'American Idol' Sneak Peek: Judges Compare Talented Hopeful to Dolly Parton (Exclusive)

In ET's exclusive sneak peek at Sunday's episode, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan get into songwriting fun with a singer's original song.

American Idol season 22 is bringing the fire when it comes to memorable auditions!

After Loretta Lynn's granddaughter, Emmy Russell, wowed judges and viewers alike with her original song on last week's season premiere, ET has an exclusive look at another singer who shows off her talent with a pen and vocals, and garners an enthusiastic reaction from judges Katy PerryLuke Bryan and Lionel Richie

In ET's exclusive sneak peek at Sunday's upcoming episode, talented hopeful Aniston Pate takes to the stage to perform her original song. At the beginning of the clip, Perry and Bryan are explaining that the latter is getting set up for his "first ever IV," because, as Perry coaxes him to admit, Bryan doesn't "orally take vitamins, so we have to stick you with them."

Pate makes her entrance after the country singer bravely endures the needle prick of the IV and introduces herself as "a tractor driver here to play country music."

The West Texas native sings an original song she explains is inspired by her mother titled "Hummingbird," co-written with her friend, Davis. 

"That's a great one, really good. I got like four things I want to tell you to do to it," Bryan tells Pate as all three judges applaud her audition. 

As the Crash My Party singer pitches that Pate tweak the soft refrain, Perry chimes in, and the two perform the short verse of Pate's song.

"Luke Bryan just sang a song that I wrote," Pate quips, delighted. "Katy Perry sang a song I wrote too!"

Richie also praises Pate's vocals, adding that her singing reminds him of country music legend Dolly Parton. "About halfway through the first verse, I had to open my eyes and go, 'Is that you, Dolly?'" he tells Pate. The young singer is understandably overwhelmed by the high praise.

Watch the sweet interaction in the clip above.

Season 22 of the reality competition series is shaping up to be an unforgettable one. Along with Jelly Roll and Tori Kelly joining as guest mentors and performers to hopeful contestants down the line, Perry recently announced that she'll be giving up her role as judge after this season.

Perry made the surprise announcement on Jimmy Kimmel Live, revealing that she'll be stepping down after seven years on the judging panel. The singer joined American Idol in season 16 back in March 2018. 

"This fall, in September, I'm going to be doing this huge music festival in Brazil called Rock in Rio... so I think this will probably be my last season for Idol," Perry said, to the shock of the audience.

"I mean, I love Idol so much," she added. "It's connected me with the heart of America, but I need to feel that pulse of my own beat."

When Kimmel asked, "What did Luke and Lionel say?" about her exit, Perry sheepishly replied, "Well, they'll find out tonight!"

American Idol airs Sunday at 8 p.m. PT/ET on ABC.


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