American Idol returned for its final night from the Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii. The second dozen out of the Top 24 sang for America’s Vote with judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie giving their critiques.
Before taking the stage the hopefuls met with mentor Bebe Rexha, who also served in the role during the 2018 season. The singer-songwriter was also backstage giving immediate reactions. Who shined most ahead of the Top 20? Which contestant bowed out of the competition before the vote on Sunday? Let’s look back at the evening, shall we?
Cadence chose “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” by Etta James. Bebe felt there was a glass separating her from breaking through and showing 100 percent. She wanted more of a fearlessness. One of Bebe’s big tips was moving around the stage a bit more, which she took to heart. Luke felt it was the best she has done since the audition. Lionel loved the growl in her voice and presentation. Katy found the arrangement fantastic, which led to a fun performance.
He chose “Breakeven” by The Script for someone special at home. CLosure from a recent breakup. Bebe could see Sir Blayke’s eyes that he has been through a lot. She encouraged him to show that fight on stage and belief in himself. Katy thought it was a totally different vibe with vocals she didn’t know he had. Luke felt he upped his game. Lionel thought it was a great performance that the audience could hook their arms around.
The 19-year-old decided upon “Adore You” by Harry Styles with a new arrangement and without an instrument. Bebe could hear an artist and gave some pointers on working the stage. Luke applauded her for stepping out of her comfort zone. Lionel liked Allegra’s style and how she handled herself with poise. Katy sensed a maturity, calling the performance brilliant.
The platinum ticket holder chose “Human” by Christina Perri she could connect with it in a very personal way. Bebe’s tip was to be expressive with her hands while maintaining eye contact. Christina actually surprised Kenedi with a call to give some uplifting words. Host Ryan Seacrest revealed that Kenedi decided to step away from the competition, which is why voting information was not displayed.
Lady K was choosing between Fantasia’s “Collard Greens and Cornbread” and “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. Bebe felt she killed both choices in rehearsals, but liked the connection with the Fantasia song. Lady K decided to try the more challenging one for her in the Carrie Underwood hit. Luke liked the song choice. He wants to hear more of the angst. Lionel said she came so far from homeless to Hawaii. Katy was proud of her but wants to see a little dirty vocal.
Ava decided on “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus and Chaka Khan after a random dream. Bebe wanted to see more energy to match the big song. Lionel liked how she made it her own and took the risk. Katy called it soulful and funky. Luke gave kudos. Bebe was ecstatic she nailed the ending.
Noah chose “Blue Side of the Mountain” by The Steeldrivers because it reminded him of his hometown. He told Bebe the motivations of achieving this dream for his family, especially to support nine-month-old Walker. Bebe stressed making eye contact with the audience in person and through the camera. Katy said he stayed true to his roots and was solid. Luke encouraged him to keep going for it and follow his heart as a country boy. Lionel said he has a storyteller’s voice.
The self-described weirdo decided on a Leah-fied version of “Call Me” by Blondie. Bebe sensed she was holding back regardless if the voice cracked. Leah’s cell phone fell outright at the end of the song. Perfect. Lionel said she is in a lane all her own with endless ways to go. Katy called her a bunch of fun and applauded an incredible note. Luke found the back half specifically won him over.
Cameron greeted Bebe with a backflip of course. She got him thinking about harnessing his energy to enhance his performance. Bebe gave him the challenge of staying with the mic stand at the start of the song. Cameron decided not to use the mic as he sang “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Bebe wasn’t happy he ignored all her advice. Katy saw him going into all the bad habits, though his voice was cool. Luke called it a great performance. Lionel said if he could calm down and spread that energy through an entire show, then they have something.
The 21-year-old bonded with Bebe over their New York and Italian roots. He decided on “Leave the Door Open” by Silk Sonic. The only note Bebe had for Christian was on timing but loved his falsetto. Lionel said God gave him an amazing gift. Katy thinks when he sings it’s Clark Kent turning into Superman. Luke said he has all the talent and tools to win over audiences.
Katyrah talked to Bebe about growing up in Baltimore with a religious family. She chose “Blame It on the Boogie” as a way to have fun on stage and bring that to the audience. Bebe thought the key at first was high but loved her voice. Luke said she looked comfortable and put on a show with everything feeling natural. Lionel appreciated the dance steps along with the singing. Katy complimented her ability to take criticism with a more controlled performance.
Fritz talked to Bebe about quitting his job as a security officer. The Indie-folk artist closed the show with “Waves” by Dean Lewis. Bebe noticed his nerves at the first three notes and told him to practice them to feel more settled when performing. Katy thought what he gave the audience was spectacular. She called him the real deal. Luke felt different depths for who he was as an artist. Lionel said he came in like a bulldog and found that confidence.
American Idol, Sundays and Mondays, 8/7c, ABC