“American Idol” continues on March 21 for its fifth season on ABC and 20th overall. As always, Ryan Seacrest hosts the reality TV competition series while country superstar Luke Bryan, pop princess Katy Perry and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Lionel Richie make up the judging panel. This is the last full episode of auditions, however, behind-the-scenes footage and a few additional tryouts will be shown following the Oscars on March 27.
This season the judges embark on yet another nationwide search for America’s next singing sensation. Auditions were held in Nashville, Tennessee, Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, California. If given a golden ticket, hopeful idols will advance to the Hollywood round. In a new twist this season, three contestants will be given a Platinum Ticket, which allows them to skip the first phase of Hollywood week. Huntergirl and Kenedi Anderson received the first two. Who will win the final Platinum Ticket on tonight’s last audition episode of the season?
SEE Everything to know about ‘American Idol’ Season 20
Below, follow along with all the action on Night 5 of Season 20 of “American Idol.”
8:00 p.m. — Last week on “American Idol”… Season 5 on ABC (and the 20th overall) continued with 10 singers advancing to Hollywood. None of them were given the third and final Platinum Ticket, so it’s still up for grabs! But enough about last week, let’s see who impresses the judges tonight!
8:10 p.m. — First up tonight is Tobias Hill, a 26-year old from Como, North Carolina. Tobias is the music director at his church and a middle school chorus teacher. This music man sits down at the piano to sing “Knocks Me Off My Feet” by Stevie Wonder for his audition. First of all, he’s an extremely gifted pianist, but I feel like he needs to raise the key of the song. The vocals are there, but it’s all a little low. Katy thinks Tobias sounds a little nervous and asks if he can dance. Somebody plays “Uptown Funk” on the keys and Tobias breaks out some very serious dance moves. Somebody must have given the judges notes that this man can dance. Luke says Tobias isn’t “100% there” vocally, but he should definitely be in the mix. Lionel likes the enthusiasm of Tobias’ showmanship. Katy says he has “stardust” swirling all around him. Tobias is going to Hollywood!
8:20 p.m. — Next up is Morgan Gruber, a 17-year old from Fombell, Pennsylvania. Morgan is a country girl who enjoys fishing and riding ATVs. She’s tired of looking at cornfields and cows though, so this teenager is ready to go to Hollywood. For her audition, Morgan is singing “Can’t Be Loved” by Elle King. She’s got a really nice voice, but I’m not sure it’s an audition I’ll remember tomorrow. There’s definitely potential for her though! We will se how she does in Hollywood, because that’s where Morgan is heading! Katy and Luke both think this youngster will be Top 20.
8:30 p.m. — The next person to audition is a big fan of Luke’s and she even calls him “Lukey Pookie.” It’s a total Luke love-fest before things finally get rolling. Her name is Kimmie Caraffa and she’s a 25-year old server from Cleveland. Kimmie is singing “How Do I Live” by LeAnn Rimes and is determined to change the lives of herself and her two-year-old daughter. She sounds pretty good until the end when she completely misses a note. I’m not sure if this woman has what it takes to get through Hollywood week. But what do the judges think? Lionel says she needs time. Luke says her voice is “nice” but Kimmie isn’t ready for “American Idol.” Next, Kimmie resorts to begging. It doesn’t work. The judges have turned Kimmie down and she leaves in tears.
8:40 p.m. — Kaylin Roberson is a 23-year old from Raleigh, North Carolina and she’s auditioning with her boyfriend, 23-year old Matt Gorman from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They both live in Nashville now and love performing on stage together. Tonight they’re singing their original song, “Fast Forever.” Matt kicks things off and it’s okay, but the song really gets injected with energy once Kaylin chimes in. They harmonize really well together. I could definitely see the judges putting Kaylin through and leaving Matt behind here. Katy says Matt didn’t shine as much, but she loves the grit in his voice. Luke says Matt needs to expand his range. Kaylin is going to Hollywood! Matt is not. Even though Matt is really forcing a smile, you can tell he is not fine with this at all. He seems devastated to be left behind while his girlfriend pursues stardom in Hollywood, but he pledges to stay by her side.
8:55 p.m. — Saylor is an 18-year old from Newalla, Oklahoma. She has been singing her entire life and can’t imagine doing anything else with her life. When Saylor was 10-years old her dad videotaped her singing “Tattooed Heart” by Ariana Grande and it went viral online. After that her dad would take her around to various gigs and the two were best of friends, but three years ago he up and left the family. He moved to Kentucky and married a woman he had been having an affair with. To make matters worse, he met this woman on Saylor’s fan site! This is like a soap opera playing out here. Anyways, Saylor is now determined to prove she doesn’t need her father and she’s shooting for the stars without him. She sings “All I Want” by Kodaline, She cracks partway through the first verse, but the judges encourage her to keep going. Things honestly get worse before they get better, but she has some talent in there. The judges want to see if this butterfly can emerge from the cocoon. Saylor is heading to Hollywood!
