American Idol 2023: Best Auditions From Episode 1

Katy Perry, Luke Bryan on American Idol 2023
Photographed: Luke Bryan, Katy Perry (Photo by: ABC/Eric McCandless)

American Idol definitely returned with a point to prove. After 20 seasons, you’d almost expect that they got all the talent left in America. Not at all. If the first episode of American Idol 21 taught us anything, it’s that there is an abundance of undiscovered talent out there. They just need someone to listen.

American Idol 2023’s premiere episode introduced us to some singers that blew us away with their vocal talent, story, spirit, and will to win. It was a great return to the show that we’ve been watching for over 20 seasons. American Idol really had a great premiere episode because we loved all the performances.

This made it hard to narrow it down to five performances that really stood out. The person who sang the best and why it’s the best is really just opinion and taste. Therefore, if you don’t agree with our list, that’s totally fine. These are just the five American Idol 2023 auditions from this week’s episode that made an impression on us.

Feel free to share which contestants you loved in the comment section. Here are the five American Idol 2023 night-one auditions that really left us mesmerized.

Iam Tongi “Monsters” by James Blunt

Iam Tongi gave the best audition of the night. He not only made us mourn with him, and our own personal losses, but he reinvented the song. James Blunt is a talented singer-songwriter and he knows how to break your heart with his singing and writing. Iam does the same with this song. He pours so much of his heart and soul into “Monsters.”

Iam also has such a distinct sound, way of singing, and tone. Clearly, any song he sings on his Idol journey will have the Iam stamp on it. He doesn’t sound like anyone in mainstream music right now. It’s a gorgeous song sung so well and in a way that connects it with everyone. If there is anything you want from an artist, it’s the ability to make you feel. Iam Tongi does this with his first audition. I can’t wait to see what else he does on American Idol.

Haven Madison “Fifteen” by Haven Madison

Haven starts American Idol 2023 in such a bold manner. She sings an original song and does it impeccably. Put “Fifteen” on the radio right now and it will be an instant hit. She knows how to create amazing ballads/pop songs. She also has a folky or singer-songwriter voice that aligns with singers such as Birdy.

“Fifteen” is the kind of song that you play on repeat. I’m a sucker for a song that builds up as it goes then slows down. It adds so much dynamic and character to the song.  At such a young age, Haven already has a vision for her musical style and dreams. Whether she wins Idol or not, I have a feeling that her career will exist long after the show.

Tyson Venegas “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel

I almost wish we got to listen to a longer version of Tyson’s cover of “New York State of Mind.” He is clearly someone who knows music. I wouldn’t be surprised if he could just tell you so many random music facts. His passion and love for music come across when he sings. He’s not just an artist but someone who obviously studies it, practices it, and works to perfect it.

Tyson will really shine as he continues on his Idol journey. I think this audition showed us his ability to give character to his songs. That’s an underrated skill that will really help him when singing more covers. Tyson definitely earned his platinum ticket, and we can’t wait to see how far he goes during his Idol journey.

Colin Stough “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

I debated a lot between Colin, Michael Williams, and Megan Danielle to include in the top five. I think they were all great and added something unique. Therefore, it really came down to some small details. I picked Colin because technically he had very few faults. His pitch was great and he hit all his notes. My only complaint was I wish his version had a little more emotions with it, but that’s only because I’ve heard many covers of this song and some have been phenomenal. They make you feel the power of “Simple Man.” However, Colin is also young and that type of raw emotion in singing usually comes with age.

With Colin giving such a technically great performance, I believe with a little coaching, he’ll be one to watch. He has the voice and skills already. Once he gets more comfortable, I think Colin will be a showstopper.

Kya Monee’ “I Am Here” from The Color Purple

Kya’s tribute to the late-Willie Spence was so full of raw emotions. You felt her loss, and you felt the world’s loss from losing such a talented young man so soon. She gave Willie the tribute he deserved. You couldn’t watch the first night of auditions and not be moved by Kya’s performance. She sang it beautifully and it helped the song pay respect to Willie and his family in such a moving way.

It was the perfect way to end the first episode of American Idol 2023. Kya also has such a powerhouse voice that I’m looking forward to hearing her sing other songs during Hollywood week. Let’s hope she makes it further this time around. She could also be a contestant who with a little coaching could be extraordinary.

Who was your favorite performance from the first auditions of American Idol 2023? Let us know in the comment section.

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