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American Idol: Kelsie Dolin overcomes nerves and lack of confidence to advance during Hollywood Week


Kelsie Dolin overcame her nerves and lack of confidence to advance during the Hollywood Week genre challenge on Monday’s episode of American Idol on TSWT.  

The 18-year-old singer from Boone County, West Virginia, performed with the country music grouping and told her fellow contestants that she was nervous because she had never played at a venue before.

‘I’m not really confident in myself because growing up, I always felt like I was on the back burner,’ said Kelsie before she went out for her audition. ‘I’m terrified I’m going to freeze on stage.’

Hollywood challenge: Kelsie Dolin overcame her nerves and lack of confidence to advance during the Hollywood Week genre challenge on Monday’s episode of American Idol on TSWT

When Kelsie took that stage, judge Lionel Richie, 72, asked how she was doing and her hand holding the microphone visibly shook.

‘You got it,’ judge Katy Perry, 37, told her.

‘Come on, you’re going to be alright,’ Lionel assured her.

Kelsie then gathered herself and belted out ‘Things A Man Oughta Know’ by Lainey Wilson.

Felt nervous: The 18-year-old singer from Boone County, West Virginia, performed with the country music grouping and told her fellow contestants that she was nervous because she had never played at a venue before

Felt nervous: The 18-year-old singer from Boone County, West Virginia, performed with the country music grouping and told her fellow contestants that she was nervous because she had never played at a venue before

When she finished, all the other contestants in the audience and the judges stood up and applauded for her.

Kelsie then broke down crying when she walked off stage.

‘I hope I made my grandma proud,’ said Kelsie who dedicated her performance to her late grandmother who died last September of heart issues COVID-19.

Standing ovation: When she finished, all the other contestants in the audience and the judges stood up and applauded for her

Standing ovation: When she finished, all the other contestants in the audience and the judges stood up and applauded for her

The judges later announced that Kelsie was among the country genre singers moving on in the competition.

Kelsie told host Ryan Seacrest, 47, that she couldn’t believe she was advancing.

‘You couldn’t believe you auditioned,’ said Ryan. ‘You couldn’t believe a bunch of stuff, right? Are you starting to believe it now?’

The host: Kelsie told host Ryan Seacrest, 47, that she couldn't believe she was advancing

The host: Kelsie told host Ryan Seacrest, 47, that she couldn’t believe she was advancing

‘Yeah,’ said Kelsie.

American Idol alumni Ruben Studdard, Jordin Sparks, Leon James ‘Lee’ DeWyze Jr., Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, Chayce Beckham and David Cook returned during the two-hour episode o motivate and inspire the singers during Hollywood Week.

‘It’s going to be life-changing for every single one of you and I’m excited I get to be here and talk to you about it,’ Lauren, 27, a 2011 ‘Idol’ runner up who now has released two albums, told some of the country singing contestants.

Familiar face: 'It's going to be life-changing for every single one of you and I'm excited I get to be here and talk to you about it,' Lauren Alaina, a 2011 'Idol' runner up, who joined other past Idol stars to help the singers during Hollywood Week

Familiar face: ‘It’s going to be life-changing for every single one of you and I’m excited I get to be here and talk to you about it,’ Lauren Alaina, a 2011 ‘Idol’ runner up, who joined other past Idol stars to help the singers during Hollywood Week

The contestants were split up into groups by their music type as as part of Hollywood week’s genre challenge.

Mike Parker, 27, a carpenter from Warrenton, Virginia, went first in the country genre. He told the judges that he was competing for his mother who had been recently admitted into the hospital.

‘Since my audition we found out that my mom has leukemia,’ said Mike to the camera. ‘She’s still fighting, it’s still a marathon, but her numbers are back where they are supposed to be. She’s in great spirits. And my mom would hate it if she was the reason that I wasn’t singing.’

