Who Will Win American Idol Season 22?

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Who Will Win American Idol Season 22?

"American Idol" season 22 kicked off in style on Sunday night as the judges awarded the first Platinum Ticket of the series. 

Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry - who recently announced she will be leaving the show at the end of the season - returned to panel to oversee the latest batch of wannabes, alongside host Ryan Seacrest. 

Season 22 auditions took place in Bryan's hometown of Leesburg, Georgia, Richie's hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama, and Perry's hometown of Santa Barbara, California, as well as Los Angeles and Nashville.   

In the first episode of the series, the "American Idol" judges awarded Golden Tickets to 10 performers, booking them a place in Hollywood Week. 

But the judges went one better for airport security guard Odell Bunton Jr., whose Golden Ticket was upgraded to a Platinum Ticket, which enables the lucky recipient to skip the first round of performances during Hollywood Week.

American Idol's Bunton On Top After Platinum Performance

Bunton Jr. is the early +200 favorite to win this year's "American Idol" following his platinum performance on Sunday night's premiere episode. 

The father-of-five told how he is currently living in a hotel with his wife and kids, and he went on to wow the panelists with his version of "Bring It On Home To Me" by Sam Cooke. 

Panelist Perry said he's "the best soul singer so far" in season 22, and he is the early pacesetter in the futures betting. 

Fellow singer Blake Proehl isn't far behind at +300 after he sealed a Golden Ticket following his goosebumps-causing rendition of Brett Young's "In Case You Didn’t Know". 

Perry was particularly taken by Proehl's performance, in which he sang and played the piano, and she has already predicted the former NFL player - who played for the Minnesota Vikings, but had to pull out of the sport after a bad injury - could win season 22. 

McCall Delivers Top Performance

Another Perry favorite was Micaela McCall, who, like the Firework hitmaker, has busked in Santa Barbara.

The judge loved McCall's own take on Stevie Wonder classic "Signed Sealed Delivered", and told her: "I’ve never heard that song done that way."

Bryan was also a huge fan of +400 chance McCall, and questioned how she isn't already a star. 

McKenna Breinholt had one of the most emotional auditions of the night, as the medical assistant explained to the panelists she was adopted, but had found out her late birth mother was also a singer. 

Following a scintillating performance of "There Was Jesus" by Zach Bryan and Dolly Parton, Breinholt, who is +500 to win the season, was surprised by her birth family.

One of her relatives said her performance was like hearing "a ghost", in reference to Breinholt's late birth mother Amy Ross Lopez's similar abilities on stage. 

Sol Shines In American Idol Auditions

Another star who shone on Sunday night was Mackenzie Sol (+600), who received three yeses and a Golden Ticket from the judges, with Bryan insisting he has a "stardust personality". 

Meggie Iyer (+700) isn't far behind Sol in the futures betting, and Richie told her she has the "whole package", while Perry described her as "top 10". 

Perry also told nursing home security guard Ajii he was "top 10", and Richie praised his performance as "infectious", after the wannabe blasted out Teddy Swims' "Lose Control".

Richie told Ajii: "You had me on your opening note."

Ajii is +800 to win the latest "American Idol" series, just ahead of +900 chance Triston Harper.

The 15-year-old contestant also received a hat-trick of yeses from the judges, and Perry said he had an "old soul" singing voice.

Jack Blocker is propping up the market at +1200, but he nearly didn't progress to Hollywood at all. 

Blocker originally received two no votes, from Perry and Richie, but Bryan gave him a yes. 

Just when it looked like Blocker was heading home, Bryan called for a crew vote, and they decided to give him another chance. 

Richie then changed his vote to a yes, meaning the wannabe's path to Hollywood was unblocked. 

Elsewhere, Kennedy Reid is +1000 to triumph after she also received two yeses, but one no.

Bryan rejected the mortician, who sang Tina Turner's "River Deep Mountain High", but Perry and Richie sent her to Hollywood.

The auditions will continue on Sunday night. 

Note: These are hypothetical odds provided by industry experts!

Who Will Win American Idol Season 22?

  • Odell Bunton Jr. +200 
  • Blake Proehl +300 
  • Micaela McCall +400 
  • McKenna Breinholt +500 
  • Mackenzie Sol +600 
  • Meggie Iyer +700 
  • Ajii +800 
  • Triston Harper +900 
  • Kennedy Reid +1000 
  • Jack Blocker +1200