Tonight, the American Idol 2019 Top 8 perform songs from the Queen catalog. Plus, the singers team up for movie themed duets. Season 8 alum and Queen frontman Adam Lambert is on hand to mentor the artists, who will sing for YOUR votes as American Idol broadcasts LIVE coast to coast.
Viewers across the US will watch and vote simultaneously. At the end of the episode, TWO contestants will be eliminated. UNLESS…the judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan–save one singer from the chopping block.
Here is how to VOTE. Y’all can start voting AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW:
Song Spoilers below!
The Top 8 open the show with a rendition of We Will Rock You and Queen’s Roger Taylor and Brian May wish the singers good luck.
Walker Burroughs — Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Walker confesses to Adam that he has no idea how to move on stage. But once he begins performing, he seems comfortable. Adam is smiling. “He’s got to trust his instincts…be who you are!” says Adam, who finds Walker’s awkwardness charming. Walker starts the performance sitting on the judges desk before making his way to the stage. This is a solid performance. Walker is fine on stage, but there needs to be more…verve? He kinda brings it at the end. “You really used all your appendages!” says Katy. “You sounded so good…I love you!” Luke thinks America will fall in love with the performance because he was just himself–“endearing,” eh says. Lionel thought he had fun, “Don’t think at all…just be present on stage,” he says.
Madison VanDenburg — The Show Must Go On – Adam thinks Madison has an “incredible instrument.” But she makes it look too easy, he thinks. He wants to feel her pain. “You have to have an authority…make the note count,” he says. “Madison is a force,” Adam says. The fog machine is set to HIGH tonight! Heh. Adam makes a great point about how she makes it look too easy. Her vocals are great, but sometimes lack urgency. She does need to look more PAINED, like Adam mentioned in their session. There’s too much smiling in a song about a person carrying on amid great difficulty. Still, she hits some pretty impressive notes. “You just changed the whole game,” says Luke. He thinks she’s coming into the diva role. “That’s your best performance so far.” Lionel says Adam is right, “the acting is everything…you did that tonight…your voice was impeccable.” Katy says, “You have come so far.” Katy thinks she can take it even farther. “You’re body isn’t quite connected.” Good advice from Katy. She calls herself a “stage mom” and adds jokingly “No more wire hangers.” Madison probably has no idea what that means. Heh.
Laci Kaye Booth & Laine Hardy – Jackson from Walk the Line – Mentor Bobby Bones introduces the song. Can they connect and make us feel it, he asks. At the very least, the two seem to be having a grand old time up there. Lionel calls Laci “sassy” adding “both of you look comfortable.” Katy thought the two were connected, “I’ve never seen you smile so large.” Katy teases Laine. “Watch out Caleb and Maddie!” Luke says, “We don’t even have to pick you guys apart,” says Luke.
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon — Who Wants to Live Forever – Jeremiah is a little intimidated meeting Adam. And he’s nervous. His parents will be in the audience for the first time. Adam pushed him to go bigger than the folk approach he brought to rehearsal. He suggests losing the guitar. It’s smart advice from Adam, to make his vocals front and center. The result is a POWERFUL performance from Jeremiah. The dynamics are beautifully executed as the singer starts off vulnerable, goes big, only to pull it back to a quiet note. Perfect. “You really embodied the spirit of Freddie Mercury with that song.” Katy mentions his parents in the audience, “God bless all three of you.” Luke calls it an “emotional ride.” He adds, “That was a complete journey…I loved every second of it.” Lionel thinks he has the ability to draw people in. “Your voice is something to be reckoned with.” Dad, from the audience, calls it “powerful…I’m not very objective…he’s the best one here!”
Alejandro Aranda – Under Pressure — He’s performing an acoustic version and is still learning the lyrics. Alejandro admits he’s nervous. He is afraid to change the arrangement too much. It’s a classic song! Adam likes that he’s flipping the song. He suggests that he stick to the melody. “I’m just so embarrassed right now,” Alejandro says sheepishly. “You have to believe in it,” Adam stresses. “He seems like somebody who has real vision in his art.” Hm. This is too laid back. The guitar parts are sweet, but his voice is barely a whisper. The song needs more energy. The problem is that he picked the song, but never really committed to it. He’s not confident at all. Luke says, “You see the painting in a whole different way…you paint it your way.” Luke thinks he’s been better vocally, but it doesn’t matter, because he’s doing his own thing. Really? “You are an artist,” says Lionel, “and and amazing stylist.” Katy says, “Your authenticity is your secret sauce, but can be your worst enemy,” she says. But adds, “I think your handling it very well.” Alejandro says, “I just didn’t want to butcher the song.” Welp. You kinda did, fella.
Alyssa Raghu & Wayne Cota – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough from Guardians of the Galaxy – This is completely out of my wheelhouse, confesses Wayne. Bobby calls it the “most unexpected duet in Idol history” or something. This is an odd duck pairing for sure. They’re performing the straight up Motown version. And it’s actually not a trainwreck. Their voices don’t blend well. But Wayne is sufficiently soulful. Alyssa sound terrific here. “Is that you Marvin? My you have changed,” jokes Lionel. “You were having fun, we got that.” Katy admits it was a weird pair, but it worked. “That was one of your most comfortable performances,” Luke says to Alyssa. For some reason, Katy is under the judges table. Hijinks!
