A worship leader from Flushing, Mich. scored the final golden ticket on “American Idol!”
Manny Torres, 20, impressed judges Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. with his high energy cover of Maroon 5’s hit “This Love” as the audition rounds came to a close on Thursday night's episode.
“Idol” — which launched the careers of Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson — will crown its 15th and final champion in April.
“[I’m] diggin' you,” Lopez told Torres. “You sound great. Lots to love there.”
Urban was also a fan, praising: “You have so much energy, but you kept it focused. You just stayed in the zone.”
The two hour broadcast featured a mishmash of tryouts from a half dozen cities.
The evening’s feel good moment came courtesy of 17 year-old cancer survivor Melany Huber, whose audition was taped five months after being diagnosed with stage three non-Hodgkins lymphoma. The teen was just beginning grow back the hair on her head.
“This whole past year has been so crazy for me being in the hospital and all,” she revealed.
“I am just really hoping this could be my shot. Having a positive outlook on everything helped me get through it for sure. [I am] finally cancer free. It has given me a whole new perspective on things. As long as it is something I want to do, I am going to go for it.”
The judges were beyond impressed with her spin on Bruno Mars’ “Talking to The Moon”.
“I like everything in front of me that I am seeing right now,” Connick told her. “From the top of your head to the bottom of your feet.”
Other standouts included:
Jessica Cabral, 21: Lopez praised the worship director from Worcester, Mass. for her “beautiful, thick, lush toned voice.”
Brian Dale Brown, 27: The cell phone salesman from Bakersfield, Calif. auditioned ten times before finally advancing to Hollywood. “I like the fact that you have a big voice,” Urban said. “It can come across as novelty. But how you use it is what it is all about.”
Chynna Sherrod, 16: The Bridgeport, Conn. teen scored three “yes” votes with her cover of “One Last Cry” by Ariana Grande. “I thought you were fantastic,” Connick cheered.
Next up, Hollywood Week!
“American Idol” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox.