Waterford native is new American Idol music director; worked with Katy Perry

Waterford native is new American Idol music director; worked with Katy Perry

Waterford native is new American Idol music director; worked with Katy Perry

The season 16 premiere, which saw 10.3 million viewers tuning in, featured a lot of talented singers.

Young Zach D'Onofrio may not sound like it when he speaks, but he's got a Sinatra-style singing voice that had judge Katy Perry dancing with him-and judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie dancing with each other!

Michelle Sussett, 22, Miami, FL: Originally from Venezuela, the super-energetic singer performed a song in Spanish and then turned some music on and forced the judges to get up and dance with her. The judges are all smitten with Catie, with Lionel referring to her as a wonderful Martian. The judges were afraid the music industry would eat sweet Layla alive and that she'd be "going into the fire", but they all said "yes" after realizing Layla was strong mentally and had confidence in herself. "Trevor, he's hot, he does construction on the side, and he loves his mom", Katy said, explaining why he was such a catch.

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When Benjamin told the judges that he hadn't kissed a girl, as he couldn't do so without being in a relationship, Katy Perry asked him to come over to her desk for his first kiss.

"Once you're in front of the judges, it is very quick".

In L.A., we see two polar opposites: sullen rocker Nico Bones and jolly farm boy Noah Davis. Country hitmaker Luke finds the performance "pretty daggum inspiring", but Lionel and Katy initially aren't hearing Ron's own personality shine through. Before performing his piece for the panel, the 19-year-old admitted he has never had a girlfriend and has also never had a kiss on the lips.

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Will Katy repeat the act in the upcoming auditions? "I think in the past there was some of that and maybe taking advantage of people..." Later, 26-year-old Dennis Lorenzo (who sang Allen Stone's "Unaware") explained after his father's murder, he made some poor life decisions as a teenager - until his grandparents gave him a guitar.

Still, the the pricey Idol, the highest-rated and most watched broadcast program last night, dramatically improved ABC's ratings fortunes on Sunday where the network has averaged a 1.0 in 18-49 from 8-10 PM (L+SD).

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