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‘American Idol’ Week 3: This ‘Magical Moment’ Made Ryan Seacrest Cry

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

Courtney Timmons and Ryan Seacrest on "American Idol"

American Idol Season 18 continued with a new round of auditions on Sunday night. The night was full of amazing voices, silly moments, and plenty of tears. The episode’s hopefuls even included a returning contestant from a previous season.

One of the most emotional moments of the night happened when host Ryan Seacrest found a young singer waiting on the street for a chance to audition and brought her straight to the judges. Read on to find out why her audition brought him to tears.

‘American Idol’ Week 3 Auditions

Kimmy Gabriela

This 17-year-old grew up in a musical family and has been inspired by her father. For her audition, she performed “Let’s Hurt Tonight” by OneRepublic. Katy Perry then asked her to sing a song in Spanish. The judges predicted she could make it to the Top 10. Unsurprisingly, Kimmy got a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Lauren Mascitti

This singer brought her fiancé, country singer and songwriter Shawn Camp, to play guitar for her audition. Lauren works as a nurse at Nashville, but aspires to be a musician. She performed an original song. Katy said it was “moving,” and Luke Bryan compared her to last season’s contestant Laci Kaye Booth. Lauren’s going to Hollywood.


Ryan Harmon

This singer and podcast host from Arkansas performed an original song for his audition. Katy said he has “something to build on” but isn’t quite there yet. The judges encouraged him to go to Nashville to pursue his dream. Unfortunately, Ryan got three “no” votes.

Courtney Timmons

With Ryan Seacrest’s help, this singer went straight into an audition with the judges after hanging around outside. She performed “Rise Up” by Andra Day. The judges were impressed by her voice, calling her the best they’ve seen all day. In what Katy called a “magical moment,” they sent her to Hollywood. Both Katy and Ryan were brought to tears.

Lauren Spencer-Smith

This 16-year-old singer from Vancouver performed “What About Us” by Pink. Lionel Richie called her “wise and gifted far beyond your age.” Luke called her voice “interesting,” and Katy said it sounds “a thousand years old.” All three judges voted yes to send Lauren to Hollywood.


DeWayne Crocker Jr.

This singer auditioned with a cover of “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” The judges praised his interesting take on the song, and sent him to Hollywood. However, his great-grandmother, a Lionel Richie superfan, upstaged him when she showed up. She and Lionel danced together as he serenaded her.

Dillon James

This tattooed singer has struggled with drugs and alcohol, as well as homelessness. He’s been sober for two years, and now he’s pursuing his passion for music. He performed “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. Luke said his voice wasn’t what he expected, and Katy called him “mysterious.” They sent him to Hollywood.

Geena Fontanella

Geena is a Katy Perry superfan who performed an original song for her audition. She even got the judges to sing along with her. “I love the character,” Lionel told her about her look and personality. She got three yes votes from the judges, sending her to Hollywood.

Jared Lettow

Not to be confused with the actor Jared Leto, this singer showed off his yodeling skills for the judges. Katy shouted for him to stop when he went on for too long. She said it was a “no-del,” along with the other judges. Jared the yodeler is not going to Hollywood.

Shannon Gibbons

This American Idol fan has dealt with mental health issues since she was a kid. For her audition, she performed “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. “This is why I keep coming back to this show,” Katy said. Luke said she would be their “new barometer” for letting people through. Obviously, Shannon is going to Hollywood.

Genavieve Linkowski

This former contestant from Season 16 lost her sister in a car accident last year. For her audition, she performed “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton on the piano. Her performance brought the judges to tears. They voted yes and dedicated it to Genavieve’s sister.

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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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