WATCH: ‘American Idol’ First Season 20 Audition

Cole Hallman American Idol

ABC Cole Hallman

ABC’sAmerican Idol” returns for season 20 on Sunday, February 27, 2022. The first round of the competition will feature auditions from all over the country, and ABC has officially released the first audition of the season.

Judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry all returned for their sixth season on the panel, and Ryan Seacrest returned as the host for his 20th season overall on the show.

The judges also introduced the Platinum Ticket for their “Platinum” season, which allows one hopeful in each city to skip the first round of Hollywood Week in order to strategize and hopefully have a leg up in the competition.

Cole Hallman Auditioned With His Guitar & His Sister

Cole Hallman Shares His Audition With His Sister And It's Absolutely Perfect – American Idol 2022Cole is super nervous but arrives with the support of his mom and sister Katie: his biggest fan. Katie was born with a chromosomal deletion which caused developmental and behavioral issues. Singing together with Cole is her happy place. See more of American Idol 2022 on our official site: Like American Idol on Facebook:…2022-02-24T14:00:07Z

In the first early release audition, Cole Hallman shares that he is 22 years old and from New Jersey with a degree in education. He gave a shout-out to the fourth-grade class where he student taught during the video package.

Hallman then shared that he was at the audition with his mother and his little sister Katie, who he calls his biggest fan. Katie is “obsessed” with “American Idol,” Hallman said.

“If I don’t win, she’s gonna be mad,” Hallman told Seacrest.

He then told the cameras that his sister has a chromosomal deletion, which caused developmental and behavioral issues.

“I feel a little bit out of place because I haven’t been doing music for that long,” Hallman said. “Everyone around me seems, like, prepared. They’re in leather jackets and stuff.”

The Judges Called Out Hallman’s Nerves

After answering a few questions from the panel, Perry told Hallman that he seemed nervous.

“Part of me feels like I belong here, but also the negative part of me feels like everybody’s been doing this for their whole lives,” Hallman told the judges.

Richie reassured the singer, telling him that the judges all still feel that way and that the feeling never goes away but it “makes you better.”

Hallman performed “Lodi” by Creedence Clearwater Revival for his audition while strumming along on the guitar.

“Interesting, man, I think you’re an authentic voice,” Bryan told Hallman. “I think you’re singing from the right place, you’re not here to be fancy about a bunch of stuff, you just played the song and sang it from the heart.”

Perry asked if Hallman thought he “hit a bad note” at the end of the song, and when he nodded, she said, “no, you didn’t. It’s called character.”

“If you can play a whole song with an out-of-tune guitar and Katy Perry doesn’t throw a penalty flag at you, that means we’re all into what you’re doing,” Bryan said.

Richie shared that he thought there was a place for Hallman in the competition before inviting Hallman’s family into the room.

Then, Katie was allowed to sing with Hallman, and Perry offered to sing along, in a very sweet moment.

“Now he’s singing with freedom,” Perry said, smiling.

Bryan added, “he’s singing with life.”

They received a standing ovation from the judges, and then Hallman received a “yes” from all three of the judges.

“American Idol” returns on February 27, 2022, at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on ABC.

READ NEXT: ‘American Idol’ Judges Talk Season 20 Auditions, Share Sneak Peek

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