Katy Perry was blown away by 17-year-old Kenedi Anderson’s audition on Sunday’s episode of American Idol and the teenager was awarded with a Platinum ticket.
After singing Applause by Lady Gaga while she played the piano, Katy just held out a piece of paper and asked her to sign it.
‘I’m feeling threatened,’ the 37-year-old pop superstar joked. ‘They’re younger. They’re skinnier. They’re prettier! They sing really good.’
Talented teenager: Katy Perry was blown away by 17-year-old Kenedi Anderson’s audition on Sunday’s episode of American Idol and the teenager was awarded with a Platinum ticket
‘I need two backstage passes,’ said judge Lionel Richie, 72.
‘My head is spinning,’ said Luke Bryan, 45.
Kenedi, from Crozet, Virginia, couldn’t believe what the judges were telling her.
Katy said she didn’t understand how she hadn’t been recruited by someone. Lionel told her they were looking for the next big thing and that she had ‘answered our prayers.’
On piano: Kenedi sang Applause by Lady Gaga while she played the piano
Strong voice: The teenager took on the Lady Gaga song and showed incredible range
Nailed it: Kenedi nailed every note during her audition
Standing ovation: Lionel Richie, Katy and Luke Bryan gave her a standing ovation
‘I believe you might be the biggest star we’ve ever seen,’ Luke said. ‘No doubt. I believe top 10.’
Katy quipped into her phone: ‘Siri make an appointment at the plastic surgeon.’
‘She was born to be a star,’ said Katy.
Good one: Katy quipped into her phone: ‘Siri make an appointment at the plastic surgeon’
‘You were,’ said Luke. ‘You were. I truly believe that your musical journey for the rest of your life just started right here.’
‘Chills,’ said Katy.
Kenedi got her mom and Katy told her, ‘You are so good that you deserve a break.’
Musical journey: ‘I truly believe that your musical journey for the rest of your life just started right here,’ Luke told Kenedi
Luke told her that this year they were handing out special 20th year tickets during regional auditions. He told her they were giving her the 20th year anniversary Platinum ticket out of the Nashville auditions because she was a superstar and it would allow her to skip a round during Hollywood week to watch and strategize.
‘I’d like to be your manager, producer,’ said Katy.
Kenedi was overcome with joy and came out and showed her ticket to everyone.
Job offers: ‘I’d like to be your manager, producer,’ said Katy
Platinum ticket: Kenedi was overcome with joy and came out and showed her ticket to everyone
‘The fact that I got a Platinum ticket is just so unbelievable to me,’ said Kenedi. Her family back home jumped up and down when they learned the news.
Kenedi wasn’t the only stunning performer on the two-hour Nashville audition show.
Miss America 2016, Betty Maxwell, 27, from Warner Robins, Georgia, kicked off the auditions and showed up for her tryout holding her crown. Before she came out she showed off her sash, which she said was dirty from spray tanning. Betty also said that her biggest dream would be to be the voice of a Disney princess.
So unbelievable: ‘The fact that I got a Platinum ticket is just so unbelievable to me,’ said Kenedi
Beauty queen: Miss America 2016, Betty Maxwell, 27, from Warner Robins, Georgia, kicked off the auditions and showed up for her tryout holding her crown
Betty handed the judges her crown but said that the Miss America pageant rules stated that they couldn’t put it on. Katy desperately wanted to try it on.
‘But the real question is will you be Miss American Idol,’ Katy said.
Betty sang A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson. Luke clapped when she was done and Katy said she also wanted to hear her sing a little country.
The crown: Betty handed the judges her crown but said that the Miss America pageant rules stated that they couldn’t put it on
Not allowed: The contestant pointed at Katy as she played around with the crown above her head
Big song: Betty sang A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson
‘Pageant girls sing like pageant girls,’ Luke said. ‘You don’t sing like a pageant girl. You sing like a real singer.’
Katy said there was a lot to work with.
‘I think you could be country and big,’ said Katy.
All three judges gave her a yes.
Going forward: All three judges gave her a yes and sent her to Hollywood
Leah Marlene, 20, from Normal, Illinois, went next. She said that music has been part of her since she was born and that she had been watching Idol since she was young. Leah brought her guitar and played while she sang Steal My Girl by One Direction.
‘You’ve got a tremendous voice,’ said Katy, who asked her if she wrote songs. Leah said she did and Katy asked her to share one of her originals.
‘You’re super fun,’ said Katy. ‘You are super quirky.’
Normal singer: Leah Marlene, 20, from Normal, Illinois, played guitar while she sang Steal My Girl by One Direction
Lionel said, ‘You carry your strangeness so well.’ Luke said he also thought she was ‘tremendous.’
