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Nolan Neal’s Daughter Auditions In Touching Tribute – Hollywood Life

Cay Aliese

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Image Credit: ABC

American Idol’s search for the next great singing star didn’t rest during the Oscars. The show debuted a special episode following the Oscars telecast on March 12. The first performer up is Dany Epp, a 23-year-old from Suffern, New York, who has moved to Oklahoma for her girlfriend.

Dany’s mom comes in to watch her performance of Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away.” The judges are impressed by what they hear from Dany. “Just believe in yourself,” Lionel Richie tells Dany. Luke Bryan adds that Dany’s voice is “real” and “emotional.” He adds, “You sing from a great spot.” Katy approves of the performance as well. Dany’s going to Hollywood!

Dany Epps
Dany Epps during her ‘American Idol’ audition. (ABC)

Amara Valerio wants her chance to shine after getting Kanye-d at a high school graduation. She performs a powerful rendition of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows.” Amara easily gets a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Hannah Nicolaisen is a 23-year-old former college volleyball player from Houston. She just started to figure out how to play music about a month or so ago. She performs a beautiful rendition of “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. “You did everything right to tell that story. That’s something we can’t teach,” Lionel raves. “Your unique voice is what you pay for in this business.” Luke says that Hannah was “born to sing.” She’s going to Hollywood!

Reette Thorns hasn’t had an easy life. The 20-year-old’s mom has struggled with addiction almost her entire life. She sings Fantasia’s “I Believe.” Reette cries when she’s finished singing. Lionel gets up and hugs her.

“You touched me,” Reette says. “It’s a big yes for me.” Katy thinks that Reette just needs to be supported. Katy and Lionel give Reette a “yes,” but Luke says “no” only because he wants to push her.

Tripp Taylor
Tripp Taylor on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

Tripp Taylor walks through the Idol doors with serious Lionel energy. The 18-year-old college student from South Carolina has been singing his entire life. He’s a big fan of the old soul genre. He performs a stunning rendition of “I Believe To My Soul” by Ray Charles on the piano.

“I think you’re incredible,” Luke says. Katy raves that Tripp is the full package and has an “it factor.” Lionel commends Tripp on his strong stage presence. “People are going to remember your name,” Katy tells Tripp. He’s going to Hollywood!

Colton Glover croons out to a Flatt & Scruggs song. The 21-year-old is told that he’s the “best country singer we have seen so far.” Katy thinks he’s top 10 material. Colton is going to Hollywood without a doubt.

During a brief break from auditions, Katy takes a moment to FaceTime her daughter, Daisy Dove, before she goes to bed. Katy is smitten with her daughter!

Cay Aliese
Cay Aliese during her ‘American Idol’ audition. (ABC)

The final performance of the night is Cay Aliese, a mom of two from Tennessee. Her father was AGT and The Voice alum Nolan Neal, who passed away in July 2022 from a drug overdose. Cay and her father bonded over music.

She performs a touching original song in honor of her dad: “City of Nashville.” Katy admits that she’s on the fence about Cay. “I didn’t feel emotionally connected,” Katy says. Luke points out that Cay has a “unique sound” and tells her not to be “afraid to soar.” The judges want to give Cay that chance. She gets that golden ticket to Hollywood.

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