American Idol 2020 Episode 4 Recap: Auditions from Zach Dobbins, Sophia Wackerman, Kat & Space Cowboy, & More
The penultimate audition episode of American Idol 2020 is here! From the Country charm of Zach Dobbins to the generational talent of Sophia Wackerman or the persistent talent of Mosean Wilson and everything in between, Week 4 and the contestants are still delivering big voices, big personalities, and big moments.
The episode kicks off with an announcement of Katy Perry's pregnancy so congrats to her and Orlando Bloom on their upcoming bundle of bouncing baby joy! She is joined, as always, by fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, host Ryan Seacrest, and mentor Bobby Bones as the 'round the country auditions continue.
Danny La Rota - 24, Birmingham, AL
Danny is a dental student, very close to become a fully licensed dentist, but has decided to give his dream of bering a performer a shot. He puts his own twist on "Royals" by Lourde. Katy says he's the most original person they've seen so far. Luke says he's got an old school vibe - like an Eddie Vedder type but a better singer. Lionel likens his voice to Robert Plant, adding that Danny's going to have to carve out his own identity but is confident he can do it. He gets an unanimous Golden Ticket.
Lou Dawg - 23, Oahu, HI
A surfer, Lou has no idea who the judges are. No really. He can't name any of their songs and thinks Luke is Justin Timberlake. Lou does an original called "Feel My Lovin'". Luke says he almost has something, but doesn't know if it's exciting enough to hold people's attention. Katy says he has a very chill, Jack Johnson vibe, but it feels like it's a hobby for Lou. Lionel thinks he should go get it together and so he can slay the judges. It's a no from him. Katy is a yes but Luke seals the deal with a no.
Makayla Phillips - 17, Temecula, CA/Devon Alexander - 22, Sonora, CA
This is a mini-montage consisting of high school student Makayla and car salesman Devon. Makayla auditioned one other time but was two weeks too young for the minimum age requirement. She's put in a lot of work to be ready for this time. She sings "Who's Loving You" by the Jackson 5. Katy thinks she's top 10 material. Meanwhile, Devon grew up in a log cabin miles from anywhere and the only channel they got on their TV was the one that had American Idol. He sings "Not in That Way" by Sam Smith. Luke likes his crooner vibe, as does Katy. Lionel knows there's a competition coming but believes he's up for the chance. Unanimous Golden Tickets for both!
Mosean Wilson - 23, Springfield, IL
A non-profit worker, Mosean had a very difficult childhood that music helped him through. He also recently lost his father, and was unfortunately the person who found him. Moseasn has a young daughter that lights up his life. He brings in his own keyboard and performs an original song called "Slip Away". Luke says he's what it's all about and can see Mosean's willingness to prove himself. Katy says he has an incredible voice that she's moved by. Lionel says they felt him whether he knew it or not and gave him a hug. He gets an unanimous Golden Ticket.
Faith Becnel - 20
Faith is introduced mid-audition. Katy wants to hear another song so she does "Lady Marmalade" by Patti Labelle. She gets coached a bit from Katy, who gives some notes and Faith starts again. Luke says they're trying to figure her out. Katy says she has something but she's delivering it "soft serve". Lionel says she's rushing and she needs more time and Is a no. Katy says she has potential and is a yes. Luke, as the tie-breaker, decides to put her through to Hollywood.
Kat & Space Cowboy (aka Alejandro Garrido Cortez aka Alex Cortez) - 19 and 26 respectively
Kat and Alejandro met through music - he was playing in church and she saw him first. They're auditioning together and, as they enter, Luke inquires if they're "American Idol Ken and Barbie". They do "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. When they finish Luke advises Alejandro change his name from Space Cowboy. Katy says they both could be in the top 10. Luke is astonished that they could both make it because auditioning couples usually get separated. The judges vote on Kat and Alejandro separately and both get three yeses and will be going to Hollywood.
Montage - Emma Kate - 22, Sweet Home, OR/Marcus Tinsley - 28, Phoenix, AZ/Chase Haag - 24, Pocatello, ID
These three were put together in a montage as they all had people accompanying them into their audition. Emma, a phlebotomist, sings "Come Together" by The Beatles with her dad on guitar and percussion. Her dad is also a goat roper. Marcus, who is a chalk artist by trade, comes in with his family that includes a pet pig in a blue tutu. He sings "Mine" by Bazzi. Chase sings "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford and has his violinist bandmate, who had a lot of flair, with him. Golden Tickets all around!
