"American Idol" returned to the city that hosted Carrie Underwood's audition years ago, St. Louis, in the Thursday, February 2 episode in the hope of finding the next big star. Seemingly an answer to this, Johnny Keyser kicked the show off with his good voice.
The 22-year-old waiter from Pompano Beach, Florida sang Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." After enjoying the performance, the judges gave their votes and sent the contestant to Hollywood.
When Reis Kloeckner performed "Lean on Me", Steven Tyler was so moved that he cried. "That was so beautiful. You made me cry. That's how good that was just now," the Aerosmith frontman admitted. The pizza maker, who was a bully victim in school, found a place in the singing competition with the judges giving him a Golden Ticket.
Ethan Jones later blew the judges away with his vocal, but he could not hide his nervousness as he scratched his head while in the waiting room. He kept bleeding during the audition, but it did not distract him from delivering a smooth cover of Edwin McCain's "I'll Be".
Randy Jackson loved the "unassuming" aspect of the 22-year-old, who dropped out of high school to play in a band which his dad once joined before he went to seek some drug and alcohol counseling. Steven, meanwhile, said he could relate to the father's fight.
Lauren Gray also made it to Hollywood with what Jennifer Lopez claimed as "one of the best female voices we've heard." The girl, who sings in a wedding band with her father, performed Adele's "One and Only", which led to Randy calling her "fearless."
Trying to pursue her dream, Rachelle Lamb brought her daughter to the audition. She sang Faith Hill's "Find Somebody New" which was directed to her ex who did her wrong. Randy loved the "pure tone", and the three judges gave her "yes."
A total of 46 Golden Tickets were given away in the last stop of the auditions. Next week, "American Idol" will continue with the Hollywood Week.