During Monday’s auditions, a 22-year-old singer named Nick Merico, who hails from Miami, Florida, came in to try out for the judges, and Perry could barely deal with his handsomeness and general charm.
“Can you step back, because you, uh..” Perry said, trailing off.
“Katy’s gonna lunge at you,” Luke Bryan chimed in laughing, as Perry barely managed to get out a “wow” and a mesmerized “hi” in the beaming glare of Merico’s charismatic smile.
As Perry listened to the young singer tell a little more about himself, the pop superstar gazed silently into his eyes, where she appeared lost in thought.
The same thing happened when he sat down at the piano and delivered a soulful, truly impressive rendition of “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse that left Perry, Bryan and Lionel Richie blown away by his passion and magnetism.
“Can you prepare him for all the girls who’ll be screaming?” Bryan asked Perry after the audition.
“Nick, you know you’re like, a handsome gentleman, correct? You’ve heard it once or twice?” Perry asked, before following it up by asking if he had a girlfriend. Or “many girlfriends.”
“I don’t have ‘many girlfriends,'” Merica said, bashfully. “I’m focused on my life right now, and my career.”
“Do you play gigs?” Perry asked, keeping her rapid-fire questions coming fast.
“A couple. I do a lot of open mics, if I’m honest,” Merico shared.
“I’m having an open mic at my house tomorrow,” Perry quickly shot back.
Needless to say, Merico ended up getting a golden ticket to Hollywood, where he will continue towards his dream of becoming the next “American Idol“.
After moving on past the auditions, Merico admitted to the Idol cameras, “Having Katy Perry react like that made me feel great. I mean, I’ve had a crush on her forever.”
Perry’s playful flirting wasn’t missed by fans watching at home, and a few viewers jokingly called her out on Twitter for fawning over (yet another) handsome contestant when she’s already engaged to a ridiculously handsome movie star.
Monday’s new episode of “Idol” also saw the return of a familiar face, last season’s winner Maddie Poppe, in some very unfamiliar makeup.
The 21-year-old Idol champion returned to the auditions to pull a fun prank on the judges. The famously wholesome young singer donned a lot of dark make-up, fake piercings, a black wig and a spot-on goth ensemble and surprised the judges by auditioning under the name Lady Mapo. Her bizarre personae left the judges baffled until she pulled off the wig to reveal her true identity, and their reaction was adorable.
For more on Perry and her recent engagement to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, check out the video below.