American Idol 2022: Superstar comebacks and performances

LOS ANGELES — The audition episodes of “American Idol” are coming to an end, but not without some notable comeback stories and memorable performances.

The audition stage moved to the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to open Episode 4 with a jam featuring Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx.

Zareh, a Miami native who moved to Los Angeles, got the first audition of the night. “Fashion is her passion,” she says since working as a stylist, but the 21-year-old also has musical dreams.

Her mother is Idol alum Nadia Turner, who reached the top 8 in season 4 in 2005. She thinks she’s going to spend a day at the spa with Zareh until she ends up next. by Ryan Seacrest!

Thomas Patrick Moran has Irish roots thanks to his mother and made the judges dance before his audition.

He brought a lot of energy to the scene by having fun and being a bit of a clown, but then toned it down a bit and Thomas delivered a low-key performance of “River.”

Sam Moss auditioned in Austin but failed. Katy Perry gave him a yes, but not Lionel Richie or Luke Bryan. Determined, the 25-year-old piano teacher from Iowa traveled to Los Angeles to try again.

She has a soaring voice and performed an original song, but could she sway Luke and Lionel the second time around?

The three judges gave him a standing ovation.

Fritz Hager is a security guard in Tyler, Texas who really wants to sing on stage. Now 21, Fritz says fellow Idol contestant Phillip Phillips inspired him to play guitar. Fritz received some advice from the 2012 winner before going on stage for his audition.

He starts off slow but picks up momentum performing the chorus of “Before You Go” but would that be enough to earn a spot in Hollywood? It’s up to Lionel to break the tie.

Kevin Gullage is a 23-year-old musician from Louisiana who said he was inspired by 2004 contestant William Hung, who had no training when he auditioned to sing. And just like his inspiration, Kevin gave it his all for a ticket to Hollywood with one of the most powerful performances in the auditions.

The second returning story of the night featured Jacob Moran from East Lansing, Michigan. He arrived in Hollywood in season 17 of Idol but was eliminated early. He is now a nurse and has lost 60 pounds since that audition.

Jacob sang “Rise” by Katy Perry.

“I really think you picked the right song and did it justice,” Katy said.

Haley Slaton was pregnant when she auditioned for Idol. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native has been singing since she was a young girl in church with dreams of becoming an “American.”
She struggled to hit some of the notes on her debut song, Miley Cyrus’ “Climb.” Haley got a second chance to impress the judges with her rendition of Adele’s “One and Only.”

Elli Rowe, 19, is a college student from Nashville, Tennessee. We haven’t learned much about her career but she can sing!

“You have a magic substance, my dear,” said Lionel Richie.

Daniel Marshall Griffith is a former Virginia Tech football player trying to make his mark in country music. He started performing in front of people and posting videos on TikTok only a few months ago.

“You have this storytelling thing,” Lionel Richie said after his audition.

This round of auditions ended with Douglas Mills. He is an outstanding senior at Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas.

The 18-year-old won ABC Houston’s VIP Affiliate Ticket after coming highly recommended by his music teachers due to his talent, dedication and determination after persevering through multiple surgeries while throughout high school.

Mills says music has helped him overcome many adversities, including bullying –
the children called him “Gorilla” and “King Kong”.

He chose “Strange Fruit” for his performance especially for the black community, “because we have been through so much suffering over the past centuries. It’s time to raise awareness.”

He mesmerized the judges with his performance, with Katy Perry calling him “a superstar”.

“You’re off the charts,” Richie said.

Watch more american idol Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT | 7 p.m. CT on your local ABC station and the next day on Hulu.

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