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An American Idol Contestant Sings ‘I Kissed a Girl,’ and Katy Perry Doesn’t Like It — Watch

There’s a reason we would never advise someone to audition for American Idol using one of the judges’ own songs — it doesn’t always end well.

But that didn’t stop 22-year-old Madaí Chakell from attempting to soar where so many others before her have stumbled, performing “I Kissed a Girl” in front of Katy Perry herself. And while it wasn’t a total crash-and-burn moment, Katy was visibly confused by what she heard.

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Fortunately, Katy could see the spark in this potential firework, so she gave Madaí a second chance. “Happy Birthday” turned out to be a much more suitable vessel to showcase Madaí’s impressive vocals, earning her a coveted Golden Ticket.

After this audition, we’re rooting for Madaí to at least stick around long enough to see Disney Week. When boasting about her versatility, Madaí said, “I can switch it up and give you Little Mermaid,” and that is something we absolutely need to hear.

Read on for a breakdown of the other noteworthy American Idol auditions from Episode 3:

MAX DASHER, 18, AND LAELA DASHER, 20 | This brother-sister duo from North Carolina auditioned separately, with the judges preferring Max’s classic country sound to Laela’s more easy-breezy vibe. Still, there was something undeniably “beautiful” (“magical,” even!) about both of their voices, which only became more clear when they teamed up for a duet of The Head and the Heart’s “Rivers and Roads.”

SCARLETT LEE, 26 | We can’t really explain it, but something about this dolled-up British powerhouse gave us major “Gemma” vibes. And Katy clearly felt the same way, initially suspecting that Scarlett had wandered off the set of Love Island. Little did Katy know that she’d soon be moved to tears by a stunning performance of a personal favorite, Emeli Sande’s “Clown.”

NICK CONNORS, 22 | While we’re certain that Adele would have some thoughts about the liberties Nick took in his performance of “Easy on Me,” we’re also confident that she would be blown away by his talent.

JENNIFER JEFFRIES, 17 | The youngest of nine kids (holy Loud House!), this unassuming teen won over the judges with “Change My Ways,” an original song that showcased her mature, raspy vocals.

KIMI, 25 | This week’s grab-your-tissues moment came courtesy of a Brooklyn-based Kosovo refugee, whose initial performance of Tom Odell’s “Heal” was cut short by his own overwhelming emotions. Fortunately, he was able to pull himself together for a second shot, this time crushing Adele’s “Love in the Dark.” He celebrated by FaceTiming (and serenading!) his mother, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and PTSD shortly after he was born.

ANISTON PATE, 20 | Lionel Richie likened this country songbird to a young Dolly Parton, particularly impressed by the storytelling ability she showcased via her original song “Humminbird,” a gorgeous ode to her mother. Luke Bryan couldn’t help but let out a “whoa” mid-song.

CJ RISLOVE, 22 | Look, we can respect the incredible talent of this musical nomad, who claims to hail from “Everywhere and Nowhere, USA.” We can even appreciate the potential benefits of living in a converted bus. We’re just humbly suggesting that he stop referring to his home-on-wheels as “The Jazz Wagon.” That is all.

KYRA WAITS, 23 | This young mom of a two-year-old girl showed off the golden pipes she inherited from her own mother, gifting the judges with a strong performance of Patty Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain.”

WILL MOSELY, 23 | Episode 3 wrapped with this former football player, who eventually decided that the game he loved wasn’t worth the potential long-term consequences of the head injuries he was sure to sustain. So he pivoted to music, which ended up being a very wise choice, as the judges were showering him with yeses before he even finished performing his original song “Gone for Good.”

Which were your favorite auditions of Episode 3? Vote in our poll below, then drop a comment with your thoughts on Season 22 so far.

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