American Idol 2020 Audition Cities
American Idol 2020 premieres TONIGHT on ABC at 8 pm ET/PT Featured on the panel are veteran R&B master, Lionel Richie, pop star Katy Perry and country singer Luke Bryan. Ryan Seacrest returns to host.
Doug Kiker – 27 – Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts – The episode kicks off with the “garbage man.” He’s only sung on the truck. Never for an audience. Lionel suggests that Doug follow host Ryan Seacrest outside to “warm up” in front of a crowd on the sidewalk. “You are going to be his first audience,” says Ryan.
After another hopeful (Camryn) and a commercial break, Doug is back on the seal. Doug says he’s auditioning today for his two year old daughter. He’s bowled over by Katy “I’m sorry, you’re so pretty!” Star struck. He sings but it’s more like bellowing.
After yelling his way through the song. Katy asks him to “show us your range.” He seriously doesn’t know what that means. Luke sits at the piano, and he launches into Broken road again, as the judge coaches him. This audition is 100 percent backstory. This man’s singing is rough.
Lionel tells his he’s “a hell of a man” before handing him a golden ticket. Katy is left crying. Doug won’t last one day in Hollywood, but God bless him. – 3 yeses
Camryn Leigh Smith – 16 – A Georgia native, Camryn likes music by Adele, Jessie J and Sam Smith. She released a single titled “A Way Out” in 2019. She was raised in the church, but wants to sing secular music. Katy’s ears perk up! She’s got an interesting husky tone, and is a real natural. Katy now has hope for the new season. Luke is impressed that it’s so natural and easy for the young singer. Three Yeses
Francisco Martin – 18 – Alaska by Maggie Rogers – Singer/Songwriter based in San Francisco. Currently, he’s studying pre-law in college.
Francisco explains that he struggles with self-confidence. He’s so nervous, Luke and Lionel jump up to give him a hug. His parents look pretty nervous too! Maybe that’s where he gets it. Once he gets going, he doesn’t seem nervous.
He’s very present behind his guitar. His tone is very pretty. On the chorus, he shows off an impressive range. “You little devil you!” says Luke. “I just checked the pulse of a future superstar.” Katy calls his voice “incredible.”
The judges ask for an original song. He wrote a song about a friend, and he plays a bit of it, and it’s pretty good! Katy calls him Top 10. Luke calls him Top 5! The winner maybe! Of course, he’s going to Hollywood – 3 yeses
Hunter Gibson – 23 – Swing Swing by the All American Rejects – He’s a “self described emo guy,” according to a local news interview he uploaded on Instagram. His style is pop/punk. He calls himself “The Comeback.” OK then. He walks into the holding room like a crazy man. HELLO JOKE CONTESTANT. Of course, he’s pretty terrible. How many off key notes can one singer fit into a song? A bunch, it turns out. He’s a Chris Cabrera knock off, only with super bad singing. Katy begins singing along with him. And we think he’s done…but nope. He keeps singing! Katy isn’t sure if Emo has made enough of a comeback, She would go see him in a show…but the vocals aren’t there. To say the least. – 3 nos.
Nick Merico – 23 – You Say by Lauren Daigle – Nick nabbed a golden ticket last year, but dropped out of the competition “due to a family situation.” He told the Colt show he had a record deal. But obviously not! Because he’s back. A few years ago, he starred in the Nickelodeon show, “Every Witch Way.” But dropped out of the competition before Hollywood. His audition kicks off with a clip of last year’s audition. So, he’s playing the total A-*** this year. The judges are a little irked that he withdrew. Nick says “some personal things came up” and actually offers a sincere apology to the judges. Nick accompanies himself at the piano. It’s an earnest performance, and actually seems to be a better singer since last season. “The oval of judgement.” Heh. Katy accuses him of behaving like he’s too good for them. “Be open to being molded and shaped,” she warns. Luke is kinder, calling him a heartthrob. Lionel doesn’t like him. Not his voice, not his attitude “I don’t think you’re going to make it in Hollywood.” Hm. This audition is beginning to feel like a bit! The drama is even interrupted by a commercial break. Nick feels hurt! And indeed, Lionel admits he delivered a head psych. He wants Nick to know what if feels like to be disliked. The judges all say, BE HUMBLE. – 3 yeses
Arthur Gunn – 21 – Girl From the North Country by Bob Dylan – He grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal. But he moved to America to chase his dream. He lives in Wichita Kansas now, and has absorbed bluegrass and country music. His Indian name means “The Light.” DANG, Arthur has a total Phillip Phillips vibe. He’s really absorbed American Folk music wow. Lionel wants another song. Katy asks him to keep his eyes open. He sings “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater. He’s a Phillip Phillips clone. Lionel says, “I am loving this discovery!” Luke wants him to open for him on tour. Katy notes his “storyteller voice.” It turns out he wasn’t recruited. He sang at the bus in Kansas. Bonus: Bobby Bones interviewed him during his video package. – 3 yeses
Alisa Ermolaev – 28 – Hmmm. I smell a joke contestant. Alisa is an actress/model who has appeared on Ray Donovan, Elementary, Hustlers and more. She played “Stripper No 2” in the JL9 movie. She moved to America from Moscow at 8 months old. But, she’s very New Yawk. Queens. She brings along a dude in giant glasses, introducing him to the judges as her “musical mentor and partner.” Hm. She claims that people tell her she looks like Taylor Swift. HM. Unsurprisingly, she screams her way through an original song. It’s as bad as you think it would be. Next, she does a comedy bit. Things don’t get better. Now the judges are frightened. I might be too. Luke thinks the duo is “loads of fun” but it’s a no. And in typical joke contestant fashion, she swears up a storm in her post show interview – 3 nos.
