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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 30 year old lawyer living in Ottawa. Besides legal jargon, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and room escape strategies. Andrew is also happily in a long-term, long-distance relationship. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

5 Standout Moments From Night 2 of ABC’s ‘American Idol’

American Idol debuted with solid ratings after it’s Sunday night debut, but it was Monday’s night show where Idol had a real return to form with a strong showing of young talent and the kind of emotional moments that really separate the singing show from its competition. Katy, Luke, and Lionel responded immediately to the new crop of contestants, doling out hugs, advice, dance moves, and those coveted golden tickets. Let’s talk about who managed to snag one as we review the top five moments from Monday night’s show…

More Emotional Moments

David Francisco brought tears to Katy’s eyes with his version of “Isn’t She Lovely” [Credit: ABC]

Just like night one, the second night of auditions had more emotional beats to pull on your heartstrings before hearing the voice behind them. Thaddeus Johnson auditioned back in Season 9, but was cut before the semi-finals. After struggling with his weight and mental health, he returned in fine form with a version of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” that shook the rafters and earned him a golden ticket and a hug from Lionel. Also earning himself a hug from Lionel was guitarist David Francisco who, after being hit by a car just a week after moving to Nashville and being paralyzed from the waist down, reconnected with an old friend who became his fiance. She accompanied him in the audition room as he sang his version of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” which brought his fiancée and Katy Perry to tears before getting the good news that he was on his way to Hollywood.

Young Prodigies

The lower age limit also brought some strong showings from America’s youth. 15-year-old Mara Justine sang a soulful version of Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” to secure her spot in Hollywood. In New Orleans, 17-year-old Laine Hardy impressed the judges with his southern charm and his version of “Hurricane” by Levon Helm. Luke even went so far as to predict that he could win. 17-year-old small town girl Rissa Watson also brought the fire with her soaring falsetto on Adele’s hit “When We Were Young” before being sent straight through to Hollywood.

Age Matters

While youth is great for the potential it holds, there is also something to be said for age and experience on this show. 25-year-old basketball coach Cameron Theodos impressed the judges with an original song that showed he knew his voice and artistry, which is something the judges have been saying that they hope younger contestants can define more as the competition goes on, but having that head start will undoubtedly benefit contestants like Cameron.

Contestants With “The Look”


17-year-old Garrett snapped a facetimed his grandmother with the judges to tell her the good news [Credit: ABC]

Perhaps just as important as the voice on Idol is looking the part of the star. Carpenter Trevor Holmes had Katy Perry swooning with his good looks before delivering a modest version of Brett Young’s “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Brandon Diaz also looked the part of a rockstar with his long locks and continued the theme with a killer version of Allen Stone’s “Unaware” that showed off his falsetto. Gabbii Jones came deck in sparkles and added her own rasp to Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” before getting her golden ticket, while 17-year-old Garrett Jacobs had Luke calling him a heartthrob before showing the depth of his voice on the James Brown classic “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”

Personality Galore

Looks will only get you so far on Idol though and sometimes it’s personality that wins the day. Women’s shoe salesman William Casanova charmed the judges before checking all the boxes in Donny Hathaway’s “A Song For You.” He had Luke saying he was “exactly what he signed up for,” which is always good sign. Miami native Michelle Sussett also had the judges up and dancing to her rendition of Selena’s “Techno Cumbia” and earned herself a comparison to ex-judge and triple threat Jennifer Lopez. A high compliment indeed!

Overall, it felt like there was a deeper pool of talent on night two which bodes well for the weeks to come. Going forward, I’ll be posting a review on Tuesday mornings to talk about the highlights from Sunday and Monday’s show, so stay tuned for that next week!

Which contestants were your favorite? Do you feel like Idol is “back on track,” “brand new,” or maybe you feel like it’s missing something? Let us know in the comments below!

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