariana Grande’s “Into You” impressed all three judges. Luke said his voice was “incredible,” and Katy said he was the best they had heard in any of the Kentucky auditions. All three judges said yes, sending him to Hollywood.

Alyssa Raghu

This 16-year-old from Orlando made it to the top 24 last season, but was eliminated. Since then, she’s been working hard to improve. She declared that she’s a “pop star” before performing a cover of “Shark in the Water” by V V Brown. Katy said she had missed Alyssa’s voice, and Lionel teared up over her transformation. Although Katy said her guitar-playing wasn’t as strong as her voice, the judges sent her through to Hollywood.

Colby Swift

This 19-year-old Texan shared that his mother left the family nine years ago, but his father supports him in his passion for music. He performed “Cast No Stones” by Cody Jinks, and Luke said he reminded him of himself at a young age. However, Katy said he was “inconsistent,” and Luke called him “unpolished.” But that didn’t stop them from giving him a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Evelyn Cormier

This isn’t Evelyn’s first time on reality television. The 19-year-old from New Hampshire previously appeared on TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé. Although she didn’t mention the show in her audition, she did bring her husband of one year, David, along for support. Her cover of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak wowed the judges, with Katy calling her “one of my favorite voices I’ve ever heard in my life.” She made it through to Hollywood.

Ashley Hess

This 27-year-old, who is originally from California, got a late start to music after initially thinking she wanted to be a dental hygienist. She performed a soulful cover of Nora Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” on the piano, and the judges were so impressed that they walked up to lean on the piano while she sang to them. Katy told her she could win the whole competition. Obviously, Ashley got a golden ticket to Hollywood.


This 19-year-old from Los Angeles was born via an anonymous egg donor, whom she recently found. As it turns out, her egg donor also has a passion for music, and even sang in the same college a cappella group. Gaba’s cover of Adele’s “All I Ask” wowed the judges, who asked her and her donor to sing together. Luke encouraged her to add a little “grit” to her voice. The judges were in agreement that she should go to Hollywood.

Peach Martine

Peach is a 16-year-old straight-A student who plays multiple instruments. She covered “Zombie” by the Cranberries in her audition, and Luke said she was trying too hard to sound like the original. However, when she performed a fun original song on the piano, the judges saw her potential. Katy wondered if she was a robot and said she wasn’t having enough fun, ultimately giving her a no. Luke and Lionel sent her through to Hollywood.

Dalton Elliott

This 26-year-old, who is originally from Nashville, put his music career on hold when his son was born. Dalton called his son his “inspiration.” He performed a meaningful cover of “Boy” by Lee Brice, and Lionel praised him as a “storyteller.” Katy said she wanted him to be more consistent and not “overstrain” so much, pointing out how red his face was. All three judges voted to send Dalton through to Hollywood.


Mize Well

This 25-year-old beatboxer definitely brought something new to the table. Katy told him he had an “EDM festival in your mouth.” Although the judges ultimately agreed that his style wasn’t what they were looking for on American Idol, they liked his personality.

Katie Belle

This 19-year-old model with a love of performing definitely had Luke’s attention. He called her the “Giselle of Georgia” and had a hard time saying anything negative about her cover of “Golden Slumbers.” Lionel and Katy, however, agreed that she had some work to do. Katie nevertheless made it through with a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Lauren Engle

This 27-year-old lost her husband in a car accident. As a couple, they had performed music together. She shared her story with the judges and performed an original song she wrote for him, called “Compass.” Katy said she could feel Lauren’s emotion in her performance, and Luke said she has a “good, good country voice.” Lauren walked away with a golden ticket to Hollywood.

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