First up: Mike Parker, 27, a carpenter from Warrenton, Virginia, went first in the country genre

First up: Mike Parker, 27, a carpenter from Warrenton, Virginia, went first in the country genre

Mike performed ‘Burning House’ by Cam for his audition. After his audition, Mike said to the camera that he would love to be able to call his family and give them good news.

Kaylin Roberson, 25, a musician from Raleigh, North Carolina, sang next. She performed ‘Mercy’ by Brett Young while playing the keyboard. Before taking the stage. Kaylin told Ryan that she expected she would feel at home on the big Hollywood stage because she was used to performing in front of an audience.

Olivia Faye, 24, a musician from Murray, Kentucky went next. When asked by the other contestants how many times she usually performs she said ‘just about every night of the week.’ Olivia performed Adele’s ‘If It Hadn’t Been For Love’ while playing the guitar.

On keyboard: Kaylin Roberson, 25, a musician from Raleigh, North Carolina, performed 'Mercy' by Brett Young while playing the keyboard

On keyboard: Kaylin Roberson, 25, a musician from Raleigh, North Carolina, performed ‘Mercy’ by Brett Young while playing the keyboard

Strong voice: Olivia Faye, 24, a musician from Murray, Kentucky, sang Adele's 'If It Hadn't Been For Love' while playing the guitar

Strong voice: Olivia Faye, 24, a musician from Murray, Kentucky, sang Adele’s ‘If It Hadn’t Been For Love’ while playing the guitar

Sarahbeth Taite, 24, a nanny from Fort Collins, Colorado, then sang ‘To Love Somebody’ by The Bee Gees.

‘I’ve just been playing little gigs there and stuff for so long,’ Sarahbeth said of Nashville where she was currently living. ‘I feel like an old Nashville vet by now.’

‘They are coming in strong,’ Katy said of the grouping.

Colorado singer: Sarahbeth Taite, 24, a nanny from Fort Collins, Colorado, then sang 'To Love Somebody' by The Bee Gees

Colorado singer: Sarahbeth Taite, 24, a nanny from Fort Collins, Colorado, then sang ‘To Love Somebody’ by The Bee Gees

The judges after hearing the country singers were forced to make some tough cuts. 

‘This is the part that makes me nervous,’ Lionel admitted.

Lionel asked Mike, Sarahbeth, Olivia, Kaylin, and Kelsie to step forward. He then told them that they didn’t think that the front row was ready ‘to leave the competition’ and told them that they would all be moving on in the competition.

The R&B genre group went next. Ruben Studdard, 2003 ‘Idol’ winner, was the mentor for the group.

‘I look forward to chatting with you guys,’ Ruben told the contestants. 

Zareh, a 21-year-old stylist from Los Angeles, shared with Ruben and told him that her mother Nadia Turner was also an ‘Idol’ contestant. She asked him how he prepared for Hollywood Week and he said ‘I always go for material that I’m familiar with.’

R&B genre: Zareh, a 21-year-old stylist from Los Angeles, performed 'One and Only' by Adele as part of the R&B genre

R&B genre: Zareh, a 21-year-old stylist from Los Angeles, performed ‘One and Only’ by Adele as part of the R&B genre

Zareh performed ‘One and Only’ by Adele. She missed her first cue to start singing but then caught up with the piano player that was accompanying her .

‘I sang my heart out, my soul, I tried my best,’ Zareh said when she finished to the camera.

‘I could roll the dice on her one more time,’ said Katy.

Ruben then counseled Tobias, 25, a music director from Como, North Carolina, on how to stay in control of his voice.

Quality voice: Tobias, 25, a music director from Como, North Carolina, was advised on how to keep control of his voice

Quality voice: Tobias, 25, a music director from Como, North Carolina, was advised on how to keep control of his voice

‘What makes you special is not the runs,’ Ruben said. ‘What makes you special is the quality of your voice.’

Tobias performed ‘Back At One’ by Brian McKnight while playing the keyboard for his audition.

