“American Idol” returned for its milestone 20th season on Sunday, February. With it came several great auditions — and one that seemed like a total fakeout.
Normandy (no last name) is a self-described gamer who has a fairly robust following on TikTok. She also has a song on Spotify called “Put Your Mark On Me.” But her “American Idol” audition had judge Katy Perry storming off the set. Here’s what happened.
Normandy Seemed A Joke Audition
In her video intro package, Normandy revealed that she has a very high, cartoon-like speaking voice — and it seems legit. But she capitalizes on that by leaning into it, with bunny shoes and a carrot purse and calling her online followers her “kitten nuggets.”
“What makes the show exciting is when that door opens, you just never know what’s gonna happen,” said judge Luke Bryan before Normandy walked in.
“Right when you think, ‘what else is new?’ and then we start season five. Oh my god, where did that kid come from?!” said judge Lionel Richie.
Normandy confessed, “In the past, people have definitely written me off because of how I talk. I hope the judges take me seriously.”
But of course, her speaking voice makes it sound like she is going to be a joke audition along the lines of William Hung or Bikini Girl (who is now married to Jason Aldean, just by the way) or “Pants On the Ground” guy.
Upon hearing her speak, Luke Bryan remarked, “You had to have just walked off the set of a children’s program.”
They are visibly surprised that Normandy is going to sing “Proud Mary,” but they settled in to see how it would go.
Normandy opened her mouth — and a deep, throaty voice came out, and judge Katy Perry could not take it.
“F*** this job. I’m outta here. I will not be set up!” said Katy as she stormed off the set.
But Normandy Really Impressed Them
Katy came back and Normandy got to sing “Proud Mary,” after which Katy said she wanted to hear Normandy try some Adele, so Normandy took a swing at “Set Fire To The Rain,” which was also really good.
“I love the character of you. Now, when you open your mouth and start singing, I have to start critiquing in terms of an artist,” said Lionel.
When she attempted to speak in a lower voice, Normandy cracked the judges up and then looked a little hurt that they were laughing at her.
“We’re not laughing at you, we’re laughing because you’re kind of amazing,” said Luke. “I can’t imagine some of the challenges you’ve been through with people questioning your voice. But you know what … when you start singing and you sing great then we have to really be interested and we have to really figure out your place in this world of entertainment.”
“I wanna see what you can do, enjoy the ride. It’s a yes,” said Lionel.
“You do have a good voice. You know you don’t need all the stuff,” said Katy, adding, “God, I wanna roll the dice on her. Shoot. I’m kind of a kitten nug. OK, alright, this is weird, I’m gonna say yes.”
“You know what, you made me smile a lot. I’m a yes,” said Luke.
“Season 20 is officially weird. You’re gonna really surprise a lot of people,” said Katy, to which Normandy replied, “Hope that’s a good thing.”
Guess we’ll find out!
“American Idol” season 20 airs Sundays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on ABC.