Alyssa Raghu Nails 'American Idol' Audition for the Third Time — How Far Did She Previously Make It on The Show?

Alyssa Raghu's 'American Idol' journey first started when she was 15 years old. Now, at age 21, she hopes things will be different.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Mar. 20 2024, Updated 12:21 p.m. ET

Alyssa Raghu
Source: Disney/Eric McCandless

So far, Season 22 of American Idol has been off to a great start with some amazing auditions, including ones from former NFL player Blake Proehl and Amy Ross Lopez's long-lost daughter, McKenna Breinholt. And during the March 17 episode, the series touched down in Los Angeles, where we saw even more talented singers.

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One such contestant was Julia Davo, a 20-year-old originally from Brooklyn who auditioned with David Bowie’s "Life on Mars?" Although judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan recognized her talent, they were put off by her vibrato-heavy performance and ultimately did not pass her.

But during this audition, an unexpected turn of events occurred. Julia's roommate and best friend, Alyssa Raghu, who had previously competed on two seasons of American Idol, showed up. Alyssa ended up auditioning for the judges a third time and was sent through to Hollywood. As a result, viewers are now wondering how far Alyssa had made it in her previous American Idol appearances. Viewers also have some thoughts on how this all went down during Julia's audition.

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Alyssa Raghu and Julia Davo audition for American Idol Season 22
Source: Disney/Eric McCandless

How far did Alyssa Raghu make it on 'American Idol' during Seasons 16 and 17?

Alyssa appeared on American Idol during Season 16, which aired in 2018, and Season 17, which aired in 2019. During Season 16, she was 15 years old and made it to the Top 50, but was ultimately cut before the end of Hollywood Week. And during Season 17, she made it all the way to the Top 8 of the competition before getting sent home.

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During Alyssa's Season 22 audition, she sang Mariah Carey’s "My All" and it became clear that she while she hadn't registered to audition, she was shooting her shot. “I know you said that my voice was going to grow until it was 21,” she said in front of the judges. “You said that when I was, like, 15. Just for giggles, I’d love to sing you something.”

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Judge Katy wasn't a fan of this impromptu performance and didn't pass Alyssa. "I think you could go in. Do I think you could win it? No, personally," Katy said. "If you were going to go to Idol one more time, I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could win."

However, Judge Lionel was much more lenient, telling Alyssa, "We have nothing to lose, and you have everything to gain.” Meanwhile, Judge Luke simply said, “I like having you around. I’m going to give you a shot.”

Fans claimed Alyssa Raghu wasn't a good friend to Julia Davo for crashing her audition.

comments about alyssa raghu and julia davo's audition
Source: Youtube

Sadly, the judges did not change their decision regarding Alyssa's roommate Julia, and she will not be moving forward. Fans of the show were quick to comment on how they felt Julia had been shorted.

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"I don't necessarily blame the judges, but American Idol should have at least edited this differently to spare that poor girl's feelings. Alyssa walked in, sang, then asked the judges if she could be on this season. What she just did to her friend and stole her entire moment was distasteful. She'll truly find out when America starts voting," wrote one user in the comment section on YouTube.

Another said, "This felt scripted. Julia is great. Alyssa will not win and she already had her chance twice. What’s the point?"

Another said, "This felt scripted. Julia is great. Alyssa will not win and she already had her chance twice. What’s the point?"

A third person wrote: "Julia needed support, not a so-called friend stealing her thunder. That was horrible."

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Alyssa Raghu claims producers "misled" her and Julia and "rearranged events" during edits.

While it's clear many fans were displeased with how Julia's audition turned into a win for Alyssa, it appears viewers were misled, according to the now-three-time American Idol auditioner. On March 19, 2024, Alyssa took to Instagram to explain what exactly went down during her best friend's audition. Alyssa says that she had been helping Julia prepare for the show for weeks and after mentioning her name to producers, they invited her to come out as a guest.

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With encouragement from Julia, Alyssa had a song ready "just in case" the judges asked her to perform as an alumni. But instead of "showcasing how supportive and collaborative our friendship has always been," Alyssa says the show was edited in a way that "pins two female friends against each other seemingly for the sake of ratings and drama." Furthermore, Alyssa says the "editors rearranged conversations and left out crucial details to create a false narrative of betrayal."

Alyssa says she was abruptly called to the audition stage and after the judges showed great interest in her progress, for the sake of showcasing it, she asked them to sing. After performing two songs, one of which she says was not aired, the judges gave Alyssa a yes, but remained firm with not allowing Julia to continue on despite pleas from both girls.

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Alyssa added that she was under the impression Julia would be joining her at the beginning of her journey, but later learned that wouldn't be happening. She even claims she offered to throw away her ticket seeing how she and Julia were misguided. Nevertheless, Alyssa will continue on in the competition and she is hoping the judges will extend an invitation to Julia.

Watch American Idol on ABC on Sundays at 8 p.m. EST.

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