Jorgie, 23, said he grew up ‘ashamed’ of his sexual orientation while growing up in a conservative family in
His confidence blossomed after moving to Los Angeles five years ago – and he decided to finally come out in one of the most public ways possible.
Public announcement: Jorgie came out as gay to his unsuspecting family during Monday’s episode of American Idol
‘My family doesn’t know that I’m gay, so this is a really big step for me,’ Jorgie said before his audition with his band, Jorgie And The Orgies.
‘It’s not just me calling them and telling them – it’s me actually being on TV and spilling the truth out.
‘I’m here today to celebrate who I am and to end that era of being in the closet – because it’s not fun. I’m ready.’
The show’s celebrity judges asked if his father knew.
Pop star: The 34-year-old pop star was told by Jorgie that she was an inspiration
‘He doesn’t know anything about me,’ he admitted. ‘He’s gonna see me and he’s gonna find out about everything.’
Jorgie recalled how his family constantly encouraged him to be more masculine growing up, saying his move to Los Angeles was ‘life-changing.’
‘I used to be so ashamed and questioned why did God make me this way,’ he said. ‘But now if you give me a choice of being anything else than what I am I would say no.’
Life changer: Jorgie said his life changed after he moved to Los Angeles and learned to accept himself
He told Katy Perry, 34, she was one of his ‘biggest inspirations,’ saying: ‘Listening to I Kissed A Girl and knowing that it could be mainstream – that helped me so much.’
He even impersonated Katy, singing her California Gurls, with the star asking: ‘Do I sound like I yodel? Is that my signature sound?’
‘Spot on,’ Luke Bryan, 42, teased her, with Katy then doing a deliberately bad impression of him in revenge.
Nice try: The contestant also tried to impersonate Katy and sang California Gurls
Jorgie stunned the judges with his powerful performance of a moving original, Heaven, about a guy who never approached his crush because he was not out yet – with Jorgie admitting the guy was ‘Jeffrey.’
‘You’re real! You’ve got a real emotional voice,’ Katy gushed, saying that the band name, Jorgie And The Orgies, ‘doesn’t sound serious and you just gave us serious pro.’
‘You have a real chance of being your dream,’ she told him, hugging him as he got three yeses and telling him: ‘We love you just the way you are.’
Unanimous decision: The judges gave Jorgie three yes votes and sent him to Hollywood
As well as the last batch of contestants to go through, the final episode of auditions also featured a huge prank on the judges, who all looked wary of a depressed-looking goth named Lady Mapo.
‘Oh God, what the heck is going on,’ Lionel Richie, 69, asked as the contestant barely said anything, and complained that last year’s show was ‘really boring – it was just too American.’
But as Lady Mapo started dancing, she pulled off her black wig – revealing it was actually last year’s winner Maddie Poppe, 21, hiding under the black lipstick and eyeshadow and dark lace outfit.
Goth gal: Lady Mapo wore all-black for her audition
Really boring: The contestant told the judges that last season was ‘really boring’
Feeling skeptical: Lionel Richie, Katy and Luke Bryan were looked wary of the singer
Practical joke: Lady Mapo took off her wig to reveal that it was actually last season’s winner Maddie Poppe
‘I was about to make a run for the door!’ Lionel admitted as the judges all welcomed Maddie back.
She was not the only contestant from last year making a return, with Catie Turner, Dennis Lorenzo and Noah Davis all turning up to greet the judges.
Last year’s runner-up, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, also pretended to audition – then sat with the judges to surprise one of his best friends from childhood, Jared Sanders, who was auditioning.
He’s back: Caleb Lee Hutchinson also returned and pretended to audition again
Showing support: The runner-up from last season took a seat next to Lionel to support his childhood friend Jared Sanders who was auditioning
The 20-year-old fireman failed to get through with his version of George Strait’s The Fireman – with only Lionel giving a yes.
Jared’s famous friend assured him afterward: ‘I believe in ya, brother.’
Luke immediately recognized Grammy-winning country star Billy Dean when he walked in as back-up guitarist for young hopeful Chloe Channell, 16.
Good effort: Jared was consoled by his friend Caleb after failing to get a ticket to Hollywood
‘I’m all good and washed up now,’ the 90s’ singing star joked with them, with Lionel soon also recognizing him from a party with mutual friend Kenny Rogers, 80.
