Last Season's Fan-Favorite Alyssa Raghu Returns to American Idol and Sweetly Surprises Katy Perry
Remember Alyssa Raghu from last season’s American Idol? Well, she’s back for more, and the 17-year-old sure knows how to make an entrance!
In an exclusive clip from this Sunday’s all-new episode, the fan-favorite contestant returned to audition and surprise judge Katy Perry.
Fellow judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie were both in on the news of Raghu’s return, and they concealed Perry’s view of the stage by holding their papers in front of her face, making her all the more curious.
“You’re not allowed to cheat!” Richie, 69, told Perry, to which she protested, “I’m not trying to cheat, I just looked up!” Bryan, 42, also feigned outrage: “She was looking in the window to try to see who it was!”
But Perry, 34, wasn’t having it. “I just want to hear them sing, how about that? Do I know them?” she asked, prompting Bryan to smile knowingly at Raghu and tell her to start singing.
As Raghu began to belt out lyrics to VV Brown’s “Shark In the Water” and strum her guitar, Perry’s jaw dropped.
Instantly recognizing the teen’s voice and unable to contain her excitement, Perry ventured, “My sauce?!” — a nickname she coined for Raghu during last season.
Perry then finally opened her eyes to see Raghu standing in front of her, to which she squealed, “I got my sauce!”
Meanwhile, Richie and Bryan watched on, applauding the young singer and chuckling at the heartwarming scene.
Last season, Raghu astounded the panel with her performance of Ariana Grande’s “Almost Is Never Enough.” Perry championed the singer on Idol, telling her “I’m a believer in you,” and even predicted that she would be Top 10.
During her audition, she introduced herself to the judges by telling them that the pronunciation of her last name was “like the sauce,” in reference to RAGÚ pasta sauce.
Since then, Perry has affectionately made jokes about sauce while commending Raghu for her voice.
After one particular performance, Perry tweeted, “She’s got that sauce” — a saying often used to describe someone with an amazing or unique talent.
RAGÚ Sauce even joined on with the notion by sending the young singer some merchandise, including t-shirts, bags, and aprons, in support of her Idol journey.
However, after an underwhelming performance of Coldplay’s “Yellow,” Raghu failed to make it to the Top 14.
In the time since, Raghu gained two years of performing experience, having been home-schooled to give her more time to focus on singing.
American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET, with five additional Monday night episodes beginning on March 18.