[Warning: The below contains spoilers for American Idol.]
With their jaunt to Hawaii in the rearview, the remaining American Idol hopefuls returned to the new Hollywood stage where they found out their fate. Host Ryan Seacrest revealed the Top 20 based on the nationwide vote of 33 million strong. Those named didn’t have much time to celebrate as they had to perform once again before judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan. All in an effort to earn their place in the Top 12 on Monday.
The singers got to see what their future might be with a return of 2022 winner Noah Thompson and runner-up HunterGirl. Motown legend Smokey Robinson also stopped by to show the youngins how it’s done.
Did your favorite make it into the next round? Find out below.
The first one sent through spoke about a tornado that ran through his hometown of Amory, Mississippi. He walked through the devastation including his family’s burger business. His performance of “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner meant a little more, knowing he was representing so many at home. Lionel felt it was the perfect song and presentation. Katy saw Top 10 material. Luke liked how he puts his stamp on each song he chooses.
Buffalo’s beloved teacher received love from some of his students and his mom in an emotional video. The 21-year-old put his smooth spin on“Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur. Katy found Mr. Matt’s liked watching him move and use the stage. Luke liked seeing his voice soar and inspire the children he teaches. Lionel told him to enjoy the ride because he is on his way.
The stars have aligned for the astrologist, who was inspired by her hairstylist mom. She turned it up on “Baby Love” by Mother’s Finest. Luke loved her artistry and said he can spot a star when he sees one. Lionel said the real estate advisor’s voice was right there. Katy liked watching the 23-year-old break out as an artist.
He opened up about drinking and what music and the church have done for him, as well as what he gets out of gardening. The repairman put his country signature on “Up There Down Here” by Zach Williams. Lionel found it beautiful that God led him to American Idol and that he is doing a good job. Katy loved his authenticity and learning more of his story. Luke encouraged him to stay him. Ryan appreciated the South Carolinian’s beard and (kind of) got one of his own.
She spoke about connecting with her Polish roots through cooking with family while performing in the Chicago community. The 21-year-old returned to the piano for a powerful rendition of “Bruises” by Lewis Capaldi. Katy said the arrangement choice smacked her across the face. Luke saw a breakout moment in the making at the piano with a look they haven’t seen from her yet. Lionel reminded her regardless of the result, she has a career.
She showed viewers a look into her little house, which happens to sit in the backyard of her family’s property. The 22-year–old hair stylist performed “Cry to Me” while her grandparents watched in the audience. Luke loved hearing the soulful country singer’s voice. Lionel appreciated her bellbottoms and old school-new school vibe. Katy could hear and see a little Bonnie Raitt.
The Hawaiin talked about adjusting to his newfound fame and the support he has received. With his trademark guitar in hand, the 18-year-old high school student gave a new vibe to“The Winner Takes It All” by Abba. Lionel said the crowd spoke for him. Katy called his voice timeless. Luke said God gave him the magic and to enjoy it.
The Tenessee junior ran down her normal day at home from classes to cheerleading. Her school threw her a pep rally after moving it through. She chose a very timely song in “Mean Girls” by Leanna Crawford to sing. Katy said she took it to another level with a refined sparkle. Luke called it one of her best performances. Lionel felt the second-generation performer came off like a seasoned pro.
Oliver revealed his father was in the hospital for four or five weeks but is out going through dialysis. The 25-year-old made dad proud watching at home with his original “Too Soon.” Luke was impressed by the songwriting and delivery. Lionel said his talent is on fire. Katy thought the song was great and showed off the artistry.
The mom spoke about the inspiration behind her original “Boulders.” A personal song delving into a battle with addiction and poverty and the overall trials and tribulations in life. The inspiration came while on the side of the road when the 28-year-old’s car ran out of gas. Lionel said she came into the world invisible but will leave this life as Lucy Love. Katy said she will thrive and be a leader with her story. Luke felt she captured his heart tonight.
