‘American Idol’ Recap: One Determined Singer Brings Ryan Seacrest & Katy Perry To Tears

The singers auditioning during the March 1 episode of ‘American Idol’ brought on the tears. Emotional performances and compelling stories anchored a great next round of auditions.

The American Idol season 18 auditions continue in Savannah and the first singer up is Kimmy Gabriela. The 17-year-old singer sings a stunning rendition of “Let’s Hurt Tonight” by OneRepublic. Her dad is her biggest inspiration and he was once a successful singer as well. The judges rave over how “fabulous” Kimmy is. Luke Bryant says he knew from the first note that Kimmy was special. They all think she’s top 10 material.

Katy Perry reminisces about her sweet engagement to Orlando Bloom. He flew her around Savannah in a helicopter and proposed! She’s in a great mood and sends a number of singers to Hollywood, including Amelia, Erin Kirby, and Jordan Jones. Jordan actually proposes to his girlfriend, Leaira, after his audition! Lauren Mascitti, 27, steps in front of the judges next. She performs a beautiful original song titled “If I Can Lose You.” Lionel Richie admits he fell in love with her songwriting abilities. The judges have high hopes for her. She’s headed to Hollywood!

Courtney Timmonds has been sitting outside all day. Ryan Seacrest notices the 22-year-old security guard and asks her what she’s up to. Courtney thinks she missed the deadline to audition, so Ryan takes her up and brings her to the judges to audition. He says to Lionel, Katy, and Luke that no one has heard her sing so this could be a really good or really bad performance. She performs a terrific rendition of Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” The judges are stunned. Katy tells Courtney that she’s “one of the best singers we’ve seen today.” The judges happily send her to Hollywood. Ryan starts crying over Courtney’s success and Katy sheds some tears as well. Nothing like a happy ending!

Lauren Spencer-Smith may just be 16 years old, but she’s got a voice far beyond her years. Her performance of “What About Us” by Pink is solid. Katy raves that she’s got a “God given gift.” She’s going to Hollywood.

Dewayne Crocker Jr. has come all the way to Oregon with his great grandmother, who loves Lionel. He sings a good rendition of Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” The judges like his range but they want him to emotionally connect more. They want to see what he can bring so he’s going to Hollywood. Before he leaves, Dewayne brings out his great grandmother to meet Lionel. They dance together while he sings “Lady!”

Dillon James hasn’t had it easy. After getting involved with drugs and alcohol, he lost pretty much everything and ended up on the streets. He’s sober now, thanks to his family. He performs a soulful rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” Katy is “intrigued” by Dillon and loves his “unusual” voice. Dillon is a “no brainer” for Luke. Katy wonders how Dillon will deal with the pressure of the competition and Los Angeles. Dillon knows he can handle it with the help of his family and meditation.

Geena, 27, impresses the judges with her original song. The judges really dig her vibe. Shannon Gibbons, 20, wows with her rendition of “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James. The judges tell her that she’s just set the standard for the rest of the singers. Both of them are headed to Hollywood.

The final performance of the night is Genavieve Linkowski. The 20-year-old made it to Hollywood Week before getting cut. Since then, she’s suffered a great loss. Her 18-year-old sister died in a car accident. She sings a breathtaking rendition of Michael Bolton’sHow Am I Supposed To Live Without You” while playing the piano. Lionel says he couldn’t stop watching her — she was that good. The judges are floored by this growth. They all give her the “yes” to go to Hollywood!

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