American Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie advanced 14 artists -- including last season's hopeful Laine Hardy and former Idol finalist Gabby Barrett's friend Nate Walker -- to Hollywood during Sunday night's two-hour episode on ABC.

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.
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!

"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.

"We are blessed to have you on American Idol," Lionel noted.

Austin Michael Robinson, a 15-year-old high school student from Van Alstyne, TX, sang "Your Man" by Josh Turner.

Luke thought he had a great voice but needs to annunciate his words better.

Katy wondered whether Austin should "slow cook like a good whiskey" in order for a maturity to grow in his voice that could eventually put him ahead of the pack.

Lionel predicted Austin would be a heartthrob as long as he learns to open his mouth a little bit more.

Katy said, "No," but Lionel and Luke agreed they should fire him up and just let him burn on American Idol.

Jake Puliti, a 20-year-old shoe store employee from Etters, PA, sang a unique version of "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan on the guitar.

Katy got up and danced during his audition and even did the worm on the floor. The judges thought he had a great voice and an "amazing" tone, so they gave him "a grand slam" of going to Hollywood.

Shawn Robinson, a 21-year-old hardware store associate from Atlanta, GA, belted out "Who You Are" by Jessie J.

"It's so easy for you!" Katy gushed, before Lionel called his voice "butter."

The judges also loved Shawn's personality and called him "a precious person."

"When you're in your lane, you're perfection," Luke noted.

Shawn's joy and passion radiated through his performance, and Katy asked him to "dig in" more and get into another gear next time. But the judges were inspired, and so they advanced him on the show.

Former Idol finalist Gabby Barrett's friend, Nate Walker, an 18-year-old singer from Pittsburgh, PA, performed "Say Something" by Great Big World for the panel while playing the piano.

"If you are Gabby recommended and Gabby approved, you've got a lot to live up to," Luke said.

Luke loved Nate's runs and style, adding that he was "massively excited" for what's to come for him. Lionel said he was "anointed," and then all three judges agreed he was ready for Hollywood.

Riley Thompson, a 16-year-old high school student from Mabank, TX, sang an original song called "Oh Daddy" for her audition.

Lionel said her sound is way beyond her years, and Katy noted she sounded like "a country Lana Del Rey."

Riley showed her youth but also her "uniqueness and star quality," so the panel didn't want to hold her back from pursuing her dream.

Clay Page, a 24-year-old singer and songwriter from Elberton, GA, performed "Die a Happy Man" by Thomas Rhett, and the judges were taken with him.

Lionel liked Clay's vibe and ability to tell a story, and he said his voice was right on the money. Katy found Clay's voice to be pure country and she loved his spirit.

"Clay, man, you have a very, very infectious knack. It's like a perfectly not-trying-too-hard delivery that's gentle to listen to. You might be our best representation thus far," Luke said.

"You are not the best country singer in the world, but you do not have to be, because you're just making us hang on your every word. I am sold on you completely and I am fired up for you."

Clay, a "gentle ginger," as Katy called him, was sent through to the next round.

Drake McCain, a 17-year-old high school student from Spring City, TN, belted out "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" by Mahalia Jackson, which inspired Katy to break out into song as well.

The song then switched to "Oh Happy Day," and Katy and Drake had a great time singing together.

Drake immediately proved her could harmonize, but Katy asked him to choose the right songs and figure out who he is as an artist. Luke also asked him not to get carried away with his runs.

In addition to Drake, Mica Giaconi, a 16-year-old high school student from San Diego, CA, was also sent to Hollywood after singing "Is This Love" by Whitesnake.

Darian Baena, a 15-year-old high school student from Orange, CA, also advanced with her bilingual performance of "Angels" by Robbie Williams.
About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.