The athlete went into the dedication required to be a college volleyball player and how the experience prepared her for a potential music career. She went from the court to the stage with a performance of “Somebody to Love” by Queen. Katy said the Tomboy may have turned into a Jennifer Lawrence by maintaining her authenticity. Luke appreciated how she branched out and showed another dynamic. Lionel found she had guts.
The 21-year-old spoke about the bond she shared with her sister, who saw her own piano journey come to an end after an ATV accident. The Los Angeles resident took on “I Surrender” by Celine Dion. Interestingly enough, fellow contestant Nutsa did the same song during “Hollywood Week,” Luke said she soared. Lionel agreed, saying she should pat herself on the back. Katy suggested singing Celine songs and playing the power card.
The radio host opened up about how music helped with overcoming stuttering growing up and struggles with anxiety. Listeners called into her show to ask questions. One youngster wondered if the 22-year-old would still babysit after becoming famous. The answer was yes. She performed an original song in “People Pleaser.” Lionel called the performance superstar material. Katy thought the song was well-written and a look into who she is. Luke said Marybeth Byrd sounds like a star.
Growing up his parents made it a point to document his musical journey, which he has continued during Idol. The 21-year-old Ohioan chose “Lose You to Love Me” by Selena Gomez. Katy felt he stepped into being an artist but needed some time adjusting to the shorter haircut. Luke said he crushed it. Lionel complimented him as a stylist.
The teen has gotten confidence boosts from singing the National Anthem at the Idaho State Fair and other events. She has made the most of her second chance, returning after elimination when Beckett McDowell bowed out. That was on full display in her rendition of “Say Something “ by A Great Big World. Luke said the 16-year-old earned her spot. Lionel agreed, loving the notes she hit. Katy said, “We got it wrong, but Jesus took the wheel.” She called her the best vocalist in the age category.
The Georgian (country) with Hollywood dreams reflected on the sacrifices her mom made and wanting to pay it forward. She took some of Katy’s controversial glitter comments last week with a more controlled performance of “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton. Lionel called the 26-year-old the hardest working on the show and a force to be reckoned with. Katy clarified that what she meant by less glitter was exactly what she gave us tonight. The pop star called the performance sophisticated.” Luke told her she should hold her head held high with how far she has come.
The platinum ticket winner reminisced with his mom about growing up through childhood videos of him singing in a Billy Joel shirt. He learned to speak through music. The 17-year-old played the piano for his impactful performance of his original“180.” Katy fell deeper in love with him and that he is on his way to being an artist. Luke was amazed at the Canadian’s ability to send these messages to the world that will help people. Lionel called him a singer-songwriter who wrote a damn good song.
She got candid about her insecurities about not being pretty or good enough and blamed herself when her dad left the house. The 21-year-old server brought more of that newfound confidence to the stage on “Holy Water” by We the Kingdom. Luke felt it was her best performance this season. Katy agreed, saying she is indeed good enough. Lionel called it so believable that he could listen to song after song.
The country boy reflected on his fish-out-of-water journey to Hollywood, experiencing many firsts. He could feel more doors opening. Fans were treated to his performance of “Pretty Heart” by Parker McCollum. Lionel thought the 18-year-old HVAC technician is doing a great job. Katy told him to keep the authenticity but challenged him to show more vocally. Luke called him his little science experiment, seeing a lot of Colin in himself. His advice was to believe in himself and that he was a star.
The 24-year-old reflected on meeting a young deaf fan who watched her perform from the crowd in Hawaii. Wé Ani spoke about learning sign language to speak to communicate with her own brother. “Skyfall” by Adele. Katy was shook by the delivery and the overall results. Luke said she was so deserving of the last slot in the Top 20. Lionel added the amount of talent she has is undeniable.
With the Top 20 secured, this meant we said goodbye to Elijah McCormick (platinum ticket winner), Dawson Wayne, Malik Heard, PJAE, Emma Busse, and Elise Kristine. Did America get it right? Let us know in the comments.
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