American Idol season 21 premiered on Sunday, Feb. 19, and the competition is already heating up. One of the standout auditions was that of Michael Williams, a 21-year-old singer from Mason, Ohio, who left judge Katy Perry a bit smitten.
Williams confidently took his place in front of the judges and began singing Bruno Mars' viral tune, "Talking to the Moon." The song showcased his smooth vocal quality and impressive range and control, and the judges were impressed. Perry, specifically, had a strong reaction to the performance, looking slightly troubled... or in possibly in love? We're not quite sure. Needless to say, the judges had nothing but positive comments for Williams.
Luke Bryan said Williams' performance consisted of "great all-around singing," and Richie said that Williams is "not just a pretty face."
"We're looking for a package and you walked in the door," added Richie. "I just want to say congratulations. I like the way you walked in here."
Perry then gave Williams the ultimate compliment by comparing him to top pop singers Shawn Mendes and Harry Styles.
"I think you're Top 10 material," Perry said. "I think your vocals are amazing. They're going to get pushed, but you can control the room with a whisper."
In the end, Williams was pushed through to the Hollywood round with three "yes" votes from all three judges.
Season 21 of American Idol is up and running and there were many memorable performances from the premiere night. A contestant named Iam Tongi brought the judges to tears with his emotional tribute to his late dad, and Mississippi native Colin Stough rocked out on a Lynryd Skynyrd classic. Another contestant, named Megan Danielle, had the surprise of the lifetime during her audition when one of her favorite music artists surprised her.
More auditions and tough competition is on the way in season 21. American Idol airs on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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