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‘American Idol’ recap: Auditions continue with superstar talent

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ABC/Eric McCandless

The search for the next American Idol continued Sunday night, and it was a blast from the past with a lot of the hopefuls drawing inspiration from past contestants. 

First up, was 21-year-old Zaréh Turner, whose mother Nadia Turner made it to the Top 8 during the show’s fourth season. She surprised her mother, bringing her to the audition in a blindfold, and eventually won over the judges with a sweet performance of Jazmine Sullivan‘s “Bust the Windows,” earning a trip to Hollywood. 

Here’s a look at the rest of the night’s auditions.  

Thomas Patrick Moran, 24: After a gimmicky take on Aretha Franklin‘s “Chain of Fools,” the judges pressed him to be more serious and try again. It was his second audition, a surprisingly good rendition of Leon Bridges‘ “River,” that sent him through to Hollywood week, thanks to judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie

Sam Moss, 25: This familiar face first auditioned in Austin, Texas and was back for her “redemption story.” She earned a standing ovation — and a trip to Hollywood — after performing an original song that the judges said was one of the best they’d heard this season. 

Fritz Hager, 21: Inspired by Phillip Phillips from season 11 of American Idol, Hager strummed his guitar as he belted out Lewis Capaldi‘s “Before You Go” and made it through to the next round.  

Kevin Gullage, 23: After sharing that he was inspired by William Hung, known for his amusing audition of Ricky Martin‘s “She Bangs”, Gullage gave a shockingly beautiful performance of Otis Redding‘s “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” effortlessly floating into Hollywood week. 

Jacob Moran, 27: Three years ago, Moran made it to Hollywood week and now he’s back for another shot. 60 pounds lighter and booming with confidence, he performed Katy’s song “Rise,” securing his second go at Hollywood week.     

Haley Slaton, 23: Five month pregnant with her son, Slaton needed a moment of redemption after her first audition of Miley Cyrus‘ “The Climb” fell short, leaving the judges unsure. A second try performing Adele‘s “One and Only” proved to be a much better suit, sending her through to the next round. 

Ellie Rowe, 19: With a sweet and innocent voice like hers, it’s no surprise Rowe made it though to Hollywood after performing Allen Stone‘s “Give You Blue.”

Dan Marshall Griffith, 24: From college football to music heartthrob? That’s the hope for Griffith who did an amazing audition of Garth Brooks‘ “The Dance.” He made it to Hollywood, but if music doesn’t work out, Katy thinks he could have a shot at movie business due to his sharp jawline. 

Douglas Mills Jr., 18: Closing out the show, Mills came though with an emotional and moving performance. He was the winner of a local ABC affiliate’s “silver ticket” contest and dedicated his performance of Nina Simone‘s “Strange Fruit” to the Black community and all they’ve had to endure. His performance left Luke Bryan speechless and had Katy declaring him a “superstar.”

Not all auditions lead to Hollywood, of course. 

Kenzie Elizabeth tried to sway the judges by performing Avril Lavigne‘s “I’m With You,” but the judges thought her voice was more suited for broadway than American Idol.

For Charvonay, the superstar personality was there, but unfortunately the voice didn’t match.

The journey to find the next American Idol continues Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC. 

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