In case you missed it, four Alabamians have made their way to the American Idol stage for their shot at stardom. They’ve all snagged their golden ticket to Hollywood, and multiple auditions even moved Katy Perry to tears. In under a month, their Youtube auditions have over 3M views combined. Read on for a full update.
Lady K—Montgomery, AL
We previously reported on Lady K’s highly anticipated audition, which aired on March 6th. Trust us, you’ve got to see this one for yourself.
It takes guts to sing anything in front of famous faces like Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. It’s even braver to sing one of their songs—and that’s exactly what Lady K did.
Originally hailing from Montgomery, Lady K currently shares a hometown with Lionel Richie in Tuskeegee. Richie immediately ran up to give her a hug when he heard where she was from.
In her introduction, Lady K detailed her rough upbringing. She was raised in a shelter as her mother struggled to support all 5 children in the family. Tragically, her brother passed away.
To symbolize her journey, Lady K sang Wide Awake by Katy Perry. Her emotional performance received a standing ovation from all judges and brought Katy to tears.
“Holding this golden ticket right now means that my brother is not gone in vain. He is so proud of me. This was for Poppy.”Lady K
Tyler Allen—Mobile, AL
Tyler Allen walked through the American Idol doors with a beaming smile, proudly announcing his hometown of Mobile.
However, he had recently gone through unimaginable pain, when his aunt and one-year-old nephew were killed last April in a terrible car accident.
He dedicated his audition to his late nephew by singing the lullaby he used to sing to him while rocking him to sleep—I Believe in You and Me by Whitney Houston.
His beautiful rendition of the song received a standing ovation, with Katy Perry in tears during the entire audition.
“You sing with purpose. You sing to create a moment. That’s another thing that stars do.”Luke Bryan, on Tyler Allen’s performance
He unanimously received his golden ticket.
Tristen Gressett—Pell City, AL
At just 17 years old, Tristen Gressett enthusiastically arrived at his audition as a one-man-band—harmonica, guitar and all.
Growing up, it was just Tristen and his mom. He says she’s his biggest supporter, attending every gig he’s ever done.
After his lively performance of Piano Man by Billy Joel, the judges gave him some constructive criticism and encouraged him to dial back the chaotic energy.
He listened and performed a stripped-down version of Colors by Black Pumas.
The panel of judges told him that he has true substance and potential, he just needs some coaching moving forward. His passion and bright energy were promising to them.
After Lionel Richie exclaims, “We can’t let Alabama down!”, Gressett got 3 yeses from the judges and a golden ticket to Hollywood.
Cadence Baker—Muscle Shoals, AL
For 18-year-old Cadence Baker, singing is a family affair. Her grandfather owns a recording studio, and her family has been singing for generations.
Her goal is to come out of her family’s shadow and show the judges she has what it takes. Whitney Houston seems to be popular among the Alabama auditioners, as Cadence sings I’m Your Baby Tonight by the musical powerhouse.
She performs alongside her father, Shane Baker, on the guitar, who got props from Lionel Richie.
Cadence immediately gets a standing ovation.
“I think it’s one of the best auditions I’ve seen,” said Luke Bryan, who admits he already wrote her name down as a potential top 10 finalist.
Cadence got a unanimous vote and her golden ticket to Hollywood.
You can catch all four of these powerful Alabamians next at Hollywood week, where they will compete to move on to the next round.
American Idol airs every Sunday at 7PM C.T on ABC.
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