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon & Madison VanDenburg – A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman – Bobby has so much faith in them as a duo, he expects to be laying on the floor crying by the end. Their voices are blending beautifully. I am SO SICK of The Greatest Showman. But this is kind of a deep cut. Very pretty rendition from these two. Katy calls them “wonderful.” She felt they respected each other’s vocals. Luke appreciated that they did not step over each other. “You all have been The Voices…it’s unbelievable,” says Lionel. “You managed to stay on top of that song together.”
Laine Hardy — Fat Bottomed Girls – Adam notes that Freddie was really shy, but made it work on stage. He encourages Laine, “Just pretend you’re having fun with your friends.” Laine doesn’t think he’s much of a rock star, but Adam doesn’t agree. Adam sings along with him for a bit. Not one of the greatest Queen songs? But Laine creates a real party on stage, delivering a loose, fun performance alongside strong vocals. It worked because he owned the song completely, without embarrassment or hesitation. He threw himself into the performance and never looked back. Luke says he owned his rockstar confidence. “You are the head cheerleader,” says Lionel, “You’re delivery…if you don’t feel it, fake it…you felt it.” Katy says he shaked it and baked it…or somthing.
Wait what? We’re watching a 7 year old piano prodigy sing and play Bohemian Rhapsody? WHY? OK. I have nothing to say. I am not going to dunk on a 7 year old. He’s probably been on Ellen. “I am a viral sensation,” he says. Oh boy.
Laci Kaye Booth — Love of My Life – “Adam Lambert is so amazing!” Laci gushes. “Her voice is so special,” says Adam. During a discussion about nerves, Adam suggests that she harness whatever she’s feeling and use it. He wants her to make the pauses in the song a little longer. “Take the seconds to process what you’re saying,” he says. Adam is confident that Laci could have a moment. And indeed, it’s a great song choice for the singer. She’s fearlessly vulnerable, her raspy voice perfectly imperfect with raw emotion. She makes a big comeback from last week’s Disney miss. Lionel says, “That is one heck of a little vehicle you have there,” he says about her “smokey” voice. He calls her a star. “You are sparkling like the diamond we always knew you were…You’ve won,” Katy says. “You are so special.” Luke says she “sells the emotion of the song…tremendous job.”
Alejandro Aranda & Walker Burroughs – Mrs. Robinson from The Graduate – Bobby warns they shouldn’t change a classic song too much. But Alejandro changes it up–Walker has to get on board, he says. Hm…. I have no idea what’s going here. The arrangement isn’t really different from the original. Walker and Alejandro both sound so weak and under-rehearsed. The performance is so sleepy. Alejandro is having a bad week, and he’s dragging Walker down with him, unfortunately. “Your voices are like two peas in a pod,” says Katy. Huh. Luke thinks the song choice was savvy. He calls them the “savants” of the group. Yes…that’s why I thought it could be a fruitful pairing. But they took that song nowhere. Phoning it in, as they say.
Wade Cota — We Are the Champions – Wade is a huge Adam Lambert fan! He’s been playing the song at bars and restaurants for a long time. If he’s more comfortable standing still, that’s OK says Adam. “If he can tap into the intention of that song, he can have a real moment,” he says Adam. Welp. Wade pretty much croaks his way through the song. He literally can’t manage the melody. He’s best on the chorus singing the big notes. But it still comes off like so much cracky caterwauling. He sang that song like a drunk uncle singing karaoke at the sports bar. Luke thought he handled a missed lyric well. He even heard a little vibrato. Really? “You’ve already won,” says Lionel. Ohhh. Wade’s getting the kiss off from the judges. “Whatever happens…it’s up to you,” says Katy. Well, we know who ISN’T getting the Judges Save tonight.
Alyssa Raghu — Somebody to Love – Adam thinks Alyssa has a “natural theatricality.” He relates! “I love how playful you are,” he says, assuring her that it’s OK to be a diva! “I think Alyssa has the voice to pull this song off,” he says. Oh ha. She’s playing air guitar. Alyssa is working the stage really really hard. Big voice. However, I’m still waiting for more from Alyssa. She still doesn’t completely connect with a song. Lionel loved the way she “wailed away” at it. He warns her “never lose that determination.” Alyssa says she needs some water. “But thanks anyway.” Huh? Oh. Her voice cracked on the first note. Katy believes in her all the way. Alyssa admits she’s talking a lot because she wants to give people more time to vote. Oh she knows the pimp spot ain’t the pimp spot anymore. Luke is still waiting for some “high end power,” but overall, he thinks she’s amazing.
Ohhhh. The buses are reving up! Since Ryan is NOW pimping summer auditions, I think it’s safe to say ABC is renewing American Idol for a 3rd season.
RESULTS: Kieran DIM THE LIGHTS. The first person moving to the Top 6 is Jeremiah. Laci is safe. Madison is safe. Laine is safe. Alejandro is safe. Walker, Wade and Alyssa remain….and WADE IS TOP 6. IT’S THE RETURN OF SCOTT SAVOL Y’ALL. The audience is screaming SAVE SAVE SAVE. Will they be using the save? NOPE. NO SAVE THIS WEEK. Walker and Alyssa are ELIMINATED. Wade is literally shell shocked. It’s obvious he was fully prepared to be eliminated.
Man, both Walker and Alyssa deserved to stay longer than Wade. He botched his performance and still sailed through. He’s got people, and I don’t know why. As far as the save is concerned? I bet the judges have a short list of contestants they are willing to use it on. I suspect: Jeremiah, Laci, Laine, Alejandro. Maybe Madison.
I don’t know what’s going on with Alejandro. He’s checked out, like he doesn’t want to be there anymore…
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
Laci Kaye Booth
The judges don’t use the save Walker Burroughs and Alyssa Raghu are ELIMINATED