“American Idol,” the iconic series that revolutionized the television landscape by pioneering the music competition genre, is back for another season on ABC. Helping determine who America will ultimately vote for to become the next singing sensation are music industry forces and superstar judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Emmy Award winner Ryan Seacrest hosts the reality TV competition series for the show’s sixth season on ABC and 21st overall.
Tonight the sixth and final batch of auditions from New Orleans, Las Vegas and Nashville will be shown. Aspiring pop stars sing their hearts out in hopes of earning a golden ticket to Hollywood, and if they really stand out, a platinum ticket, which allows them to skip the first round of competition during Hollywood Week. Read our full recap of Season 21 Episode 6, airing March 26, below.
SEE Everything to know about ‘American Idol’ Season 21: Premiere date, judges and host
8:00 p.m. — Previously on “American Idol”! The fifth batch of auditions took place, with 12 contestants earning golden tickets to Hollywood. Who will the judges discover tonight?
8:07 p.m. — The last day of auditions begins with Kaeyra, a 21-year old restaurant singer from Algonquin, Illinois. Her parents are Polish immigrants and her mother opened up a music school shortly after arriving in the United States. Kaeyra is auditioning with “Cold” by Chris Stapleton while playing piano. She’s got a unique grit and rasp to her voice, and Luke says, “You don’t sound like anybody else. You can just tell that music’s been in your world.” Katy wants to hear her sing something “less slow” when she’s in Hollywood — which means Kaeyra is heading to Hollywood!
8:13 p.m. — Next we see a trio of auditions bundled together: Elise Kristine, an 18-year old college student from Issaquah, Washing singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin; Sara Mac, a 24-year old bartender from Carrollton, Georgia singing “Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato; Jayna Elise, a 22-year old digital marketing specialist from Washington, D.C. singing “Who Wants to Live Forever” by Queen. All three impress the judges and receive golden tickets to Hollywood.
8:26 p.m. — The next contestant is a lover of 80’s rock. Nate Peck is a 21-year old salesman from Linden, Michigan singing “Lightin’ Strikes Again” by Dokken. It’s not totally in key, but Luke has some fun duetting with Nate on “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake. Katy gets in on the action by lunging onto the piano and crawling around. This audition must have translated better in the room, because the judges look more impressed than I was. Nate is heading to Hollywood.
8:35 p.m. — Mikenly Brown is a 17-year old high school student from New Castle, Indiana who dealt with a lot of bullying in middle and high school. She eventually developed an eating disorder that put her at the brink of death, but has since recovered and now accepts the fact that she wasn’t made to fit in. She’s auditioning with “Love On the Brain” by Rihanna as her emotional father accompanies her on guitar. Her unique spin on the hit song gets Mikenly a standing ovation and Luke says, “You just got a thing. You look like you were born to do this.” Lionel compliments her style and Katy says “Top 24 — at least!” Mikenly is heading to Hollywood!
8:47 p.m. — Isaac Brown is a 21-year old busker from Inglewood, California. He walks in with a lot of energy, hoping to win over the judges with his upbeat personality. For his audition, Isaac sings “Golden Hour” by JVKE. It begins a little slow, but as he reaches the chorus, Isaac proves he’s got a voice to be reckoned with. Katy asks him to entertain her with another song, so he chooses “Essence” by Wizkid featuring Tems. This allows him to show off a few dance moves, which impresses the judges enough to hand him a golden ticket to Hollywood.
9:00 p.m. — Cam Amen is a 27-year old from server from Omaha, Nebraska who grew up in and out of foster care. He and his siblings were taken away from their mother by police officers. At the age of 18 he left foster care and raised his younger brother and sister by himself. Now that they’re adults, he’s chasing the dream he always had of being a singer. Cam is auditioning with “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. It’s an emotional tour-de-force that leads Lionel to stand up and give Cam a hug at the end. Luke and Katy soon do the same as Cam bursts into tears. Luke says, “I can’t hardly breathe. Your style is so beautiful and unique.” Lionel tells Cam, “Divine guidance brought you to us and we’re going to have one heck of a ride.” The judges feel Cam is so special that he deserves the final Platinum Ticket of the season, which allows him to skip the first round of Hollywood week. What a moment!
9:10 p.m. — Sierra Harris is a 20-year old personal trainer from Lexington, Massachusetts singing “Barracuda” by Heart for her audition. Luke tells her she has a tremendous voice, but it’s hard to get a read on it with this song. Katy asks her to sing her own song, “Firework,” instead, which impresses them more. Katy actually feels deflated by how good Sierra is. The judges tell her to throw out all the gimmicks because her voice stands on its own. Sierra is heading to Hollywood!
9:27 p.m. — Phil Kane is an 18-year old songwriting student at Belmont University from Pawhuska, Oklahoma. For his audition he’s performing an original called “Osage County.” Katy says, “The moment you started playing the piano, your choices on the piano gave me chills. Then the storytelling of your song — I believed every single word. It was just so real. I really related to it. I’m not even from your little town, but I want to go and visit now! Authenticity will get you so far. It’s not about notes. It’s about telling a story.” Lionel praises Phil’s songwriting skills and Luke compares his understated presence to last year’s champ, Noah Thompson. Phil is headed to Hollywood!
9:36 p.m. — Fire has returned for her second chance at Hollywood after she failed to win over the judges last week. She admits that she was a bit overwhelmed having her daughter with her last week, and this time she’s better prepared. Fire sings “Love in the Dark” by Adele. Lionel compliments her “big swing” but isn’t sure she can take it to the next level. Luke tells Fire she’s not the best singer they’ve heard, but he wants to see her learn through this experience. Katy agrees with Luke and they hope to see Fire excel in Hollywood.
9:45 p.m. — Kaya Stewart is a 22-year old musician from West Hollywood auditioning with an original song called “This Tattoo.” She is accompanied by Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics, a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee who happens to be her father. Lionel gives her props as a songwriter and says he loves the tone of her voice. Luke thinks Kaya is worthy of jumping in the mix of this competition. The judges send Kaya to Hollywood!
10:00 p.m. — The final person auditioning this season is Oliver Steele, a 25-year old singer-songwriter from Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Oliver reveals his father was a professional blues guitar player, but he had a stroke that has affected the left side of his body. Oliver is singing “In My Life” by The Beatles while playing guitar. Luke calls it “an experience.” Katy says he started to “throw it away” a little bit and needs to “stay milking it” for the whole performance. The judges ask Oliver to bring his dad in so he can watch them give his son a ticket to Hollywood! An encore performance of “Change the World” by Eric Clapton was icing on the cake. The second performance led Katy to exclaim, “You could win this thing!” And that’s a wrap for Season 21 auditions.
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