Katyrah Love, 23, a homeless youth facilitator from Baltimore, was the next contender from the R&B group. She said she was performing to inspire the youth in her city. She said growing up that she doubted the confidence in herself.

Baltimore contestant: Katyrah Love, 23, a homeless youth facilitator from Baltimore, was the next contender from the R&B group

Baltimore contestant: Katyrah Love, 23, a homeless youth facilitator from Baltimore, was the next contender from the R&B group

‘I didn’t speak up for myself a lot of the time,’ Katyrah said. ‘I want to show my community if you put in the hard work and the effort and have a little bit of hope then anything can happen for you.’

Katyrah performed ‘Saving All My Love For You’ by Whitney Houston.

The judges then issued their decision.

‘This is very difficult for me,’ Lionel said. ‘We fall in love with people and then all of the sudden they are gone. ‘

Very difficult: 'This is very difficult for me,' Lionel said. 'We fall in love with people and then all of the sudden they are gone'

Very difficult: ‘This is very difficult for me,’ Lionel said. ‘We fall in love with people and then all of the sudden they are gone’

Lionel told Katyrah and Tobias that they would be the ones from the group moving forward.

Leon James ‘Lee’ DeWyze Jr., 35, winner of 2010 Idol returned to mentor the contestants in the Indie Folk genre.

‘Being an Indie Folk artist myself, I remember being in your spot and wondering where that fits in here, ‘ Lee said to the group. ‘At the end of the day you want people to walk away from your performance having felt something. That’s what this genre is about. Show what you can bring to the table.’

Leah MarlEne, 20, a musician from Normal, Illinois, went first.

‘Be who you want to be, be that person that you are,’ Lee told her.

Next genre: Leah MarlEne, 20, a musician from Normal, Illinois, was up next representing the Indie Folk genere

Next genre: Leah MarlEne, 20, a musician from Normal, Illinois, was up next representing the Indie Folk genere

‘I’m a little weirdo from Normal, Illinois,’ Leah told the judges before she started singing’Sk8er Boi’Song by Avril Lavigne while playing the guitar. When she finished, all the judges stood and gave her a standing ovation.

‘So good,’ Lionel said.

‘Voice is really good,’ judge Luke Bryan said.

‘Trust yourself, be open to new things’ Lee told the Indie Folk contestants. ‘If you feel something in a moment, go for it.’

Fritz Hager, a 22-year-old security officer from Tyler, Texas, said he was scared of going into Hollywood week after Luke gave him a ‘no.’

Texas singer: Fritz Hager, a 22-year-old security officer from Tyler, Texas, said he was scared of going into Hollywood week after Luke gave him a 'no'

Texas singer: Fritz Hager, a 22-year-old security officer from Tyler, Texas, said he was scared of going into Hollywood week after Luke gave him a ‘no’

‘To be honest, I am keenly aware that I’m not the best singer here,’ Fritz said. ‘I struggle a lot with my confidence. There’s like a belief in me that’s missing.’

Fritz performed ‘Unsteady’ by X Ambassadors while playing the guitar.

‘Wow that was a big surprise,’ Katy said when he finished.

After the Indie Folk auditions, Lionel thanked them and announced that Leah and Fritz were going through.

‘I haven’t totally processed the whole thing yet,’ Fritz said after hearing the news. ‘I’m just so grateful.’

Haley Reinhart, a 2011 ‘Idol’ finalist, returned to mentor the Soul group of contestants

‘American Idol definitely changed my life,’ Haley said. ‘I am here a decade later, living out my dreams.’

Danielle Finn, 17, a high school student from Los Angeles, said she was performing for her grandfather who she used to watch ‘Idol’ with but now has Alzheimer’s Disease.

‘I feel sad not being able to share this whole process with my grandfather but he is definitely in my head and in my heart,’ Danielle said.

