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‘American Idol’: Lionel Richie Joins Singer & Her Mom For Emotional Song

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

ABC/Christopher Willard

American Idol Season 19 returned on Sunday night with another round of amazing auditions. Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan sent several more singers to Hollywood.

This week’s show featured more than one contestant who the judges predicted would make it to the Top 10 this season. The night ended with an emotional moment between Lionel and one of the singers. Check out the night’s auditions below.

WATCH This Week’s ‘American Idol’ Auditions

Cecil Ray

This 20-year-old said he was auditioning for his baby daughter. He shared that he lost several people in his life to suicide. For his audition, Cecil sang “Talkin’ Tennessee” by Morgan Wallen. Luke Bryan called him “perfection.” Katy Perry called him a “country Justin Bieber.” Cecil is going to Hollywood.

Samantha Sharpe

This singer performed “Into the Unknown” with her family of singers. Then she auditioned solo, singing “Titanium.” Lionel Richie said she has “master control” over her voice. The judges voted to send Samantha to Hollywood.

Graham DeFranco

This 27-year-old is a pilot. He said he’s loved music since playing the recorder as a kid. For his audition, he sang “Part One” by Band of Horses while playing guitar. Luke said he has a “world-class voice,” and told him to get more confidence. Graham is going to Hollywood.

Tom McGovern

This singer performed an original song about the American Idol judges. Katy Perry said he would be a great jingle writer, but voted “no” to sending him through. Tom didn’t get a Golden Ticket, but he said the experience was “awesome.”

Mary Jo Young

This 19-year-old singer posts videos on TikTok. Her mom said she had to download TikTok to hear Mary Jo singing. For her audition, she sang “You Broke Me First” by Tate McRae. The judges had Mary Jo’s mom come in so she could hear her sing. Katy said it was “magical” and compared her to Julia Michaels. Luke predicted she would be Top 10. Mary Jo is going to Hollywood.


Christian McGuckian

This young singer was in a car accident a few months before her audition, and it made her want to pursue her dream. However, she was extremely nervous to audition. She sang “Girl Crush” by Little Big Town. The judges tried to help her get used to everything around her as she performed. Christian is going to Hollywood.

Alanis Sophia

This 19-year-old was named after Alanis Morissette. She said her parents are her “biggest supporters” as she pursues her dreams. Alanis sang into an American Idol toy microphone from childhood, performing “Anyone” by Demi Lovato. Katy said she has confidence, but is “pure” and “natural.” The judges voted to send Alanis to Hollywood.


Jeremias Williams

This fire fighter grew up underprivileged, and dreamed of competing on American Idol. For his audition, Mias sang “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Katy said he was “pure,” but it was missing “smoke.” The judges voted “no” to sending him through, but he said he was “going home with a smile on my face.”

Erika Perry

This singer says her friends call her “E.T.” She said she was there to meet her “soulmate,” host Ryan Seacrest, and wanted to prove her ex-boyfriend wrong. For her audition, she sang Katy’s song “E.T.” Luke wondered if she was singing in English, and Katy told her to sing without “gimmicks.” She and Lionel voted “yes,” sending Erika to Hollywood.

Hunter Metts

This 22-year-old has been performing music since he was little. His sister quit her job at Disney so he would be allowed to audition on the ABC show. Hunter sang “All the Pretty Girls” by Kaleo. Luke said he got chills, and both he and Katy predicted he’d be in the Top 10. Hunter is going to Hollywood.


Ronda Felton

This 19-year-old teared up as she told the judges she’s had it hard. She and her mom were homeless, and she said music helped her get through it. For her audition, Ronda sang “One Night Only” from Dreamgirls. The performance brought Lionel to tears. All three judges voted “yes” to sending Ronda to Hollywood. She ran to get her mom and tell her the news. Lionel joined them to sing “Zoom” by the Commodores.

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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