American Idol Alyssa Ray
YouTube/American Idol

'American Idol': Kentucky Teen Alyssa Wray Covers Carrie Underwood, Duets with Katharine McPhee


Alyssa Wray stood out on the March 7 episode of American Idol, and not just because the Perryville, Kentucky teen stands 6'2" tall.

Her performance of "I Am Changing," a song Idol veteran Jennifer Hudson sang in the movie Dreamgirls, not only earned her a golden ticket. It gained the highest praise from judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie.

Perry said Wray has the talent to do anything she "ever dreamed of," while Bryan lauded her "presence," which he called "the most challenging thing in entertainment" to master. Bryan also went as far as to liken the American Idol audition to seeing another "Beyonce get born."


Queen Bey comparisons aside, the highest praise for Wray came from an awe-struck Richie.

"How lucky are we to finally say, 'we knew you when, and we had something to do with it?'," said Richie, a singer-songwriter, producer, and actor from Alabama.

As if Wray couldn't be more impressive, she continues to shine following her debut on the singing competition. She gave a showstopping performance of the Carrie Underwood song, "Something In The Water" for her Top 24 solo. For the all star duets, the teen partnered up with American Idol alum Katharine McPhee to cover another powerhouse -- Whitney Houston. The duo performed "I'm Your Baby Tonight," and Luke Bryan even said that Wray was giving him and the other judges "star sparkle."


Below, check out Wray's duet performance of "My Old Kentucky Home" with fellow contestant Alex Miller.

Alyssa Wray and I got together today and sang ?My Old Kentucky Home.? Enjoy! #alyssaonidol #alexonidol #americanidol #kentuckyproud #stephenfoster #myoldkentuckyhome #bluegrassstate

Posted by Alex Miller Music on Monday, March 8, 2021

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Other recent auditions of note came from New York native Laila Mach, who took Gabby Barrett's "I Hope" in a different direction, plus Caleb Kennedy (with original song "Nowhere"), Abby LeBaron (Kodaline's "All I Want"), Murphy (Bill Withers' "Just the Two of Us" and original song "Painted Man"),  Ash Ruder and Broadway-crazed vocalist Beane.

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