Dodgeville singer makes her mark on American Idol

American Idol

American Idol

An average of 10.3 million viewers tuned in as judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan took their place at the judges desk for the very first time.

Season two finalist and CT resident Kimberley Locke gives us a whole recap. That gave ABC its most-watched Sunday night in more than five years, beating "60 Minutes" on CBS (9.2 million and 8.5 million viewers); NBC's "American Ninja Warrior" (3.6 million) and "Timeless" (2.96 million); and Fox's "O.J". She performed her own song titled "21st Century Machine", which received a compliment from Richie.

The Hollywood Reporter's Daniel Fienberg compared the rebooted version of "American Idol" to the most recent previous seasons, noting it became "warmer and fuzzier and less scathing and mocking with each passing year".

A tearful Perry, who had lost her voice by the time Francisco auditioned, couldn't hold back emotion as she explained that she spent most of the performance watching his fiancée and seeing "how in love she is". All three judges agreed to send her to Hollywood. The judges don't think he's ready for Hollywood, but at least he got a first kiss out of the deal.

Nine hopefuls received golden tickets and made it through to the next round, with several of them blowing the panel away - Catie Turner, Alyssa Raghu, Zachary D'Onofrio, and Dennis Lorenzo.

The auditions then head to Nashville, where we meet 16-year-old Harper Grace.

"Something that I never imagined could've happened to me", says Julica. But she redeems herself in front of the judges, singing an original country song she wrote. Sardor shrieks his way through Luke James' "I Want You" with such conviction that surely Klaus Nomi's wig levitated from the grave. He admits to the judges that he's never kissed a girl, and gets knocked for a loop when Perry tricks him into a kiss on the lips.

All of this said, neither Benjamin or Nico hold a candle to Sardor Milano, 26, who somehow won The X Factor in Russian Federation a few years ago.

"There are incredible voices on the show this year", said Kris Pooley. You can also live stream on ABC official website (only for viewers located within the USA and its territories), HULU or PlayStation Vue.

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