American Idol

KB Richins, Hailey Mia, Abi Carter shine on American Idol

KB Richins auditions for American Idol Season 22. All three judges decided she deserved a golden ticket. (ABC Photo)

KB Richins auditions for American Idol Season 22. All three judges decided she deserved a golden ticket. (ABC Photo)


The Season 22 American Idol premiere was dominated by talented male singers.

But Idol sure flipped the script Sunday night, when talented ladies stole the show.

Below, I’ve ranked by favorite three auditions of the night — KB Richins, Hailey Mia and Abi Carter.

But they were hardly the only ladies who impressed. Nya and Justice Murphy, in particular, showed off big voices and brought star potential to the Idol audition room.

And didn’t you love that original song from Emmy Russell? I’ll forever applaud Idol for letting singers audition with original material.

Both of the originals we heard from Hollywood-bound contestant’s — Emmy’s “Skinny” and Kayko’s “Time of Your Life” — are already on streaming sites.

Several of the night’s other contestants have released music too. Follow the links below and they’ll take you to profiles of the contestants, complete with information about any music they’ve already released.

On to tonight’s recap.

Top 3

KB (Kaibrienne) Richins, 20, Henefer, Utah, “Something in the Orange” by Zach Bryan: KB’s been diagnosed with a tyroid disease that can lead to severe mood swings. Her dad starting filming videos of her singing because that’s when she feels most confident. And, guess what? The videos went viral. Dang, KB has a really distinct tone with a nice touch of rasp. Love the cry in her voice too. She turned in a great audition, though I have a feeling she’s going to have to do some catching up fast with contestants who have much more performing experience. Luke said he loved her audition from the first note. Katy says she has a really unique, special tone. Lionel said he loved what she did with the song.

Hailey Mia, 16, Clifton, N.J., “Rise” by Katy Perry: Hailey shows off a lovely tone from the opening note. No surprise. She made the finals of The Voice a couple years back after auditioning at age 13 (!). She also has a debut single out that’s another reminder of how special her voice is. aty called the performance “inspiring.” Luke said she has Top 10 potential. Lionel calls it one of the best auditions he’s heard this season. My hunch is that Hailey’s Voice experience will pay off big time on Idol. Remember last season? Three former Voice standouts made the voting rounds on Idol.

Abi Carter, 21, Indio, Calif., “What Was I Made For” by Billie Eilish: Abi says she’s been a fan of Idol her entire life and promised herself she’d audition one day. She has a great tone — what a wonderful opening — and shows off plenty of vocal firepower too. The vocal got away from her in a couple of spots, but I think that’s because she was singing with so much emotion. The judges clearly loved her performance. And Abi earned a standing ovation from them. Katy called her Top 10 and thanked her for singing from her heart. Luke and Lionel said she might be the winner. A week later, Idol showed up at one of Abi’s shows to give her a platinum ticket, one of just three awarded each season.

Also made the show:

Nya, 27, Manhattan, N.Y., “Wait a Minute” by Willow Smith: Nya shows off a big voice and lots of range. She has lots of theatrical experience. Luke and Lionel both call it one of the best auditions they’ve heard this singer. Luke calls her a massive singer with a massive personality and was pleased she didn’t sound too “Broadway.” Lionel says the has “the goods to go all the way.” She certainly has some star aura.

Justice Murphy, 21, Forrest City, Ark., “Summertime” by Fantasia: Justice picks a challenging song, especially since she references the version by the former Idol champ. But she’s got a big, impressive voice. Lionel calls it fantastic. Katy says she has star personality and sings with personality. Lionel liked her confidence and poise. Luke said he’d give her 10 yes votes if he could.

Emmy Russell, 24, Nashville, Tenn., “Skinny” (an original): She’s the granddaughter of Loretta Lynn. She produced this song in conjunction with SongHouse in Nashville and it’s already been released. It’s a great song, right? Katy calls her an A+ songwriter and told her she shouldn’t compare herself to her grandma. Lionel says she has promise.

Abby Blake, 25, Nashville, Tenn., “What About Us” by Pink: Idol’s bio bar tells us she’s a bar singer. She’s got a plenty of vocal firepower. Lionel says she’s got an edge that he likes and says she’s got room to grow. Katy gives her a no, without really explaining why. But Luke breaks the tie and sends her off to Hollywood. The vocal was definitely good enough to advance.

Sam Kelly-Cohen (Kayko), 23, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., “Time of Your Life (an original): Kayko showed up as Abby’s piano player, but was drafted to audition. I absolutely love the fact that Idol allows contestants to audition with originals. Given the supposed spontaneity of the situation, Kayko seemed pretty prepared, launching right into one of his own songs. He’s released lots of music, both as Kayko and Your Best Friend’s Favorite Band. And Kayko heads to Hollywood too.

Noah Peters, 24, Benton, Tenn., “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascal Flatts: He’s a singing barber who says he’s dreamed of getting a golden ticket since he was a child. Colin Stough comes in for a haircut while they sing “Golden Halos” by Chris Stapleton. Noah has a nice deep country voice and is showing it off better on the second song. Katy likes the sweetness in his voice. Lionel says he has a fantastic quality in his voice.

Roman Collins, 24, Long Beach, Calif., “Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder: Roman shows off a rich voice, but his performance is a bit too frill-filled for my taste. Ah, he’s delivering his worship leader vibe. Katy said he has an interesting voice. Luke loves his vibe. Lionel calls him a light.

Dawson Slade, 17, “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack and “Somebody Else Will” by Justin Moore: Dawson said he’s a full-time musician. He’s also a father. The judges were on the fence after hearing his first song, which they called a bit “linear.” Lionel cast a “no” vote. Luke then had Dawson sing a second song. Dawson boosted he volumes and get yeses from Katy and Luke to earn his golden ticket.

Ziggy, 22, The Netherlands, “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga: He walks in wearing a Ziggy necklace and with half blue, half pink hair and you’re expecting a joke audition. It isn’t. He’s actually got a good voice, even if the performance is a little over the top. Ziggy says he’s wanted to be a pop star since he was a child. He competed on TV shows back home, including Dutch Idol. Luke called it one of the best performances of the day.

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *