'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 6: Makayla Phillips' sensational vocals earn her 'next Ariana Grande' label
The latest episode of 'American Idol' on Monday night, March 16, really lived up to our expectations while throwing up quite a few surprises along the way. This time we've moved on to the very first Hollywood round, where the stars shine brighter and the pressure gets ramped up even higher.
One of the stars who shone the brightest was young Makayla Phillips, who was labeled "the next Ariana dadgum Grande" by country music star Luke Bryan after she thoroughly impressed the judges with her vocal capabilities.
Since all the preliminary auditions are done and dusted, we're now looking at the brightest and best talent in America, along with a judging panel of Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. And as for now, Makayla Phillips is really looking like she belongs in that list.
One of the primary requirements for the first week in Hollywood was that Makayla and the rest of the contestants got to choose their own desired category, like pop, singer-songwriter, soul or country.
Phillips is actually a former 'America's Got Talent' semi-finalist from barely two years ago. Now appearing on 'American Idol' as a highly-anticipated game-changer, the 17-year-old was already a national sensation, and expectations were understandably high for her Hollywood performances.
And the young pop diva absolutely hit it out of the park, delivering a pitch-perfect rendition of 'And I Am Telling You' from the beloved musical 'Dreamgirls', matching the fire and intensity of the original recording.
Makayla's powerful vocal chops, look and attitude might be uniquely her own, but already people (including Luke Bryan) are whispering that they have seen the birth of the next Ariana Grande, who is a super-talented pop diva in her own right.
The judges gave her a standing ovation after that breathtaking performance and promptly ushered Phillips through to the next round.
And already, fans are going gaga on social media after Makayla's amazing display - "I LOVE MAKAYLA SO MUCH, SHE BETTER WIN CAUSE 'AGT' ROBBED HER" said one enthusiastic fan, while another admirer said what we were all thinking after this all-conquering performance: "Makayla Phillips also has one of the best voices."
We can't wait to see what she pulls out of her bag in the next Hollywood round.