9:05 p.m. — Schyler Dixon is from Nashville and she’s singing “My Church” by Maren Morris. The audition is interrupted by someone ripping open a bag of potato chips and loudly chomping on them behind the scenes. An annoyed Katy goes and grabs the bag before sitting back down at the judges’ table. The annoyed staffer then returns, snatching back her chips before Luke and Lionel call for this person to be removed from the studio. Katy then runs over and pulls off the person’s mask and it’s revealed to be Luke’s wife, Caroline, pulling a prank! Caroline staged this with Katy and planned everything earlier in the day. Apparently even Schyler was a fake contestant. Oh well, moving right along…
9:10 p.m. — Cameron Whitcomb is an 18-year old from Kamloops, British Columbia. Tonight he’s singing “Rock, Salt and Nails” by Waylon Jennings. His voice sounds a little shy in the beginning, but he’s got a really nice tone. He’s definitely an amateur, but there’s real potential here. Luke doesn’t think Cameron has any idea what he’s doing, but he’s intrigued. Cameron admits he’s never sang in front of anybody before. Lionel says he could be amazing if he puts everything together. Lionel rejects the teenager, but Katy and Luke want to hear more. Cameron is heading to Hollywood! Lionel can’t believe it.
9:15 p.m. — Emyrson Flora is a 16-year old from Cleveland singing “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile. She’s really screeching her way through this and I find her tone nearly unlistenable (at least when she belts out the high notes). Katy thinks she has “raw talent.” Lionel is debating on whether or not he should roll the dice on her. I guess they’re rolling the dice! Emyrson is heading to Hollywood!
9:25 p.m. — Next up is Sir Blayke, a 28-year old from Chicago who is giving himself a pep talk in the mirror before he meets the judges. He walks in with an infectious smile and explains he’s been singing in church since he was eight years old. After high school, Blayke moved to Atlanta and eventually became homeless. He would intern in a studio during the day and sleep on a bench at night. Refusing to give up on his dream, Blayke didn’t go home. Now he’s a struggling songwriter in LA, but he’s on the right track. Tonight Blayke is auditioning with “Dive” by Ed Sheeran. It’s a decent audition, but Katy wants to hear some of his original music. He starts in on his own music a cappella. It’s an interesting song, but I’m not in love with his voice. Luke says he’s trying too hard. Lionel loves the texture of Blayke’s voice, but tells him to dial it back. Luke says “No,” Lionel says “Yes,” and Katy breaks the tie with a “Yes.” Sir Blayke will continue forward to Hollywood week.
9:35 p.m. — Jessarae is a 26-year old from Santa Monica, California who has his audition spliced together with 20-year old Kira Rizavi from New York and 28-year old Marlene Mendoza from the Bronx, New York. It’s a trio of total disappointment. Hoping to turn things around is Carly Mickeal, a 23-year old dog groomer from Simi Valley, California. She’s singing “Your Song” by Elton John as her dad plays piano. I’m not really feeling this performance either. She’s extremely theatrical. Luke thinks she’s a “star,” which is shocking to me. She’s very pretty, but her voice did nothing for me. Lionel tells Carly to stop thinking so much, but she’s heading to Hollywood!
9:50 p.m. — Next up is Jay Copeland, a 23-year old from Salisbury, Maryland. He dropped out of graduate school to pursue “American Idol” so I hope he’s good! Jay is singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder. The range on this guy is fantastic and he instantly gets my attention after such a long spell of mediocre to awful auditions. Jay seems like he’s overdoing it just a bit, but if this were live on a big stage with a band it would light the room on fire. A standing ovation from the judges follows. Lionel says Jay “owned it” while having “so much fun.” Luke says, “We’ve been waiting for a kid like you. You’re perfect.” Katy says since Jay has studied so much, he could probably skip a day of school. Jay gets the final Platinum Ticket!
9:59 p.m. — The final audition of Season 20 has arrived. Skyler Maxey-Wert is a 25-year old ballet dancer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania who currently lives in Germany. He’s had a very successful career in dance, but Skyler recently started posting videos of himself singing on Instagram. The response has been great, so why not see how far he can go? The dancer is singing “For All We Know” by Donnie Hathaway for his audition. I like Skyler even though it’s obvious he hasn’t been performing as a singer for long. This is a diamond in the rough, as the judges like to say. Luke, Katy and Lionel agree. Skyler is heading off to Hollywood and the auditions for Season 20 are finished!