‘Uncle Kenny found me,’ Lionel said noting that he wrote and produced Kenny’s hit number one song Lady.
‘You are very lucky to have Uncle Kenny and Billy – you just don’t have those guys every day pulling for you,’ Lionel told Chloe after her performance of Keith Urban’s Stupid Boy. ‘And I think it shows. Because if this is 16 years old I can’t imagine what 19 might be, or 20.
Teen talent: Grammy-winning country star Billy Dean walked in as guitarist for young hopeful Chloe Channell, 16
Hard worker: Chloe took on Keith Urban’s Stupid Boy during her audition
‘Your sound right now is confident.’
Billy was soon sniffing back tears after his young protégé got three yeses, with Katy calling her performance ‘brilliant.’
‘She’s worked so hard. She’s given up so many spring breaks and so many summers to do this,’ Billy said, with Luke leading him and Lionel in a quick snippet of Billy’s old hit, Only Here For A Little While.
Proud mentor: Billy praised Chloe for working hard to become a better singer
Group performance: Luke lead Billy and Lionel in a quick snippet of Billy’s old hit, Only Here For A Little While
Mutual friends: Lionel and Billy had a mutual friend in Kenny Rogers
Katy, meanwhile, also realized she had a connection with contestant Ryan Hammond when he spoke about his parents being pastors at a church in Modesto, California.
‘Is your dad Mark Hammond?’ she asked, clearly knowing his father.
‘My parents are pastors and they started a church in Stockton. I think my parents, like, praised the Lord with your parents,’ she told him.
Special connection: Ryan Hammond also had a connection with Katy as their preacher parents knew each other
‘That’s probably true. It’s happened at some point I’m sure,’ he said with a smile, later telling his dad: ‘Katy Perry says she knows who Mark Hammond is, she says they praised the Lord together,’
Ryan, 25, had a moving story about how he lost 170lbs – but almost died from the initial weight-loss surgery that left a hole in his stomach.
‘We didn’t know if we were going to celebrate him or if we were going to bury him,’ his dad, Mark, recalled.
Almost died: The singer almost died after undergoing weight-loss surgery
Ryan recalled thinking: ‘I’m 24 and I couldn’t get control of my weight and now I’m gonna die for it.’
He said that until now he had always been fighting for his ‘self-worth,’ insisting: ‘Now it’s time for me to fight for my dreams.’
After his performance of Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down, Katy said: ‘That’s a gosh darn miracle.’
Next round: Ryan earned a ticket to Hollywood after his performance of Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down
As he was celebrated by his family for getting three yeses, Ryan insisted: ‘This day for me is the day where everything changes.’
The season’s last hopeful to audition, Jackson Gillies, 19, also had a connection with Katy, telling her they ‘met for like two seconds’ in their mutual hometown of Santa Barbara, California.
‘It really impacted me,’ Jackson told her, with Katy saying she tries to ‘make a connection’ with everyone, and Luke joking: ‘You’ve never made a connection with me.’
Another connection: Jackson Gillies, 19, revealed that he previously met Katy in her hometown of Santa Barbara, California where he currently resides
Jackson, who has an auto-inflammatory skin condition called HS that leaves painful abscesses and permanent scars, moved the judges with his story and also his version of Foy Vance’s Make It Rain.
‘I’m really proud of you,’ Katy told him. ‘I want you to really dig in each time and make me proud and make our hometown proud.
‘805! Yes!’ she said referencing Santa Barbara’s telephone area code as Jackson got three yeses.
Moving story: The contestant revealed he has an auto-inflammatory skin condition called HS that leaves painful abscesses and permanent scars
Proud moment: Katy told Jackson that she was proud of him after his performance of Foy Vance’s Make It Rain
Katy was then happy to flirt with Nick Merico, an actor who played Daniel on Nickelodeon’s Every Witch Way and whom Luke called ‘Hunkasauras.’
‘Man – can you prepare him for the girls screaming?’ Luke asked Katy, who then asked: ‘Nick, you know you’re a handsome gentleman, correct?’
When the 22-year-old contestant said that he has been playing open mics, she flirtily replied: ‘I’m having an open mic at my house tomorrow.’
