‘American Idol’: Season 17 Singer Jacob Moran Gets a Rare Second Chance at Hollywood Week

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That’s the mindset Michigan nurse/singer Jacob Moran took on during American Idol Season 20 as he auditioned for the second time. As longtime fans may recall, Jacob previously appeared in the competition during season 17, but he didn’t make it past Hollywood Week. Now, he’s ready to learn from his mistakes and take another shot at impressing the judges.

Jacob Moran auditions for American Idol Season 20.
‘American Idol’ Season 20 contestant Jacob Moran | Eric McCandless/ABC

Jacob Moran made it to Hollywood Week in ‘American Idol’ Season 17

Jacob first auditioned for American Idol back in 2019. He explained to judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan that he often sang to his patients back home but hadn’t done much public performing. So, the judges were shocked to hear Jacob’s confident voice as he belted out Ariana Grande’s “Into You.”

“If I didn’t have all my hairs lasered off, they’d be standing up,” Perry joked.

Meanwhile, Bryan compared Jacob’s voice to Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts, and Perry added that Jacob had the best voice in Kentucky.

Jacob received his golden ticket to Hollywood, where he performed a solo for the judges once again. However, his performance did not air on television. As MLive reported, Jacob later revealed on social media that he had been eliminated during Hollywood Week.

“Unfortunately, my time on American Idol was ended tonight after my solo performance (not aired),” he wrote. “Very honored to be a part of the top 70 out of hundreds of thousands that tried out for the show. This isn’t the end for me.”

Jacob Moran returned to ‘American Idol’ in season 20 for another chance

It certainly was not the end for Jacob. He returned to American Idol in 2022, appearing in season 20 episode 4 on March 20. The singer lost 60 pounds since his last audition and said he had a newfound confidence. Jacob proved his bravery with a bold song choice: “Rise” by Katy Perry.

The judges felt nervous to see Jacob perform Perry’s song right in front of her, but he wasn’t worried. And he proved the judges wrong; after the tune, all Perry could muster was, “Wow.” She also told Jacob that he chose the right song to showcase his journey and his perseverance.

“You gave me full-body chills,” the “Roar” singer added.

The decision was easy for the judges, as all three said they knew mid-song that Jacob deserved a “yes” for Hollywood. He walked away with another golden ticket.

Jacob reflected on his previous ‘Idol’ run and shared what he’ll do differently this time

How will Jacob ensure his second time in Hollywood goes differently? Anything can happen, but he told MLive that he feels “more prepared and more confident.”

“This time around, I’ve been working on myself in every aspect,” Jacob said.

The singer also recognized a mistake he made during Hollywood Week in season 17: talking to others too much.

“I simply lost my voice in Hollywood Week. This time around, if I make it again, I plan to make a conscious effort to take care of my voice, to watch how much I talk to people and try to keep that under control,” he added.

American Idol airs new episodes on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC. Additional new episodes will air on Monday, March 21, and Monday, March 28. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for more updates.

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