April 25, 2024

The “American Idol” judges were looking for every reason to give a “yes” in Week 3 of the reality singing competition.

In Sunday episode of the ABC show, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry gave several contestants second chances, challenging them to do better.

One of the auditions that left the trio on the fence was Kimi, a Brooklynite, originally from Kosovo, who was born during the 1998-99 Kosovo War. With a compelling story of moving to the U.S. to pursue his musical dreams and forgoing seeing his family for six years, the judges wanted to give the 25-year-old server a second, then a third chance to blow them away.

Kimi’s audition song ― “Heal,” by Tom Odell ― wasn’t enough to push the judges over the edge.

“The problem is, you’re being a little premeditated and proper with it. If we can get you to just not think about singing so technical,” Bryan said. “I’m not sure that song really showcases a lot.”

“Give us the ‘I told you so,'” Richie said. Kimi’s take two: Adele’s “Love in the Dark.”

“Are you going to sing defeated like that for your mom?” Perry negged him. Ultimately, it took getting Kimi’s mother involved by waking her up in the middle of the night to light a fire under the singer.

As Kimi tearfully crooned an Albanian tune called “Kosova Nena Ime,” Perry kept his phone aloft so his mom, who didn’t even know about his shot at “Idol,” could watch him on FaceTime. “I’m very proud of where I come from because we went through hell, especially my mom and dad,” Kimi said.

The third time proved to be the charm, as Kimi snagged three yeses that sent him to Hollywood.

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Done up in a red dress and fake eyelashes, the moment Scarlett Lee opened her mouth to sing Emeli Sandé’s “Clown,” it was clear the judges had underestimated her.

“Wow, what just happened?” Richie asked his colleagues after Scarlett belted a particularly impressive note. Perry appeared to have tears in her eyes as she listened to the 26-year-old Londoner sing one of Perry’s favorite songs.

“You do know your trip was well worth it?” Richie asked after the performance. “It was so well executed.”

“I don’t know if you’re from ‘Love Island’ and this is some prank” was Perry’s initial thought.

“I know girls like you in London,” she added. “Your personality is so big. And sometimes people don’t take you seriously. But when you sing a song and you sing a song like that, you cut through all of the layers. Doesn’t matter the makeup, doesn’t matter the outfit. You become Scarlett Lee, the singer, the artist, the possible next American idol.”

Three yeses put the emotional Brit on the fast track to Hollywood.

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After auditioning for ‘Idol’ ‘a million times’, this woman gets 3 yeses

Berea, Kentucky’s natural talent, Kyra Waits, finally had her chance to shine in front of the judges after auditioning over the past five years.

The 23-year-old stay-at-home mom, decorated with tattoos and a septum piercing, gave it her all with Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain.”

Despite some cracks in her voice, Kyra belted out what Richie called “a full scream” and it caught the judges’ attention.

“I know it’s all about God’s timing, but why did it take so long?” Perry asked.

“You’re a little bit unrehearsed. And you’re a little bit not completely in control of your massive talent, but you’ve got a huge voice in there that just needs some shaping,” Perry said. “You’re a different kind of diamond in the rough.”

After trying out “a million times,” Kyra finally earned three yeses – and a golden ticket.

Taking a chance with ‘I Kissed a Girl’ earns a ‘yes’ from Katy Perry

For 22-year-old Madaí Chakell, taking a chance by giving Perry’s 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl” a spin paid off – but ultimately it was her vocals in “Happy Birthday” that earned her a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Madaí’s audition was “wild and colorful,” Perry said, but “I want you to sing ‘Happy Birthday'” without all the dramatics. “Give me some vocals,” she said.

“There it is,” Perry said as soon as Madaí launched into the song. “It is so fun when you can strip it all down, take that frosting off and there’s still, like, a great cake.”

Though Bryan saw Madaí as “still a year or two away (from) really perfecting who you are as the individual artist,” Perry and Richie didn’t think so. The professional performer got two yeses, which was good enough.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘American Idol’ contestant tearfully sings in Albanian after judges FaceTime his mom

Copyright Gannett Co., Inc. 2024. All Rights Reserved. Gannett Syndication Service

This story was originally published March 3, 2024, 9:00 PM.

source: star-telegram

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