Louis Knight – Change (original song) – British born, Philadelphia based pop singer/songwriter. He comes from a family with “roots in the music industry.” He released his first single “Just Kiss Me” in 2019. . Louis performs an original song called “Change” dedicated to a good friend who committed suicide. Louis was born in England, but moved to Philadelphia with his family 8 years ago. It was a big adjustment, but soccer, and his friendship with Russell helped. It took a long time to deal with the loss, but eventually he could put his feelings down on paper. He sings the raw, emotional song, sitting at the piano. His voice is appealing–good range and he really connects to what he’s singing. Luke calls him the biggest star they’ve ever had on American Idol. Katy wouldn’t go that far. She wants to keep him humble. Lionel compliments his songwriting. 3 yeses
Saveria – 22 – Tell Me This Is Real (Original) An R&B singer from Ontario, Canada, Saveria appeared on season 2 of The Launch, the Canadian music competition created by former American Idol mentor, Scott Borchetta. She had a major label deal as a kid. Her voice is solid, but I don’t love this original song. She’s generic.
Lionel felt it was off and on. He didn’t feel it. I agree with Lionel. Luke is also underwhelmed. Katy calls her a “gymnast singer” with a ton of potential. Katy says yes. But Lionel thinks she needs to work on her craft more. Katy wants to mentor her. AND COMMERCIAL BREAK. After we come back, LUKE SAYS NO. Katy jumps out of her chair, she’s so mad. “DON’T MAKE ME TAKE MY EARRINGS OFF.” Lionel and Luke won’t budge. Katie goes mental, running out of the room, knocking down props. “I think it’s a horrible decision,” she says. I’m team Lionel and Luke. Katie says yes, Luke and Lionel No
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Meghan Fitton – 23 – Love Where You’re At by Allen Stone – Meghan hails from Foxboro, Massachusetts and attended the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Her first EP is coming out in March. She watched American Idol. But when it comes to reality, SHE LOVES THE BACHELOR. She’s got a podcast, even.
Ben Higgins is her favorite. With the Bachelor backstory, I half-way expected her to be mediocre. But she’s got a sweet, gravelly tone and I like her phrasing. Bachelor backstory, unnecessary. Luke calls it “incredible.” Katy is not as impressed. Lionel calls her “raw and wonderful.” Katy loves the grit in her voice, but she thinks she needs to connect more. “If I had a rose, I’d give you one,” she says. HA HA Bachelor host Chris Harrison, via tablet, offers her a Golden Ticket. Nice cross promotion.- 3 yeses
American Idol 2020 Audition Cities
New York, NY – July 23
Mobile, AL – August 20
Macon, GA – August 23
Tallahassee, FL – August 23
Santa Barbara, CA – August 23
Baton Rouge, LA – August 25
Columbia, SC – August 26
Las Vegas, NV – August 26
Waco, TX – August 27
Knoxville, TN – August 29
Salt Lake City, UT – August 29
Colorado Springs, CO – September 1
Raleigh, NC – September 1
Washington, D.C. – September 4
Wichita, KS – September 4
San Jose, CA – September 6
Pittsburgh, PA – September 7
Springfield, IL – September 7
Spokane, WA – September 8
Detroit, MI – September 10
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) October 15, 2019
Locations and dates subject to change.