All three voted for her to go to Hollywood.
A few contestants credited their family for their musical talents. Mike Parker, 27, from Warrenton, Virginia, shared before his audition that his mother wasn’t doing well and that he felt guilty being on the show.
Mike sang Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter accompanied by a pianist.
Felt guilty: Mike Parker, 27, from Warrenton, Virginia, shared before his audition that his mother wasn’t doing well and that he felt guilty being on the show
Luke said if he delivered his song really silky that he ‘would crush.’ Luke told him that he was a country singer and had the potential to be really amazing, Katy told him to lean into country.
‘That texture in your voice is the goal,’ ‘said Lionel. ‘You have all the goods to make it happen.’
Lionel got up and gave him a hug and said he had the potential to be the example for so many kids to see that ‘they don’t have to stay in a box.’
Big hug: Lionel got up and gave him a hug and said he had the potential to be the example for so many kids to see that ‘they don’t have to stay in a box’
‘All Black folks don’t play basketball,’ said Lionel. ‘All Black folks don’t rap…this is your inspiring moment. Take this and run with it. I’ve got my eye on you.’
The judges all voted for him to go on.
Mike told host Ryan Seacrest, when he walked out with his golden ticket, that he never thought he could do something so grand without his family by his side. Two days later he showed up at the hospital where he mother was being treated and handed her his golden ticket and they hugged.
Kelsie Dolin, 18, from Boone County, West Virginia, shared before her audition that her sister was born addicted to opiates so they were raised by their grandparents. Feron, her grandfather, said he was proud that she was pursuing her dream. She said she was doing the audition for her grandmother who recently passed away.
Kelsie sang Piece By Piece by Kelly Clarkson for her audition. When she was finished, Luke asked her if she had ever performed in front of anyone and she said she hadn’t. They asked her if she could sing another song and then she performed ‘When We Were Young’ by Adele.
Teenage singer: Kelsie Dolin, 18, from Boone County, West Virginia, shared before her audition that her sister was born addicted to opiates so they were raised by their grandparents
Katy stood and applauded when she was done.
‘It sounded really good,’ said Katy.
‘You have this pure beautiful voice that has never been challenged, never been pushed,’ said Luke.
‘You are very special,’ said Katy. ‘You are worth it.’
Unanimous vote: The judges voted to send Kelsie to Hollywood
Lionel asked her if she wanted to go to Hollywood and she said ‘I’d love to go.’ All the judges voted her on.
‘You’ve got a real voice in there,’ said Katy, who later made up a song about the cheese she was eating in breaks. Luke played piano as Katy sang ‘the calories, it’s the cheese.’
‘Katy’s newest single,’ joked Luke.
Skylie Thompson, 17, from Cyril, Oklahoma, said that being on this show has always been her dream. She revealed that she had an American Idol themed fifth birthday party.
The teenager, accompanied by her father who played the guitar, sang their original song ‘Buckle Bunny.’ Luke told her that was very cute and asked her if she had a cover. Skylie then sang Oklahoma City by Zach Bryan.
Good effort: Skylie Thompson, 17, from Cyril, Oklahoma, said that being on this show has always been her dream, but the judges told her that she wasn’t ready
Katy told her that her voice was ‘good but it’s young.’ Luke told her she had a natural tone but that one some notes she didn’t complete them all the way. Katy said she was ‘a little undercooked’ and gave her a ‘no, not yet.’
Lionel said ‘you don’t need voice lessons, you just need time.’ He said ‘this is not the end but the beginning of her career. Luke said ‘you are just not ready yet’ and said he would give her a yes because she didn’t ‘deserve three no’s.’
Her dad comforted her afterwards and told her that he would always be there for her.
Luke Taylor, 20, of Thornton, Pennsylvania, a sophomore at Liberty University went next and had a very low voice. He told show host Ryan Seacrest, 47, that his voice had a very dramatic drop. The judges were stunned when he walked in and started talking. He voiced a mock movie trailer for Luke Bryan.
Luke asked him why didn’t he have a career in radio or voice overs. Luke told him that he had been working on it. He sang Ring Of Fire by Johnny Cash. Luke stopped him while was singing and asked him to sing Frosty The Snowman.
Deep voice: Luke Taylor, 20, from Thornton, Pennsylvania, a sophomore at Liberty University went next and had a very low voice
‘This has been fun as hell,’ said Luke.
Katy said she thought his singing was cool but worried that it was just one gimmick if he didn’t give them the other notes. Luke gave him a yes. Lionel said he said he didn’t know if he would go all the way, but gave him a yes anyway. Katy gave him a no, but he still went on to Hollywood week.