Talented teenager: Danielle Finn, 17, a high school student from Los Angeles, said she was performing for her grandfather who she used to watch 'Idol' with but now has Alzheimer's Disease

Talented teenager: Danielle Finn, 17, a high school student from Los Angeles, said she was performing for her grandfather who she used to watch ‘Idol’ with but now has Alzheimer’s Disease

Danielle sang ‘Easy on Me’ by Adele.

‘She had crazy notes and a crazy tone that people dream of,’ Katy said.

‘I put a yes down,’ Lionel said.

Christian Guardino, 21, a kitchen staffer from Patchogue, New York, told Ryan before he performed that as a baby he was diagnosed with a very rare retinal condition called Leber’s congenital amaurosis that causes inevitable blindness. He told Ryan that he was able to get a surgery when he was older that helped restore some of his sight and that he wanted to be more confident in this audition. He performed ‘My Future’ by Billie Eilish.’

All the judges stood when he was finished.

‘This is an easy one,’ Luke said. ‘Danielle, Christian, you really showed up. Congratulations on making it to the next round.’

Retinal condition: Christian Guardino, 21, a kitchen staffer from Patchogue, New York, told Ryan before he performed that as a baby he was diagnosed with a very rare retinal condition called Leber's congenital amaurosis that causes inevitable blindness

Retinal condition: Christian Guardino, 21, a kitchen staffer from Patchogue, New York, told Ryan before he performed that as a baby he was diagnosed with a very rare retinal condition called Leber’s congenital amaurosis that causes inevitable blindness

The Rock genre was mentored by 2008 winner David Cook, 39.

‘I’m so excited to be here,’ Cook said. ‘I did Hollywood week 14 years ago, next month. ‘

‘I was 9,’ Cole Hallman, 22, a surf shop associate from Manasquan, New Jersey, said. ‘And your song was the first song on my iPod.’

‘So I made the iPod,’ David said. ‘That’s cool.’

Cole was the first contestant from the Rock genre to perform for the judges.

Rock genre: Cole Hallman was the first contestant from the Rock genre to perform for the judges

Rock genre: Cole Hallman was the first contestant from the Rock genre to perform for the judges

‘I’m trying to follow my heart in all aspects of life, and music is a big part of that, so that’s why I’m here,’ Cole said.

He sang ‘Vienna’ by Billy Joel while playing the guitar.

‘Cole, man, you’ve got your own thing,’ Luke said. ‘As we get into this portion of the competition, it gets tougher and tougher and you will not be able to get through on dice rolls much longer. But we’re going to keep rolling the dice with you. You’re going through to the next round.

During a fun moment of the show, Luke turned the audience of waiting contestants into Katy Perry sing-a-long of her hit song Teenage Dream. Katy then jumped in and started signing with them.

‘Put your hands on me in my skin tight jeans,’ Katy sang as she danced and bent down in her red leather pants.

Good times: During a fun moment of the show, Luke turned the audience of waiting contestants into Katy Perry sing-a-long of her hit song 'You Make Me Feel'

Good times: During a fun moment of the show, Luke turned the audience of waiting contestants into Katy Perry sing-a-long of her hit song ‘You Make Me Feel’

Hit song: 'Put your hands on me in my skin tight jeans,' Katy sang as she danced and bent down in her red leather pants to her hit song Teenage Dream

Hit song: ‘Put your hands on me in my skin tight jeans,’ Katy sang as she danced and bent down in her red leather pants to her hit song Teenage Dream

‘They busted,’ Luke said pointing to Katy’s pants that ripped open. ‘Ha, ha,’

‘That was a First Ladies and gentlemen,’ Lionel said as Katy walked off the stage. ‘The concert is officially over.’

‘Can I get some tape?’ Katy said. ‘Some gaffer tape?

Luke and a production crew member then applied the yellow tape to Katy’s butt crack and across her behind as she bent over. The audience of contestants laughed.

Pop performers went next.

Morgan Gruber, 17, a high school student from Fombell, Pennsylvania, performed ‘Anyone’ by Demi Lovato.

Young singer: Morgan Gruber, 17, a high school student from Fombell, Pennsylvania, performed 'Anyone' by Demi Lovato

Young singer: Morgan Gruber, 17, a high school student from Fombell, Pennsylvania, performed ‘Anyone’ by Demi Lovato

Emyrson Flora, a 16-year-old high school student from Cleveland, told the other contestants that she didn’t have much experience and was very nervous before her audition. She performed ‘Love in the Dark’ by Adele while playing the piano.

Luke told all the pop contestants that they were going through to the next round.

Country genre got some advice from 2021 Idol winner Chayce Beckham before they took the stage again.

Nervous teen: Emyrson Flora, a 16-year-old high school student from Cleveland, told the other contestants that she didn't have much experience and was very nervous before her audition

Nervous teen: Emyrson Flora, a 16-year-old high school student from Cleveland, told the other contestants that she didn’t have much experience and was very nervous before her audition

‘When you are listening to what they have to say, you can use it to construct a better performance next time,’ Chayce said of using the judges’ comments constructively. ‘Really, they just want you to be the biggest and the best artist that you can be.’

Chayce also played one of his song for the judges and the other contestants.

Ryleigh Madison, a 16-year-old high school student from Whiteville, North Carolina, took the stage and performed ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline.

‘I’m going to pour my heart out on that stage,’ r said before her audition. ‘I’m going to sing like I’ve never sung before.’

‘Really great,’ Lionel said.

Crazy song: Ryleigh Madison, a 16-year-old high school student from Whiteville, North Carolina, took the stage and performed 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline

Crazy song: Ryleigh Madison, a 16-year-old high school student from Whiteville, North Carolina, took the stage and performed ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline

Noah Thompson, 19, a construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky, was last to go for the country genre and performed ‘Burning House’ by Cam while playing his guitar.

‘Blows my mind that I’m ever here,’ Noah said before he took the stage. ‘This could give me the opportunity to give my son an entire new life, and a better life.’

‘We’ve got to get him confident,’ Luke said.

‘I know I could have done better,’ Noah said to the camera.

Last one: Noah Thompson, 19, a construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky, was last to go for the country genre and performed 'Burning House' by Cam while playing his guitar

Last one: Noah Thompson, 19, a construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky, was last to go for the country genre and performed ‘Burning House’ by Cam while playing his guitar

After the final line of country singers performed, they took the stage together and Lionel said it was difficult making a decision.

‘There’s so much great talent in this line right here,’ Lionel said. ‘So all of you actually, tonight, are going forward. Congratulations.’

‘I can’t even believe it,’ Noah said. ‘I’m in shock right now.’

Another group from the Pop genre was mentored by 2007 ‘Idol’ winner Jordin Sparks, 32.

‘After ‘Idol’ happened, it catapulted me to where I am now,’ Jordin said to the camera. ‘Coming back to give back to the show that gave so much to me is so cool.’

Sir Blayke, 28, a songwriter from Chicago, was the first to meet with Jordin and told her about his audition.

‘I’ve always felt I had to make myself smaller,’ Sir Blayke said to the camera. ‘I went from being homeless to a struggling songwriter. It’s been a fight, but I’m not getting knocked out.

‘You deserve to take up space,’ Jordin told him. ‘You deserve to be here. ‘

Sir Blayke performed ‘True Colors’ by Cyndi Lauper.

Killed it: Sir Blayke, 28, a songwriter from Chicago, performed True Colors

Killed it: Sir Blayke, 28, a songwriter from Chicago, performed True Colors

‘He did much better than his audition,’ Katy said.

‘That was very nice,’ Lionel said.

Ava Maybee, 20, daughter of Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, went next.

Famous father: Ava Maybee, 20, daughter of Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, went next

Famous father: Ava Maybee, 20, daughter of Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, went next

‘I definitely come from a musical family,’ Ava said. ‘I like to keep my music separate from my dad because it’s really important for me to make it on my own. So I’m here doing it by myself and I’m just excited to be here.’

