‘American Idol’ episode 4 auditions ranked: All 10 Hollywood-bound singers from worst to best — and what they should sing next

American Idol” auditions continued with the fourth episode of Season 20 on Sunday, March 20. This installment of the ABC reality TV competition definitely delivered on talent and judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie were left inspired and, at times, in tears.

So who was the best of the night? And did these aspiring stars choose the right songs? Below I rank each hopeful from the least impressive (but with room to grow) to a possible Season 20 frontrunner. I also throw in a song suggestion or artist I’d love to hear them cover.

SEE Everything to know about ‘American Idol’ Season 20

Below are my rankings for all 10 Hollywood-bound singers from worst to best:

10. Thomas Patrick Moran: With no lack of personality and enthusiasm, he swept the “Idol” audition room up like a force of nature. Vocally, Thomas left a bit to be desired. My initial gut feeling is that Thomas will either be an early elimination during Hollywood Week or he might surprise us all in the much feared early rounds. Hoping for a cover of Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It” from him down the road.

9. Fritz Hager: A fan of the show meeting his favorite contestant that just so happens to have won his season?! How very “Idol.” With a boost of confidence from Phillip Phillips, Fritz wowed the judges with his confidence and a vocal that I can only describe as relaxing. Saying that, I cannot help but wonder if Fritz is holding out on better song choices down the road since this audition was a bit forgettable. Personally, I would recommend Justin Bieber’s “Anyone”, which would highlight the quality and naturalness of his vocal tone.

8. Hayley Slaton: With an audition that almost received the opposite of what she set out to achieve, Hayley definitely proved that she is more than willing to fight for her spot in this competition even if she is expecting a child in the upcoming months. That alone made her jump up a few slots on my rankings since I love seeing the fire in the eyes of the contestants. While her cover of a Miley Cyrus classic received a lukewarm reception, an Adele cover punched her ticket to Hollywood. As far as song selection goes in the future, Hayley should stay in the realm of the second song but I would love to hear her version of Taylor Swift’s “Cardigan” or Shania Twain’s “Love Gets Me Every Time”.

7. Elli Rowe: I always love when a contestant opens with his or her family’s musical background since that usually means that he or she is going to be really good. I can happily classify this contestant in that category. With what seemed like an effortless performance with zero nerves, she wowed the judges. An absolute diamond in the rough for sure. I would love to hear her cover of Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough” or “Everyday Is a Winding Road”.

6. Zareh: As a second generation Idol” contestant (her mother is Season 4’s 8th-place finisher Nadia Turner), she absolutely surprised not only her mother but the judges as well. Solid vocals showed not only her potential, but that she can pick a song perfectly. Definitely one to watch out for this season. I would love to hear what she could do with Olivia Rodrigo’s “Traitor”.

SEE ‘American Idol’ episode 3 auditions ranked: All 9 Hollywood-bound singers from worst to best

5. Sam Moss: We might have a first with a contestant coming to audition a second time and nailing it on the second shot. If she has any more original songs like this, she could be one to watch out for in Hollywood Week. I personally would love to see Sam tackle any song of the Carole King songbook.

4. Kevin Gullage: Anyone who mentions William Hung as an Idol inspiration would worry me. Saying that, Kevin can sing circles around most singers in the competition now so we got a surprise. Easily one to watch out for in Hollywood Week. Here’s to hoping for a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine”.

3. Jacob Moran: Another returning contestant! Hoping to make it past Hollywood Week this go-around, Jacob provided the judges with an incredible audition that showed he meant business. His voice will stand out from the crowd and makes him a frontrunner. Any song could be a weapon in his very capable hands but taking a cue from Glee, I would absolutely love to see him sing a cover of The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

2. Dan Marshall Griffith: I immediately recognized him from his internet videos so Dan’s “Yes” from all three judges was not unexpected. He has such a classic voice that does well on this particular show. Saying that, the judges did note that he needs some refinement. Something tells me that voters will love him so he should have no problem getting time to grow. My song suggestion is Willie Nelson’s “Just as I Am”.

1. Douglas Mills Jr.: A star is born! With an audition that I can only describe as perfection, Douglas shined brighter than a diamond. He could have a bit more confidence, but I can only assume that the love that he is currently receiving on social media should make him realize that he truly is a star. My song suggestion for him would be The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” or Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me”. To quote the great Benjamin Franklin, “Hide not your talents, they for use were made, What’s a sundial in the shade?” As of now, he is my pick to win this season and anyone who told him that he was not good enough should look back at this audition and realize they were wrong.

In short, with one audition episode left on Monday, March 21, “American Idol” is proving that even after all these years, it can still surprise us.

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