Not everyone went through to Hollywood. Kaitlyn Rose, 17, from Upland, California, performed her song with two dancers. Katy told her she enjoyed the production. Kurtis Bell, 22, from Dallas, played the piano for his audition but the judges told him to work on his vocals.
But when Aaron Westberry, 20, from Greenville, South Carolina, who said he worked at a grocery store as a produce stocker, came out and sang 2016 by Sam Hunt while playing the piano, the judges were impressed.
Good try: Kaitlyn Rose, 17, from Upland, California, performed her song with two dancers, but the judges did not give her a ticket to Hollywood
‘You have heartbreak tone,’ said Luke.
‘You’re really good,’ said Katy. ‘Your voice makes us melt.’
Lionel asked him if he liked working in the produce section and he said no. He asked him if he wanted to be on American Idol and he said yes.
Produce stocker: Aaron Westberry, 20, from Greenville, South Carolina, who said he worked at a grocery store as a produce stocker, came out and sang 2016 by Sam Hunt while playing the piano
All the judges gave him a yes.
‘You will melt hearts,’ said Luke.
After he walked out, Aaron said that Lionel wanted more passion from him and that was something he had to work on.
Allegra Miles, 18, a musician from St. John, US Virgin Islands, sang her original song while playing the piano for her audition.
Original song: Allegra Miles, 18, a musician from St. John, US Virgin Islands, sang her original song while playing the piano for her audition
‘You look like an artist,’ said Lionel. ‘You sound like an artist. You must be an artist.’
All the judges gave her a yes.
Next was Christian Guardino, 21, from Long Island, New York. He told his mother Beth that for him it was all about the music. Before he started, he told the judges it was an honor to be there.
Strong audition: Christian Guardino, 21, from Long Island, New York, told the judges it was an honor to be there before he started
He sang A Song For You by Donny Hathaway. Lionel clapped and walked up to hug him when he was done.
‘We found him,’ said Lionel. He told her to go get her mother and bring her in. Lionel then walked up and gave his mother a hug.
‘He has all of that magic,’ said Luke. ‘I mean, my heart is just filled with excitement.’
High praise: ‘He has all of that magic,’ said Luke. ‘I mean, my heart is just filled with excitement’
Katy said ‘voice of gold, heart of gold and the ticket is gold.’
All the judges gave him a yes. Christian was excited ‘we did it, we are going to Hollywood.’
During a break, Luke started singing Katy’s song ‘Firework’ and she corrected him that it wasn’t ‘ah, ah, ah’ but the lyrics were ‘awe, awe, awe.’
Lady K, 25, from Tuskegee, Alabama, went last and handed all the judges cards before she sang. She said she wanted them to read the cards after she performed. She told them that growing up with a single mother was hard for her and her siblings and that her brother died of suicide.
Gift cards: Lady K, 25, from Tuskegee, Alabama, went last and handed all the judges cards before she sang
‘That was one of the hardest things my family ever had to go through,’ she said. ‘There were times where I didn’t think that the rest of my family would pull through. And we’re still here. The rest of us are, anyway.’
‘Poppy’s death started a fire in me,’ said Lady K. ‘I’m here to honor him and make my family proud.’
She sang Wide Awake by Katy.
When she finished, Katy said ‘I just want to say how dare you?’
Killed it: The Tuskegee, Alabama singer performed Katy’s song Wide Awake and made it her own
Lady K told her that she started it and that everything she got attached to was for the underdogs to let them know that whatever is going on that you could make it through.
‘That was everything to me for me to do this right now,’ said Lady K crying.
‘You can with such elegance, beauty, grace and filigree,’ said Katy. ‘It’s like you reinvented the song. It’s like your heart is shining through your vocal cords.’
Luke said her singing was ‘magic.’ Lionel said he was so proud and that she landed in Tuskegee ‘for an absolute purpose’
So proud: Lionel said he was so proud and that she landed in Tuskegee ‘for an absolute purpose’
All the judges gave her a yes.
‘Lady K you made my day,’ said Lionel.
‘Holding this Golden Ticket right now means that my brother is not gone in vain,’ said Lady K. ‘He is so proud of me.’
After she walked off, the judges read the cards she had left them.
The host: Ryan Seacrest the season 20 episode that featured auditions in Nashville
‘The universe lined this moment up perfectly,’ Katy read from her card. ‘Thanks for reminding me I’m a firework.’
The judges went outside and fireworks exploded outside.
‘We are actually finding the next generations of stars,’ said Lionel.
American Idol will return next Sunday on ABC.
Future stars: Lionel, Katy and Luke were looking for the next generation of stars on the ABC show