American Idol 2020 Episode 2 Recap: Auditions from Jonny West, Treble Soul & More
It's Sunday and you know what that means: more American Idol! The Season 3 auditions continue as more hopefuls try to impress judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan and get a Golden Ticket to Hollywood. And this week, original songs make a huge mark as contestants including Julia Gargano, Jonny West, and Hannah Prestridge of Treble Soul all dazzle.
Naturally, host Ryan Seacrest and mentor Bobby Bones are here to offer invaluable support and expertise to the contestants as they go through the process. Enough preamble, let's get to the highlights!
Cyniah Elise - 17, Atlanta, GA
High school student Cyniah come from a large, musical family - many of whom accompanied her and led a prayer before she came in to bless all the people auditioning that day, with an extra bit to Cyniah. A video of her singing a gospel song went viral, reaching 4 million views, and that gave her the push to tryout. She sings "You Are The Reason" by Calum Scott, earning a "sing it, girl" from Lionel during the performance and an immediate round of applause at the end. She reminds Lionel of watching the phenomenon of Whitney Houston in the early days. She gets her Golden Ticket and Lionel invites more family members to audition in future seasons.
Kay Genyse - 19, High Point, NC
Before going in, Bobby gives Kay the tip to focus on delivering the song and not getting too distracted by presentation. She's got a ton of personality, including presenting a positive fortune she'd gotten from a fortune cookie hidden in her hair, and Katy appreciates it. She sings "Mercy" by Duffy and Lionel compliments her showmanship, but feels her voice isn't quite matching it. Luke agrees, saying that her voice needs to catch up with her light. With mixed results, Kay pleads for a second chance and Katy takes them to the street to perform for a random crowd. If they like her, she'll get Katy's yes. The spontaneous concert goes over well and gets her through to Hollywood.
Kyle Tanguay - 21, Rochester, NY
Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Kyle, one of few male cheerleaders in the NFL and the first on this squad, comes to the audition with the whole squad for support. He's never taken a vocal lesson or sung in any professional capacity anywhere. "Mercy" by Shawn Mendes is his choice and Katy has him take it up one key, which works better. Luke says he's got work to do but, if he can grow quickly, he'll be able to do it. All the judges agree he's got a lot of potential, so he gets three yeses and is off to Hollywood.
Jovin Webb - 28, Gonzales, LA
Jovin's mother passed suddenly a few years ago, leading him to slip into a dark space until his young son was born. He's auditioning to show his son that you can achieve anything, you just have to go out and get it. On the very first line of "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers, he earned some impressed grunts from the judges. He gets a standing ovation as soon as he's done and Luke goes to shake his hand. "You have brought the barbecue sauce to American Idol," says Lionel. Luke says he saw Jovin's whole life in that performance and Katy calls his voice a god-given gift. He gets an unanimous Golden Ticket.
While waiting for the next potential contestant, the judges start to smell gas, with Katy adding she has a slight headache. The building is evacuated and the fire department shows up and quickly solves the problem. Afterwards, the firefighters come in an sing "All Night Long" and Katy hands out Golden Tickets to them for their excellent work.
Claire Jolie Goodman - 16, Mount Prospect, IL
Master of the vocal warmups, high school student Claire Jolie has her own unique style. She sings the aria "Glitter and Be Gay" from Candide. She knows a lot of Broadway songs but not much in terms of pop. Lionel says she's very comfortable in that style and he wouldn't want to change her. Katy believes she should go to Broadway if that's her dream and Luke agrees, saying she has tremendous gifts and personality. They all say she's not right for the show, but they believe in her and that she has a bright future.
Margie Mays - 26, Wilmington, DE
Margie is another potential contestant returning from Season 2, having been eliminated in the Hawai'i round. Her boyfriend Jonny is there playing piano for her and also auditioning. The judges note her much calmer demeanor and Margie admits she's worked on her craft, becoming Margie 2.0. She sings "I Found A Boy" by Adele. Luke notes her growth and says she didn't hit a bad note. Katy says that wasn't the right song and Lionel agrees. Lionel says yes, Katy surprises herself by saying no, but Luke says yes. Lionel says she needs to get out of her head going forward as she gets her Golden Ticket to Hollywood.
Jonny West - 23, Marietta, CA
After Margie leaves, it's Jonny's turn to audition. He's very supportive of his girlfriend and credits the experience of coming with her last year as what pushed him to try himself. He sings an original called "Making' Love". Katy says he's a pro and that he may go farther than Margie. so prepare for what that might mean to the relationship. Lionel says he has everything to make him an American Idol. Jonny gets a unanimous yes and will join Margie in Hollywood.
Sarah Isen - 20, Berkley, CA
A college student, Sarah shows up with a big family consisting of her moms, biological father, and 9 (out of 26!) half-siblings. When asked about it by the judges, she shares that her biological father donated to a program specifically to help LGBT families while he was in college. She sings "If I Were A Boy" by Beyonce. Luke is totally blown away and Lionel is very impressed by her low range. Katy urges her to use dynamics even more for an even more impactful performance. She very quietly gets her Golden Ticket so she can surprise her family after she exits the room.
Eliza Catastrophe - 28, Spokane, WA
Eliza opens for a myriad of performers of different genres in Washington and she brought some unique gifts for the judges. One of them is the namesake of the original she sings - "Sardines". Lionel says she's very entertaining but the voice isn't quite there. Luke encourages her to keep going with Katy adding that she's good weird, but it's not right for Idol. Eliza does a slow, sad walk out for comedic effect.
Julia Gargano - 21, Staten Island, NY
College student Julia was inspired by past Idols Alejandro and Catie Turner to audition. As a songwriter, they made her believe the show was the right place for her. She sings an original called "Growing Pains". Luke called it a "big time" performance. Lionel complimented her authenticity. Katy says people will audition next year saying they were inspired by Julia and thinks she's Top 5. After all the positive comments, she gets her Golden Ticket.
Treble Soul aka Curt Jones (23, Rockdale, TX) and Hannah Prestridge (24, Rockdale, TX)
Curt and Hannah met in Nashville and have been performing together for 6 years, being married for 3 of them. Curt sings first, performing "Help Me Hold On" by Travis Tritt.
Hannah sings next, an original called "Day To Day" based on their relationship. She had developed a hydrocodine addiction when she experienced a life-threatening kidney issue while pregnant with their first child. A year sober, they have a second chance at life together as a happy family.
Katy says there something special in Hannah's voice and Curt has an authentic voice, but maybe doesn't compete. Luke says Curt's role right now may be as Hannah's rock because Hannah has a lot of potential. Katy asks if they would both have to go through and Curt immediately says no, as they talked about it before auditioning. Lionel believes that while Hannah may be the lead of the duo, they will work best together in the long run. While Curt gets a lot of compliments, ultimately Hannah is the one who gets the ticket.
With that, we close the book on Episode 2 but American Idol 2020 is just getting started. Next week the auditions continue -- and so will the surprises -- so add SUNDAYS 8|7c on ABC to your schedule so you don't miss a thing!