Talent Recap

‘American Idol’ Heads to Judges’ Hometowns in Season 22 Premiere

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie on 'American Idol' 2024Disney/Eric McCandless

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American Idol returned on Sunday night for the Season 22 premiere, as the judges watched singers audition in cities such as Los Angeles, Nashville, and even the judges’ hometowns. During the show, the panel gave out the season’s first Platinum Ticket.


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American Idol Season 22 Heads to the Judges’ Hometowns

During the premiere, American Idol headed to judge Luke Bryan’s hometown of Leesburg, Georgia, where 18-year-old Meggie Iyer delivered an impressive rendition of “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt. The judges gave her a Golden Ticket to Hollywood. Katy Perry predicted she’ll be in the Top 10.

The show also headed to Perry’s hometown of Santa Barbara, California, where 28-year-old busker Micaela McCall auditioned with a slowed-down version of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. The judges gave her a Golden Ticket, with Perry saying she’s “so proud of this town.”

In Lionel Richie’s hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama, 15-year-old Triston Harper auditioned with his rendition of “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell. The judges were blown away by his mature country voice, and they chose to give him a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.


SEE ALSO: KATY PERRY ANNOUNCES SHE’S LEAVING ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ AFTER THIS SEASON

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Jack Blocker Makes a Comeback

Another notable audition from the Season 22 premiere came from 25-year-old Jack Blocker, who sang an original song called “I Was Wrong” for the judges in Nashville. Unfortunately, both Perry and Richie voted “no” to sending Jack through to Hollywood.

However, Bryan liked the audition enough to vote “yes,” and he didn’t accept Jack’s elimination. He asked the crew to vote on whether they liked the audition, and most of them raised their hands to say they did. It was enough to change Richie’s mind, as he asked for Jack to be brought back. He ended up receiving a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.


“Never in the history [of American Idol] have we had a managerial mutiny against us,” Bryan joked after Richie changed his vote to “yes.”

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Odell Bunton Jr. Earns a Platinum Ticket

Odell Bunton Jr. is a 28-year-old singer with five children who works as an airport security guard. Now he’s chasing the opportunity to be named the American Idol Season 22 winner. For his audition, he sang “Bring It On Home to Me” by Sam Cooke.

Perry told Odell that he’s “the best soul singer we have this season,” and her fellow judges agreed. Bryan told Odell that his performance made “a chill hit my rib cage,” adding that his “leg went numb” as he sang.

Richie told the singer that his family will be “so proud of you.” The panel voted “yes” to sending Odell through to Hollywood. Later, they decided to award Odell with the season’s first Platinum Ticket, allowing him to skip the first round of Hollywood Week.

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Fitspresso
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