Deida auditions on Season 22, Episode 4, of "American Idol," airing March 17, 2024.

Alyssa Raghu Surprises Best Friend by Taking Over Their Audition

Two weeks after a show that didn’t quite hit the mark, “American Idol” made a heartfelt comeback on Sunday night, capturing the hearts of viewers across the country.

It seemed like the producers had been saving up all the emotional and tear-inducing auditions for Episode 4, making sure we couldn’t look away from our screens. And indeed, they succeeded in their mission.

The episode was a rollercoaster of emotions, starting with Deida Jeudy, a 16-year-old high school student from Florida. Deida, who has grown up assisting her visually impaired younger siblings, impressed the judges, including Luke Bryan, who showed Katy Perry his goosebumps during Deida’s mature rendition of Leon Bridges’ “River.”

Deida’s voice was described by Perry as “timeless,” embodying “thousands of years of soul and pain and heaviness,” a talent she was simply born with.

Following Deida, Elleigh Marie, a 20-year-old cosmetologist from American Fork, Utah, took the stage. Elleigh, who has also faced many responsibilities at a young age due to her dad’s military deployments and her mom’s illnesses, performed Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” with such emotion that she ended her performance in tears.

Luke Bryan predicted Elleigh would make it to the top 10 this season, while Lionel Richie couldn’t help but express how captivating she was. After her performance, Elleigh’s family, including her father who is in the Air Force and facing another deployment, joined her in the room to celebrate her unanimous “yes” from the judges.

In another touching moment, 20-year-old college student Athena Jett auditioned, but it was her younger sister, Angelina, who stole the show. Angelina presented Katy Perry with a hand-crocheted purse for Perry’s daughter, Daisy Dove Bloom, winning Perry over before Athena even performed.

Despite Athena’s beautiful voice, her stage fright seemed to hold her back. However, her sister, calling herself Athena’s “biggest fan,” moved everyone to tears, prompting the judges to search for tissues.

Angelina suggested Athena sing “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman,” a choice that showcased Athena’s vocal abilities more effectively. Despite initial doubts, Athena’s performance, encouraged by Perry’s cheers, was more confident, leading Perry to dramatically declare her improvement as “phenomenal.”

With Angelina’s supportive gaze, the judges unanimously agreed to send Athena to Hollywood, highlighting the power of family support in achieving dreams.

In a surprising twist, past contestant Alyssa Raghu returned for another chance at stardom, overshadowing her best friend Julia Davo’s audition. Julia, aspiring to be “America’s next female rock star,” faced rejection from Perry and Bryan, despite Richie’s support.

Alyssa’s rendition of Mariah Carey’s “My All” showcased her growth, earning mixed reactions from the judges. Perry doubted Alyssa’s potential to win, but Richie and Bryan saw no harm in giving her another chance.

Awarding Alyssa the golden ticket in front of Julia was a bittersweet moment, testing the strength of their friendship. Ryan Seacrest’s well-wishes for both their friendship and journey underscored the complexity of competing alongside loved ones.

This episode of “American Idol” was a testament to the power of perseverance, the depth of family bonds, and the unpredictable nature of the journey to stardom.