Brandon Diaz, 21, an Ashburn resident now studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, wowed the judges during an audition featured Monday in the popular music competition's first season on ABC.
Initially, the judges were like "nah, dog", as we can see from the below photo, but if you think Bryan, Perry, and Richie are immune to the rollicking beats of an impromptu dance party, you don't know your "Roar" from your "Hello".
Ah, yes. An old school joke audition followed by Harper Grace, who at 11 years old was responsible for the worst ever National Anthem before Fergie said "hold my beer". You've got none. And you're not annoying.
So far the show won its Sunday night ratings war, debuting with 10.3 million viewers, according to Variety magazine. Thaddeus performed Sweedish House Mafia's 'Don't You Worry Child.' Check it out above. Popstar Katy Perry is flanked by country heartthrob Luke Bryan and R&B legend Lionel Richie, and so far, it's been abundantly clear that these judges are cohesive and get along.
Then there's 17-year-old Rissa Watson, who sang Adele's "When We Were Young".
"Holy crap, I gotta go, she was born in the 2000s!" "I don't want the outside world to mess with your handsome brain".
The Golden tickets continued with sister act Layla and Dyxiw Spring, who is our first "American Idol" Golden ticket victor of 2026 -if the show gets renewed that far in advance.
Fellow teen singers Andrew Weaver, Griffin Tucker and Christina Jones were all rolled into a montage about some of the younger folks who auditioned this season. This show will teach you: "do not judge any human being on this planet".
Lionel described William's performance as "smoove", not just smooth. All three are sent to Hollywood.
"You're exactly what I signed up for", Luke told the aspiring singer.
In New Orleans, Laine Hardy sang "Hurricane", playing guitar and adding a lot of rasp. She walks into that audition room like she's taking a very VIP studio tour.
The judging panel agreed Michelle should get a shot to go to Hollywood, but Katy wasn't entirely convinced Michelle could compete with the level of talent they had already found. Especially with one particular artist named Trevor Holmes, who has a "huge" crush on the songstress. Sierra dished that she and Katy hugged and also laughed about the whole ordeal afterward.
Misha Gontar from Ukraine beat boxed and rapped in his audition, and even though the judges thought it was entertaining, they told Gontar he wasn't a good fit for Idol. Perry falls on the floor during the dancing, but says that she cute and quirky. But on Idol, she's quirky in just the right dosage, appears to supportive to other women and receptive to the stream of misfits and sob stories Idol reliably trots out, even respectful because she refuses to sell them false hope.