Tavia Smith - 29, Compton, CA
Sales Associate Tavia brings her girl-tarist/best friend Terry with her, who she kind of literally just met 48-hours ago. Terry says Tavia is her "ride and die". Tavia sings "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor for the audition. Katy thinks they should be a permanent duo but it was vocally dicy. Luke says she seems like she was running out of air (perhaps because of the elevation in Colorado) but has a great presence. Tavia says it's her first time auditioning for anything. Lionel thinks she's got the right attitude, she just needs more time. Luke has Terry vote for him and it's a yes. However, for Lionel and Katy it's a no this time around but they all believe in her potential and Lionel encourages them to continue together. Not shown in the clip below is an update that Terry and Tavia have taken the judges' advice and officially become an act.
Sophia Wackerman - 20, Long Beach, CA
Sophia's whole family is comprised of musicians, with her dad a professional drummer and her mother a singer (including background for Belinda Carlisle). She passed away from lung cancer when Sophia was 16. Katy suggests she take her mom's last name professionally --which would make her Sophia Star. She plays piano and does "Water" by Bishop Briggs. Luke thinks she has a signature tone and that she has a fun twinkle in her eye. Lionel says she's several different threats and could be Top 10. Katy says there's some stuff they can coach her through, but she's got great potential and her mother would be proud. Unanimous Golden Ticket!
Jimmy Levy - 21, Miami, FL
Jimmy comes form a psychic family, his grandmother at one point being the most famous psychic in the US. Jimmy's gift is he sees ghosts but he doesn't want to be in the family business. His mom comes and does a quick reading, which turned out to be very accurate for Luke. Jimmy sings "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak. He's stopped by Katy and asked to do something a cappella, so he does "Nobody Love" by Tori Kelly. He has a nervous habit of holding his ear when he sings. Luke says he could be a bad ass. Lionel says he has frontman-of-a-band energy. Katy says he has a lot of work to do but a lot of potential. All three say yes, which fulfills his mother's vision of him getting his Golden Ticket seven years ago.
Olivia Ximines - 16, Menifee, CA
A member of the the Orange Vista dance team, Olivia was really shy in the 9th grade but dancing helped her come out of her shell. The team did a performance and Lionel said that once she's made it, she's already got her back up dancers. Olivia sings "Language" by Tori Kelly. Katy thinks she has a phenomenal voice. Luke says if she's making mistakes, it's ok because she's a kid but to never lose her sparkling presence . Lionel said she was fantastic and she gets her unanimous Golden Ticket.
Marna Michelle - 27, Costa Mesa, CA
A secretary, Marna has daydreamed about getting a Golden Ticket since she was 12. Growing up was hard, even if she doesn't want to show it. She has a condition where her muscles and joints are too weak for her to do certain things, and so uses a wheelchair. Marna thinks it's time for an Idol who isn't perfect. She sings "Million Reasons" by Lady Gaga. Luke thinks she's got a great range but wants her to dig in a bit. Lionel coaches her up and says to concentrate on the story she's telling. Katy also gives her some tips and has her do a line again. Marna's innate talent and ability to quickly follow notes helps get her three big yeses, bringing her daydream to life and sending her to Hollywood.
Zach Dobbins - 18, Clay, WV
A construction worker, Zach grew up on music as his grandfather and father both played bluegrass. He's never flown on a plane and plans on having the same truck if he gets famous. He sings an original called "Miss Use". Luke goes and tunes his guitar real fast after a false start. Katy doesn't think he knows what he's doing, but he doesn't need to. Lionel says he's heart and soul and real. Luke says they'll teach him a bit about singing along the way, but they don't want him to change. Another unanimous Golden Ticket!
Ren Patrick - 26, Cyprus, TX
Ren has wanted to be a singer for a long time but was in a toxic relationship for almost 9 years, since she was 17. After getting out, her mom suggested a girls' road trip for her to try out for Idol. Coincidentally, Ren was at a Hollywood party years ago with her abusive ex in an argument and Katy walked by and said something akin to, "Ew, dump him" to her softly. It took 7years but she finally did it. She sings "Dancing On My Own" by Robyn. Luke says she's an incredible singer and he's very excited to have her in this space. Lionel says she has an instrument and is very happy to have her on board. Katy says she believes in her and that a lot of people are looking up to Ren to get out of their own bad situations. Bringing her mom in since it was her idea to audition, both get Golden Tickets and a bit of a celebratory song fromt he judges.
Next week kicks off the two nights of American Idol on SUNDAY and MONDAY at 8|7c on ABC as we see the last set of auditions and the beginning of Hollywood Week!