American Idol 2.0 has already proven to be full of immensely talented contestants who are striving to make their dreams come true. Among those hopefuls were 20-year-old Wheton, IL native Samothias and 22-year-old Daniel Ethridge.
Samothias decided to show off his piano skills with a soulful performance of Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey.” Partway through his performance, judge Luke Bryan asked for him to try and hit the high notes with his full voice. Later abandoning the piano to just stand and sing, Samothias won over the judges, who claimed they were just testing him.
“We’re just seeing what we got, because we got a great performer in front of us,” said Bryan, with Katy Perry adding that she felt like they were in a taping of his concert special.
After some constructive criticism from the judges, Samothias found himself with a golden ticket to Hollywood.
Similarly, Ethridge found himself performing a Stapleton song. Country music had been an integral part in the young singer’s life, since he and his family moved to Austin, TX.
“I was a small, little, chubby Asian child,” explained Ethridge in an opening video package. “People look at me and are like ‘Okay, this kid is half-Korean and sings country music,’ they’re like ‘Excuse me?’ If I get through this audition today, my family is going to be ecstatic, especially my little sister. She’s in sixth grade.”
After singing “Fire Away,” Perry asked the singer to share an original song with the group, a track he’d written about the bullying his sister had gone through.
“Why’d you have to end?” asked Bryan, with Lionel Richie adding “That was a great song.”
Winning the judges over with his original song, Ethridge found himself with a golden ticket to Hollywood and an excited family at home.
Fans can catch American Idol on Sundays and Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.