Ava performed ‘Roxanne’ by The Police.

‘She’s pushing herself,’ Katy said. ‘I appreciate that.’

‘She is daring all the way,’ Lionel said.

Last to perform in this pop group was Sam Finelli, 28, a bakery cashier from Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

‘I had a hard time fitting in and making friends,’ Sam said because he was autistic. ‘But music helps me connect with people.’

Pop grouping: Last to perform in this pop group was Sam Finelli, 28, a bakery cashier from Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Pop grouping: Last to perform in this pop group was Sam Finelli, 28, a bakery cashier from Peachtree Corners, Georgia

‘I come out of my shell when I perform,’ Sam told Ryan. ‘When I’m singing, I’m just someone else.’

‘I want to inspire people to chase their dreams no matter what challenges they may have,’ Sam said before he performed. ‘Whatever you set your mind to you can do.’

Sam sang ‘Say Something’ by Christina Aguilera. After he performed he quickly went backstage and started crying.

‘Sorry, I’m just really emotional,’ Sam said. ‘I laid my heart out on my sleeve and I gave it 110 percent.’

The judges then announced their decision for this line of pop performers,

‘You guys all gave it a really good shot,’ Katy said.

‘Jenna, Sir Blayke, Ava, there will be no more singing for you guys today. You will be singing in the next round.’

Katy told Sam she was sorry but that it was the end for him.

Road ends: Katy told Sam she was sorry but that it was the end for him

Road ends: Katy told Sam she was sorry but that it was the end for him

‘I’m thankful for this experience,’ Sam said. ‘I learned that it’s okay. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be yourself out there even though it’s —you have a hard time doing it.’

Ryan said with so many great talents they had to say goodbye to people like ‘singing babysitter’ Delaney, Mark Osbourne, Luke Taylor and Thomas Moran.

Soul singers went next. First up was Kevin Gullage, 23, a musician from New New Orleans. He performed ‘Tired of Being Alone’ by Al Green.

‘He definitely got your attention, immediately,’ Lionel said.

Fine performance: Kevin Gullage, 23, a musician from New New Orleans, performed 'Tired of Being Alone' by Al Green after pretending to be tired on the stage

Fine performance: Kevin Gullage, 23, a musician from New New Orleans, performed ‘Tired of Being Alone’ by Al Green after pretending to be tired on the stage

‘Well, I am wide awake,’ Katy said.

Cadence Baker, 18, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, went next and Katy told her that she looked like she had been crying.

‘I’ve always lived in a small town,’ Cadence said. ‘It was really comforting having my Dad at my Nashville audition. He knows how I sing and knows how to calm me down.’

Before she went out, Cadence called her father crying and he told he was so proud of her and that she could do it.

Tears flowing: Cadence Baker, 18, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, went next and Katy told her that she looked like she had been crying

Tears flowing: Cadence Baker, 18, from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, went next and Katy told her that she looked like she had been crying

When she finished singing, Katy said to the other judges that she didn’t think it was the right song.

‘It was so low and then it was so high there was no growth in between,’ Katy said.

Tristen Gressett, 17, a high school student from Pell City, Alabama, said he knew needed to strip down his act for his audition. He performed ‘Try Me’ by James Brown.

‘He listened,’ said Lionel when he finished. ‘He actually listened, took the notes.’

‘I want to make it past this round more than anything right now. ,’ Tristen said to the camera.

Stripped version: Tristen Gressett, 17, a high school student from Pell City, Alabama, said he knew needed to strip down his act for his audition

Stripped version: Tristen Gressett, 17, a high school student from Pell City, Alabama, said he knew needed to strip down his act for his audition

‘This is a very talented class so please don’t stop believing in yourselves,’ said Lionel to the group. ‘Because you are going to need it. All of you, when you go to the next round.’

‘It feels really good knowing that I could do this on my own,’ Cadence cried speaking to the camera after.

