ABC's American Idol continued its two-night premiere event Monday with two more hours of auditions, and judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie were handing out golden tickets like they were going out of style.
Season two finalist and CT resident Kimberley Locke gives us a whole recap.
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan are at the judges' table this time around and fortunately - or maybe unfortunately - there isn't a Simon Cowell-type in the bunch. One noticeable thing about the show is that the auditions have taken place in Nashville, Orlando, New York, but a majority of the contestants have come from red states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
CBS saw many shows return from eight-week breaks, all performing all down in numbers as they attempted to compete against American Idol. Catie Turner from Pennsylvania sings the judges an original song called "21st Century Machine", and wins them over with her unique perspective and strong sense of self. (What's up with the continuity, Idol?) We learn that he has a somewhat unusually high-pitched speaking voice, but a much deeper singing voice.
A tearful Perry, who had lost her voice by the time Francisco auditioned, couldn't hold back emotion as she explained that she spent most of the performance watching his fiancée and seeing "how in love she is".
Benjamin started his performance a bit flustered by the unplanned kiss, and all three judges declined to send him to Hollywood. She is also the first to receive a golden ticket to Hollywood.
"Something that I never imagined could've happened to me", says Julica. "Everyone was crying. I was crying and then Luke Bryan came out, and he shakes my mom and dad's hand and says, 'You birthed a handsome mind, ' and all of that stuff". But she redeems herself in front of the judges, singing an original country song she wrote.
"You're so hot", Perry, 33, told the singer. The GRAMMY victor got up from the judge's table and walked over to Francisco to give him a hug.
Julica writes a lot of her own music and you can find it by searching for her on Youtube.
Dennis, a 26-year-old singer from Philadelphia, PA, performed "Unaware" by Allen Stone.