Sometimes all it takes is just one song to make it through to Hollywood Week on American Idol. Other times, it takes two.
For Nutsa (Nutsa Buzaladze), a 25-year-old singer from the small country of Georgia, it took the latter. The bubbly songstress on Sunday (Feb. 26) night, revealed she flew 17 hours to audition in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan for Season 21 of American Idol.
“It has been my dream to be here,” Nutsa told long-time host of the show Ryan Seacrest ahead of her audition. “Since I was 8 years old…. My dream city to live in has been Hollywood.”
Watch Nutsa’s American Idol Audition Below
Inside the audition room, Nutsa introduced herself to the celebrity cast, drawing confusion from Bryan after she revealed she was from Georgia.
Not realizing Nutsa meant the country and not the state, Bryan shared, “Me too. Go, Dawgs!”
“Sorry?” Nutsa asked, looking confused.
“Just say, Go Dawgs,” Bryan instructed to which Nutsa replied, “Go, Dongs.”
“Perfect! You’re in!” Perry joked before asking Nutsa, “Who are you?”
That’s when Nutsa explained she was originally from Georgia but has since been residing in Dubai.
“I cannot believe I am here, really,” Nutsa shared with excitement, “I love to perform.”
Without further ado, Nutsa gave the coaches a show as she belted out the lyrics to “Lady Marmalade” – a song by R&B group Labelle. The tune was later re-recorded by Christina Aguilera, Mýa, Pink and Lil’ Kim for the movie Moulin Rouge in 2001.
Throughout her audition, Nutsa showcased plenty of attitude and sass by putting her hands on her hip. She also flipped her hair, twisted her wrist, and shimmied along to the melody as she provided the lyrics of the song while face-to-face with the judges. Nutsa added a final touch to her rendition by incorporating a lengthy run on the last note, but judges felt the overall performance was too showy for their taste.
“I did it,” Nutsa declared afterward, with a smile.
“You done, did it,” Bryan added.
“I mean. Look. There’s a voice in there. I think maybe it was turned up too hot,” Perry said, afterward, “like, what is your second song?”
“‘Greatest Love Of All’ by Whitney Houston,” Nutsa shared, as judges allowed her to give it one more shot in hopes to advance into the next phase of the competition.
“I don’t want to see a dance move,” Perry informed. “Just give us natural beauty.”
Indeed, Nutsa pulled back with her second choice song. She used specific moments to showcase her powerhouse vocals and dug into the low notes while flaunting delicate and flowery vocals on the high parts. Her second take was a success as she provided a near-flawless delivery of the classic song.
“Very good kid. Very good,” Richie beamed. “I really enjoyed what you did. You took that instruction in terms of, ‘Okay. Too much. Tone it down. Let me hear your voice.’ You nailed it.”
“You just need to be you. Like you can be cool and sultry and just a vibe. But, it just needs to be real, and then it could really be something,” Perry shared.
Afterward, all three judges agreed to send Nutsa to Hollywood with Bryan dubbing the singer “The JLO from Georgia.”
Be sure to tune into American Idol Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.