You will definitely need tissues for the return of “American Idol” and its premiere. The judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan returned for the Season 6 premiere of ABC’s version of the reality singing competition, and there were a number of new competitors hoping to advance to the Hollywood Week round of the competition by sharing their motivational tales.
One of the competitors on Sunday might be recognizable. In Season 4, Kya Monee competed. She received three judges’ “yeses” and won a prized golden ticket. She was ultimately eliminated during Hollywood Week, but not before she and fellow contestant Willie Spence performed a spooky rendition of Rihanna’s “Stay” to standing ovations from all three judges and tears from Perry.
After finishing in second place, Spence was killed in a car accident in October 2022 at the age of 23. The duet, according to Monee, “meant so much to me.” We developed very close friends after that. She claims that Spence inspired her to return and attempt “Idol” once more.
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“Willie was telling me to return three days before he passed away. You must strive to achieve your goals “Spence was supposed to accompany her to her audition that day, she continued, adding. Just being without that support is very difficult.
Lionel Richie Calls Kya Monee’ Tribute to Willie Spence ‘divinely Guided’
Monee’ started singing “I’m Here” from the musical “The Color Purple.” The teary-eyed judges gave her a standing ovation after she sobbed throughout her performance. Richie said, “What you gave us was everything we have been trying to tell all of these kids. In the glorious name of our beloved brother, Willie, I can only say, “That performance was so emotional, so heartfelt, and so divinely guided.”
“Way to honor him and the thing you two had in mind to do together… You simply sing as if Willie is still present.” Her performance, according to Perry, “was on another level.” We also feel connected to one another because you were genuine, just like he was, she continued, “but it was so connected to the pain.”
Let’s just say that the answer was a resounding yes. He was a wonderful angel that God brought to the world, and he was that beacon of what “American Idol” is all about, Richie said in a montage tribute to Spence as the episode came to a close.
‘Idol’ Alum Lauren Daigle Gives Contestant Megan Danielle Surprise of a Lifetime: ‘full-circle’
There were other “Idol” returnees besides Monee. Lauren Daigle, a Christian singer who repeatedly tried out for “Idol” and advanced to Hollywood Week, surprised Megan Danielle during her audition with Daigle’s song “You Say,” as Danielle has admired Daigle as an inspiration. Coming back, according to Daigle, felt like a “full-circle” moment.
The contestant, who also performs Christian music, was praised by Daigle, who said,
“Your story reminds me so much of my own.” Following in Daigle’s footsteps, Danielle is also heading to Hollywood after receiving three judges’ yeses. You sound like you’ve got grit in you, Perry told the waitress. “It’s so genuine,”
Katy Perry has twitted on Twitter: “Tonight was for you, the angel we miss you #americanidol”
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) February 20, 2023
Luke Bryan Brought to Tears by Contestant’s Tribute to Late Dad
Iam Tongi, another winner, gave a speech at his audition that was dedicated to his late father. He moved all three judges to tears with his performance of “Monsters,” a James Blunt song about a son saying goodbye to his father. Perry remarked, “You’re making these grown men cry.” Your voice is simply amazing. Bryan claimed that the audition brought up memories of his own losses.
He said, “I can’t take your dad breaking your heart. “I just want to see you enjoy this whole thing because I love you,” she said. Tongi’s delivery was hailed as “phenomenal” by Richie.
“You put this out there, and you’re going to break some souls.”
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Who Scored the Platinum Ticket? Teen Wunderkind Tyson Venegas Stuns Lionel Richie
When the judges gave Tyson Venegas, a 17-year-old who was motivated to pursue music after seeing a Richie concert with his mother when he was a young child, the platinum ticket, he experienced a full circle moment. While accompanying himself on the piano, Venegas displayed impressive vocal runs to “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel and Tony Bennett.
The platinum ticket allows a singer to sail through the first round of Hollywood Week without being eliminated in addition to getting them a trip to Hollywood. Then, I motivated him, Richie said. He has just motivated us today. Next Sunday at 8 PM ET, a new round of auditions for “American Idol” will take place.