The seventeenth season of American Idol continued with the three judges critiquing aspiring singers in Louisville, KY; Coeur d'Alene, ID; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; and Denver, CO.
Fourteen hopefuls were shown receiving Golden Tickets and making it through to the next round, with several artists blowing the judging panel away -- Wade Cota, Madison Vandenburg, and Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon.
Laine Hardy, who auditioned last season, accompanied his friend Ashton Gill, a 20-year-old bridal shop associate from Livingston, LA, to her audition.
Laine said he just came to support Ashton and play guitar for her performance of "Broken Halos" by Chris Stapleton.
Luke said he loved how country her voice is but she should learn how to avoid "overdoing" her notes. The judges loved a sweet quality in her voice.
Although she was a bit pitchy and Katy could sense her nerves, Katy told Ashton to choose the right songs and the judges gave her a chance in Hollywood.
Katy, Luke and Lionel then asked Laine to sing them a song just for fun, and the 18-year-old from Livingston, LA, belted out "The Weight (Take a load off Annie/Fanny)" by The Band.
The judges agreed Laine had found his confidence, and so they asked him to just reach out and grab his Golden Ticket. Lionel pointed out he has a real shot this season.
"You could win this one. You really could," Katy insisted.
Laine hesitated for whatever reason, but he decided to join the competition and go to Hollywood.
Wade Cota, a 27-year-old musician from Phoenix, AZ, sang "Blame It On Me" by George Ezra.
The panel was impressed by his deep sound and raspy tone.
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"Wow, I was not expecting that other person to jump out of your body... My friend, you've brought me a character," Lionel said.
Luke compared Wade to Johnny Cash and said he could hear Wade's voice in movie soundtracks.
"You've got one of the most unique voices I've ever heard in my life," Katy noted, before giving him a "hell yes" to Hollywood.
Madison, a 16-year-old high school student from Cohoes, NY, sang "Speechless" by Dan + Shay while playing the piano.
Lionel couldn't believe Madison is only 16 years old.
"Do you know what you just did? You rendered us speechless to the point where Katy is showing me goosebumps on her arm," Lionel told Madison.
Katy said she lost all feeling during that performance.
"I thought there was a winner earlier today. There might be a winner now. I think you're as good as Kelly Clarkson. You could be the next Kelly Clarkson. You are a massive star," Katy explained.
Luke and Lionel agreed, and then Madison was declared deserving of a Golden Ticket.
Jeremiah Lloyd, a 25-year-old church janitor from Catonsville, MD, impressed with his original song "Almost Heaven."
Katy gushed about him being "a serious musician," and then Lionel said he needs to "lose the broom" and stop picking up trash.
The judges were blown away by Jeremiah's talent, and Lionel compared him to Billy Joel. They appreciated his sound, his range and his songwriting abilities.