Taylor Faggins, Lady K, Betty Maxwell. Elli Rowe, Sam Moss, Haley Slaton, Allegra Miles, Dakota Hayden were all told they were moving on to the next round.

The last group of the night was the final group of Pop genre singers. Jacob Moran, 28, a registered nurse from Danville, Michigan, performed Noah Cyrus’s song ‘Make Me.’

Singing nurse: Jacob Moran, 28, a registered nurse from Danville, Michigan, performed Noah Cyrus's song 'Make Me'

Singing nurse: Jacob Moran, 28, a registered nurse from Danville, Michigan, performed Noah Cyrus’s song ‘Make Me’

‘He has done a lot better in the past,’ Katy said when he was done.

‘That was a maybe,’ Luke said.

Danielle Clavell, 21, an actress from Queens, New York, sang ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ by Lady Gaga.

‘She’s got a voice if she could just navigate it,’ Lionel said.

Queens singer: Danielle Clavell, 21, an actress from Queens, New York, sang 'I'll Never Love Again' by Lady Gaga

Queens singer: Danielle Clavell, 21, an actress from Queens, New York, sang ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ by Lady Gaga

Douglas Mills Jr, 18, a high school student from Houston, said backstage that he was really nervous being surrounded by all this talent. He also shared that growing up he was bullied. He performed ‘Train Wreck’ by James Arthur.

Nicolina, 18, a university student from Toronto, Ontario, said that music changed her life. She said growing up her family was super close but five years ago her family split up and parents got divorced.

Bullying survivor: Douglas Mills Jr, 18, a high school student from Houston, shared that growing up he was bullied

Bullying survivor: Douglas Mills Jr, 18, a high school student from Houston, shared that growing up he was bullied

‘After separating and being kind of not the same as it was, everything kind of went downhill with my family,’ said Nicolina. ‘It was something that I loved that I just lost. And, you know, a lot of emotions came with that. Through singing, I’ve learned how to use those emotions for the better and not let them get me down. Since then my sisters and I moved in with our grandparents.’

Nicolina said she wanted to show her sisters that dreams do come true. She performed ‘Everything I Wanted’ by Billie Eilish.

The whole audience stood and applauded her when she finished.

Life changer: Nicolina, 18, a university student from Toronto, Ontario, said that music changed her life

Life changer: Nicolina, 18, a university student from Toronto, Ontario, said that music changed her life

‘The talent is so fierce,’ Lionel said of the last line of singers of the day.

‘You all are world class singers, but some of you are over shooting your shot’ Katy said to them. ‘You could sing 25% and still go so far. I see some of you big voices dueling each other in the future. So why not get to the American Idol now. When I call your name please step forward. Jacob, Douglas. Front row you are going through.’

‘Back row you are also going through,’ Katy said.

‘I’m super excited for the next round,’ said Nicolina. ‘I can’t wait. I’m so excited.’

Lionel congratulated everyone on surviving the genre challenge.

At the end of the show, the platinum winners – HunterGirl, 23, from Winchester, Tennessee; Jay, 23, a medical receptionist from Salisbury, Maryland; and Kenedi Anderson, 17 a high school student from Crozet, Virginia; came out and performed ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.

The judges then announced for the duet portion of the competition that they would be picking their partners except for the three platinum winners who would get to pick their own duet partner.

American Idol will return next Sunday on TSWT.

Show stoppers: At the end of the show, the platinum winners - HunterGirl, 23, from Winchester, Tennessee; Jay, 23, a medical receptionist from Salisbury, Maryland; and Kenedi Anderson, 17 a high school student from Crozet, Virginia; came out and performed 'Don't Stop Believin' by Journey

Show stoppers: At the end of the show, the platinum winners – HunterGirl, 23, from Winchester, Tennessee; Jay, 23, a medical receptionist from Salisbury, Maryland; and Kenedi Anderson, 17 a high school student from Crozet, Virginia; came out and performed ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

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