As die-hard American Idol fans, we know a thing or two about a good Idol audition. First, you’ve got to have a great singing voice, but that really goes without saying because it is a singing competition. But more than just possessing an impressive vocal range, you also have to have a special something that will set you apart from the rest of the competition, something that will imbue your performance in the consciousness of the American public. And this is where things can get complicated, because it takes true star power to rise above the competition, not only on American Idol, but the larger landscape of the music industry. Thankfully, this season of American Idol on ABC is well-equipped with a strong group of gifted, compelling contenders hand selected by three people who know a thing or two about possessing star power: Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan. You can watch American Idol on ABC on Sundays and Mondays at 8|7C to see which of your favorites move on. In the meantime, we’ve compiled a list of our 11 favorite American Idol auditions from this season that prove “star power” is a real thing:
- Alyssa Raghu
When we were 15, we could barely finish a 5-minute speech in front of a classroom of our peers— now contrast that with Alyssa Raghu, who, at 15 years old, is able to captivate all three of the seasoned Idol judges with a stellar performance. Seriously, the judges’ reactions to Alyssa’s incredible voice are actually the BEST.
- Ron Bultongez
Wow, American Idol really sent us on an emotional rollercoaster with Ron’s backstory and performance. You can really feel his earnestness coming through on his soulful version of James Bay’s “Let It Be.” SPOILER ALERT: although it’s not included in this video, Ron ends up with a golden ticket after Lionel Richie can’t seem to get him out of his head.
- Catie Turner
Although she came in quirky and full of energy, Catie was able to channel her intensity into a passionate performance that really blew us away. Plus, her original song was well-written, thoughtful, and definitely something we could imagine listening to on the radio.
- Jonny Brenns
At first, Jonny seems like your average bro from Florida, but then he starts singing and strumming on his guitar and suddenly he’s transformed into a musician. We can’t help but root for a guy who’s as driven and gutsy as Jonny.
- Layla Spring
As we stated earlier, we know a thing or two about A+ American Idol auditions, and from the moment Layla Spring (what a name) entered the judges’ room with her little sister Dyxie, we had a feeling that we were about to watch a star-making performance. Not only is Layla freaking adorable, she also has the musical talents as well as the bubbly, contagious personality needed to be the next American Idol.
- Effie Passero
If Lionel Richie calls you American Idol’s “secret weapon,” it’s safe to say you’re a great singer, and that’s what Effie Passero is, to say the least. On top of that, Effie’s one heck of a talented songwriter with an unassuming presence that really comes alive when she’s belting and playing the piano. Effie, you’ve charmed us with your talent and sweet persona.
- Ada Vox
There’s nothing more to say than this is truly one of the most inspirational auditions we’ve ever had a pleasure to witness.
- Noah Davis
Not only did Noah teach us “wig,” he also proved to us that he can truly SANG, as judge Katy Perry would say. Bonus: Check out Noah’s surprising answer when asked what would be the first thing he would do if he won American Idol.
- Michelle Sussett
Watching this audition is like drinking two cups of coffee; we are now recharged and ready to take on the world and it’s all because of Michelle Sussett’s American Idol audition. How could we not include someone whose Idol statement is, “I’m here to make people dance, laugh, and enjoy music, and make them have a super, super happy moment.”?
- Mara Justine
Here’s another talented 15 year old to make us feel old and incompetent! Just kidding, but seriously, this girl is TALENTED. Despite her age, Mara Justine sings with the intensity and confidence of a seasoned pro, and you gotta respect that.
- Zach D’Onofrio
We ask that you watch and listen to this audition without any preconceived notions, other than be prepared to be amazed.
Which American Idol auditions did you enjoy? Be sure to tune in Sundays and Mondays at 8|7c on ABC to see which of your Idol favorites move on!