Nickelodeon star: Nick Merico, an actor who played Daniel on Nickelodeon’s Every Witch Way, was called a ‘Hunkasauras’ by Luke
Flirt on: Katy after learning that Nick performed at open mic nights joked that she was having an open mic at her house
‘I’ve had a crush on her for forever,’ Nick said after getting three yeses, telling his family: ‘I think Katy’s kinda into me.’
Lionel praised his ‘dreamy eyes look’ while performing Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, telling him: ‘If it all goes well my friend you can be famous.’
Jade Flores, 22, told Katy they have a ‘spiritual, rebellious connection’ when they realized they both pierced their own noses at the age of 13.
Hollywood bound: Nick scored a ticket to Hollywood after his rendition of Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black
‘I asked my mom if I could have permission to get my nose pierced and she said ”no”,’ Katy recalled. ‘And then she left to run an errand and I took a safety pin and a piece of ice and pierced it myself.’
‘That’s exactly what I did!’ Jade gushed, with Katy asking: ‘Am I you? Are you me?’
After Jade sang Deana Carter’s Strawberry Wine, Katy told her she had ‘the personality to back up the voice.’
Strong personality: Jade Flores, 22, sang Deana Carter’s Strawberry Wine and received a golden ticket
‘I heard you as an artist,’ she told her. ‘So thank God – you’re actually good.’
Luke – who teased Jade for ‘out y’all-ing me’ – called her a ‘really, really good singer’ and said: ‘I think I like how much fun you’re having out of this.’
The most moving greeting of the night came for Emma Kleinberg, with the 21-year-old hugging the wheelchair-bound brother who suffered a brain injury after a suicide attempt.
Family bond: Emma Kleinberg talked about her wheelchair-bound brother who suffered a brain injury after a suicide attempt
Emma had called brother Alex her ‘role model’ – and they had once unsuccessfully auditioned together for Idol – saying he was diagnosed with bi-polar, leading to his suicide attempt during a manic episode.
‘The saying that you’re one phone call away from your knees is the truth,’ their dad, Allen, said. ‘This was the phone call that brought me to my knees.’
‘I have to say that Emma helped me survive. And that’s the truth.’
The truth: The singer’s father Allen credited his daughter with helping him survive also
Emma recalled: ‘It was the most heartbreaking moment of my life and I knew immediately that life would never be the same.’
Katy called her ‘probably the best we’ve hard today’ after her version of Allen Stone’s American Privilege, while Luke insisted: ‘You cannot showcase yourself any better in my opinion.’
A beaming Alex was the first person she hugged after getting her golden ticket, with her saying: ‘When I came out and saw my brother smiling, that was just a year of sadness brought to healing. It affirmed me in every sense of the word that I’m in the right place.
Tender moment: Alex was the first person that Emma greeted after she got a ticket to Hollywood
‘I’m really sad for old Alex, Alex that I grew up with. But new Alex is amazing and I’m falling in love with him every day.’
Katy had seemed obsessed with Christiaan Padavan’s girlfriend, asking immediately if she sang and then forcing him to bring her in to perform – despite them making it clear she did not want to do it.
It was only once the 19-year-old singer brought Victoria into the audition room that they told him he was going to Hollywood, with Katy saying: ‘We just knew when you opened your mouth that you were going.’
Teenage singer: Christiaan Padavan, 19, auditioned and his girlfriend was brought out also
Cute couple: Victoria sang along with her boyfriend at the urging of the judges
Luke, meanwhile, was particularly impressed with Zeb Spencer, 27, holding his fingers an inch apart as he told him: ‘You are about this close to being absolutely incredible.
‘I love your potential man, I love it. Maybe my favorite country voice that’s come through the last year and this year.’telling him:
The singer – who also showed off his clogging dancing – got three yeses for his take on Muscadine Bloodline’s Porch Swing Angel which he said was ‘ ‘the way I feel about my woman.’
American Idol will return Sunday on ABC as Hollywood Week begins.
Country singer: Zeb Spencer got three yeses for his take on Muscadine Bloodline’s Porch Swing Angel
Celebration time: The singer celebrated after receiving his golden ticket to Los Angeles