Alyssa Raghu Returns to American Idol in ‘Really Weird Plot Twist’ — Why Doesn’t Katy Perry Think She Can Win?

Alyssa Raghu is throwing her hat back into the American Idol ring, hoping that a third time will be the charm. The singer, who previously competed in Season 16 (2018) and Season 17 (2019), made a special appearance on Sunday in support of her roommate — and ended up auditioning for a third shot at victory herself.

Raghu’s friend, 20-year-old Julia Davo, auditioned with a vibrato-heavy performance of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” that left the judges feeling a little shaky. They essentially told Davo the same thing they once told Raghu, that she should come back after she’s given her voice some time to grow.

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“When she’s absolutely ready in your eyes, bring her back to us,” they told Raghu, which she saw as her golden opportunity. “I know you said that my voice was going to grow until it was 21,” she told the judges. “You said that when I was, like, 15. Just for giggles, I’d love to sing you something.”

Katy Perry was intrigued. “Why not?” she replied. “One last chance on the oval.” Sadly, her intrigue was not satisfied.

“I think this was a really weird plot twist,” Perry said after Raghu’s performance of Mariah Carey’s “My All,” telling her, “I think you could go in. Do I think you could win it? No, personally. 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.”

Fortunately for Raghu, that tough-but-fair “no” from Perry was quickly overruled by her fellow judges. Lionel Richie gave Raghu her first “yes,” telling her, “We have nothing to lose and you have everything to gain.” And Luke Bryan’s reasoning was even simpler: “I like having you around. I’m going to give you a shot.”

The judges remained firm on their “no” for Davo, but the Brooklyn-based waitress appeared genuinely happy for Raghu, assuring her roommate that she worked hard for this and deserves to be back on Idol.

If your memory of Raghu’s American Idol journey remains a bit fuzzy, here’s a refresher: She made it to the Top 50 of Season 16 but was cut before the end of Hollywood Week. She then returned for a far more successful run in Season 17, making it all the way to the Top 8.

What’s your take on Raghu’s return? Surprising? Staged? Somewhere in between? Hit PLAY on the video above to watch her full audition, then drop a comment with your thoughts below.

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