‘American Idol’ Recap: A 15-Year-Old Gets The Platinum Ticket & Katy Perry Breaks Down In Tears

Another coveted Platinum Ticket was handed out during the February 26 episode, and the night ended with an emotional performance that left Katy Perry in tears.

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The second episode of American Idol season 21 auditions begins in Nashville. Caroline Kole is the first singer to audition in the February 26 episode. The 25-year-old has lived in Nashville for 10 years and experienced “a lot of almosts.” She performs “Firework” by Katy Perry.

“I think you’ve got all the tools there,” Luke Bryan says. “I think you’re missing the mark on some of your delivery.” Lionel Richie likes the “smokiness” in Caroline’s voice but wants her to sell her personality more. Katy tells Caroline that she’s going to have “get some fangs” out in the next round of the competition. She’s going to Hollywood!

Jon Wayne Hatfield
Jon Wayne Hatfield and his grandpa. (ABC)

A Singer & His Grandpa Steal The Show

Next up is Jon Wayne Hatfield. The 21-year-old grew up in Ohio and was raised by his grandparents. Jon’s Grandpa Ray accompanies him to the audition. Grandpa Ray revealed he was gay to Jon after his wife’s death. Ray was afraid to tell Jon because he was “scared he would stop loving me.” Jon told his grandfather that nothing was going to change his love for him.

Jon performs a touching original song called “Tell Me Ray.” He receives a standing ovation from the judges. “You really showcased the right foundation of what we’re looking for,” Luke says. Katy and Lionel acknowledge that Jon is a great songwriting. They each give him a “yes” to send him to Hollywood.

Ashley Tankard has tried out 15 times for American Idol, and she’s hoping that this is her lucky day. The 22-year-old gets emotional ahead of her performance of Tate McRae’s “You Broke Me First.”  They ask her to perform the song again and enunciate the words more.

Luke tells Ashley that she has “nice tones,” but she loses control in the high parts of the chorus. Lionel knows that Ashley is nervous. She just needs some confidence. Katy wants to give Ashley a chance, while Luke doesn’t think she’s ready. It all comes down to Lionel. Lionel gives Ashley the “yes” she needs!

Cody Winkler is a full-time truck driver and wants to take a chance on music. He performs “Under A Neon Halo” by Bill Green alongside Luke. Katy thinks Cody is “authentic as it gets.” Lionel gives Cody a “yes,” but both Katy and Luke say “no” to Cody.

Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

Matt Wilson is ready for the next chapter of his life. The 21-year-old teacher’s aide performs a stunning rendition of “For Tonight” by Giveon. “You have a purity and a believability,” Lionel says. Luke adds, “That was one of the most genuine honest real performances I’ve ever witnessed.” The judges bring Matt’s wife in so they can announce in front of the couple that Matt is going to Hollywood!

The New Platinum Ticket Revealed

Kaylin Hedges is 15 years old, but she’s got a voice far beyond her years. Her dad had to deploy in order for her to be able to pursue music in New York. He’s missed her birthday for almost a decade, but he’s coming back next year. She sings a stunning rendition of “I’m Already There” by Lonestar.

Her dad surprises her in person during her audition. Her mom has no idea, and she’s caught so off guard to see her husband. The judges make this reunion even sweeter by giving Kaylin the second Platinum Ticket.

Kaylin Hedges
Kaylin Hedges gets the second Platinum Ticket. (ABC)

Aiden Adair is 19 years old and cuts pizza for a living in Clover, South Carolina. His performance of “Break My Heart” by Finneas is a bit rough, so the judges ask for a second song. His performance of James Bay’s “Let It Go,” and he really shines with this one. Katy tells Aiden that he “went from a 4 to an 8 in 5 minutes.” After his second chance, the judges each gave Aiden a “yes” to go to Hollywood.

Sixteen years after Phil Stacey made the top 6 of American Idol season 6, his 16-year-old daughter, McKayla is auditioning for the show. She performs “She Used To Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles as her dad plays the piano. Lionel thinks McKayla has a “great voice,” but Katy points out the singer’s “inexperience.” Luke believes McKayla is a bit too young for the competition right now, but Lionel and Katy think she is “born for a moment like this.” McKayla is going to Hollywood!

Nutsa is making her dream come true by auditioning for American Idol. The 25-year-old from the country of Georgia traveled 17 hours to audition for the show. She performs a theatrical rendition of “Lady Marmalade.” Katy knows that there’s a voice in there, but Nutsa is doing a bit too much.

They ask Nutsa to perform her second song, and she performs “Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston. “You nailed it,” Lionel says. Katy wants Nutsa to just “be real” moving forward. The judges are sending her to Hollywood!

Trey Louis Brings Katy Perry To Tears

Trey Louis
Trey Louis on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

The final performance of the night is from Trey Louis. The 21-year-old mattress salesman has a personality for days and a mullet, too. He wows the judges with his performance of “Stone” by Whiskey Myers. They ask him why he’s doing Idol.

Trey reveals that he is a survivor of the 2018 Sante Fe High School shooting. He “lost a lot of friends.” He wants to bring some positivity back to his hometown. Katy begins to cry in front of Trey.

She puts her head in her hands. “Our country has f—ing failed us!” Katy cries. “This is not okay. You should be singing here because you love music.” Katy admits she’s “scared” about the future.” Lionel wipes away a tear. ”

“We have tolerated this for so long. Too long. It’s become a norm,” Lionel says. Katy adds, “We’ve got to change.” Trey responds, “True. I agree.” The judges know they’ve found something special in Trey. “You’re perfect,” Luke tells Trey. Trey gets a resounding “yes” from all the judges after his emotional performance.

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