‘American Idol’ recap: Night 5 is last audition episode of Season 17 [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

American Idol” wraps up the audition phase of the competition with the last of the five episodes airing on March 18. On Monday night, we’ll see another dozen talents sing for Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. These three judges will single out only a select few who will get a ticket to Hollywood. In advance of Monday’s show, we have a spoiler of the results for the 12 contestants who auditioned on night 5 of season 17.

How many of them will number among the 150 contenders who made it to Hollywood? At the end of a grueling week in Tinseltown, only 40 were chosen to move on to the next round. Those lucky few were flown to Disney’s Aulani Resort in Honolulu at the end of January. where they auditioned for the judges again. (Spoilers: The men and women who made the Top 40.)

SEE ‘American Idol’ Season 17 schedule: When are the live shows and grand finale?

In turn, only half of them made the Top 20, who then performed twice more for the judges in solos and celebrity duets. Just 14 of them made the cut for the live shows, which begin on April 17.  At that point, you will be able to predict the outcome of each episode of “American Idol” in our predictions center. You can already make forecasts for the outcomes on such reality TV shows as “Survivor,” plus the winners of the Academy of Country Music Awards and both the daytime and primetime Emmy Awards.

SEE ‘American Idol’ Winners: Where Are They Now (Seasons 1 – 16)?

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8:00 p.m. – It’s the final countdown! The first pit stop is in Denver, Colorado and Katy throws shade at “The Voice,” praising how “American Idol” seeks out talent across the country rather than just sitting in a studio in Los Angeles. Let’s hope they find some hidden talent tonight!

8:07 p.m. – An incredibly excited Jade Flores is tonight’s first contestant. The country singer has struggled with weight and confidence issues throughout her life, but everything turned around in recent years when she met her supportive husband, Jonah. Jade’s got an average voice that is being completely overpowered by her awful-sounding guitar. When Jade belts out the chorus, she gets a nod of approval from Lionel. Katy likes that Jade has the personality to back up the voice, while Luke tells her to work on believing in herself. Jade is heading to Hollywood!

8:12 p.m. – Up next is Jacob O’Brien, a patriot dressed in an American flag t-shirt ready to perform an original song about his love for the U.S.A. The Oklahoma native hopes to follow in the footsteps of Carrie Underwood, who also hails from the Sooner state. It’s nice that Jacob loves his country, but I have to give his voice a hard pass. He can barely stay in tune and his songwriting skills are wretched. No thanks! Lionel doesn’t think Jacob’s voice is up to par. The others agree, but Luke was at least nice enough to sign the kid’s guitar. Jacob’s headed home. God bless the U.S.A.!

8:25 p.m. – We’re back in New York now, where Christiaan Padavan hopes to croon his way to Hollywood. Christian is singing “Vienna,” and he’s got a refreshingly simple, pop style. He’s sticking true to the Billy Joel melody and I’m just happy to hear someone stand flat-footed and sing. Katy insists Christiaan’s girlfriend come in and sing as well, but she is mortified. Before they torture the poor girl, the judges let Christiaan is heading to Hollywood! Next, the happy sample of “New York, New York.”

8:35 p.m. – Back in Los Angeles, Ryan Hammond is the son of a church choir director whom Katy is well aware of. Ryan has lost over 170 pounds recently and he looks great! But the journey wasn’t easy. Following his weight loss surgery, doctors realized there was a hole left in his stomach and he had to go into emergency surgery. With a new lease on life, Ryan is ready to fulfill his dreams. Singing “Lay Me Down,” Ryan has a nice, full voice with plenty of range, but moderate control issues. Overall, it was a solid rendition but I’m still waiting or someone to blow me away tonight. Lionel appreciated his ability to make the song his own. Luke thought he was selling his voice and Katy hopes to take him out of the church vibe a little bit with his song choices. But those are just minor tweaks, Ryan is going to Hollywood!

8:45 p.m. – We head into the middle of the country to check out some more Idaho contestants and Chloe Channell is auditioning with 90’s country singer Billy Dean accompanying her on guitar. Kenny Rogers, who worked with Lionel on his hit “Lady,” actually discovered Chloe when she was 12. Now at 16, Chloe is singing “Stupid Boy,” and she’s got a pure country tone, solid range and plenty of star power. I think this girl’s got a good shot at making it pretty far in this competition. Katy thinks she is brilliant and Luke told her to have fun with it. Chloe is heading to Hollywood!

9:00 p.m. – Closing out the first hour of tonight’s episode is Emma Kleinberg, who of course has a tragic story to tell. Her brother Alex was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and last year he attempted suicide. Alex survived, but he has brain damage due to the lack of oxygen he sustained. Now Emma is singing “American Privilege,” and she’s got an alternative rasp and sings with purpose. I like the grungy vibe she gives off and the girl can sing a rock song. Katy calls Emma the best they’ve heard today. Luke didn’t think she could have showcased herself any better. Lionel says, “You can’t teach confidence.” Emma is going to Hollywood!

9:10 p.m. – Up next we’ve got another country boy, but this one happens to be a professional clogger. Oh, joy. Let’s see if this state champion flat-footer can sing. Zebulon Spencer actually does have one of the best country voices they’ve shown in the auditions. And they’ve shown a LOT. Luke thinks he’s about an inch away from being incredible, he just needs to relax. Katy thinks he has something worth working with. Zeb is headed to Hollywood!

9:20 p.m. – Now we’ve got a guy named Jorgie, who grew up in Israel where it was hard to be gay. When he was 18 he moved to L.A. and now he lives out, loud and proud. His family doesn’t know he’s gay, but they’re about to find out. He just hopes they’re proud of him when they see this. Jorgie is wearing a pink fur coat over a mid-drift and  performing an original song called “Heaven” he wrote for a guy named Jeffrey. Okay, I have to be honest, I thought Jorgie was going to be a disaster, but he’s got a decent voice. He got a little over the top with his falsetto, but Lionel was loving it. Katy appreciated the emotion and Luke was impressed. Jorgie is heading to Hollywood!

9:30 p.m. – Up next is a hunk-o-saurus named Nick Merico and Luke immediately notices the charmer’s good looks. Nick was on a Nickelodeon TV show called “Every Witch Way” when he was a teenager, but now at 22 years old he hopes to make his big break as a singer. Nick sits at the piano to sing “Back to Black” and the man’s a solid piano player! As he gets into the chorus he proves to be a good singer as well, although a bit dramatic. Luke is disgusted that this man has the looks and the talent. Lionel compliments his dreamy eyes and vocal chops. Katy admits some people can sing better, but he’s the full package. Nick is off to Hollywood!

9:40 p.m. – After all these heart-warming, lighthearted contestants, I’m ready for this next contestant. This goth girl who looks like she walked straight off a horror movie, wearing black lipstick and a black dress to match her black hair. She tells the judges last year was boring because it was “too American” and Lady Mapo breaks into song and dance, before whipping off her wig to reveal…it’s Maddie Poppe! Surprise! I didn’t see that coming! We also see brief drop-ins from Catie Turner, Noah Davis and Caleb Lee Hutchinson.

9:45 p.m. – A good friend of Caleb’s named Jared Sanders is there to audition with Caleb’s support. Jared is a firefighter who is fully prepared to become the next “American Idol.” Jared has just about the best Southern accent I’ve ever heard and I could just listen to that all night. Finally, it’s time for Jared to sing and he’s keeping it old-school with a George Strait classic. I appreciate that Jared can actually play the guitar, but I can’t say I’m blown away by his voice. I’d like to hear him sing something else. Lionel loves the twang in his thang. Lionel isn’t blown away by his voice, but he’s blown away by his potential. Katy wants Jared to dig in a little bit more. Lionel reminds the judges that they had to roll the dice on Caleb last year and Jared is worth looking into. Katy holds firm and says, “No.” Lionel gives him a “Yes,” but Luke seals Jared’s fate with another “No.” Ouch.

9:59 p.m. – It’s time for the final audition of the season! Jackson Gillies is just 19 years old and has a skin condition called HS, which has left markings all over his body. On top of that he’s diabetic. Despite all of that, Jackson has a positive attitude and expresses any pain he has through music. He’s singing “Make It Rain,” and has a soulful, powerful voice. This is definitely one of the best auditions of the season. This man has is a contender! Lionel finds Jackson inspiring. Katy tells him to dig in because he’s going to Hollywood! That’s a wrap on the audition process!

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