American Idol 2021 Recap Showstopper/Top 24 Reveal Part 2 Live Blog
American Idol 2021 Showstopper/Final judgment continues tonight. The remaining 64 contestants sing for the first time backed by a full band. A lucky group of 24 contestants will move on to Celebrity Duets/Solos round. Who will survive? Who will be sent home! We’re live blogging all the performances and results here.
Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan return, along with host Ryan Seacrest. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is the rule in the house!
VOTING BEGINS NEXT WEEK.
NO SPOILER TALK IN THE COMMENTS HERE. Keep it in the spoiler post. Thank you.
Lionel Richie, due to a potential exposure to COVID-19, is ZOOMING IN FROM HOME. Katy and Luke will deliver Final judgment to some contestants, Lionel will to others over Zoom.
OK. It’s time to resolve the CLIFFHANGER from last night’s episode. Will Casey Bishop or Alanis Sophia go through to the Top 24? Alanis is going through to the T0p 24. AND Casey is going through to the Top 24! Both Casey and Alanis are in the Top 24!
Willie Spence – I Was Here by Beyonce – Willie LOVES flipping female R&B singers’ songs. First Rihanna and now Beyonce. Due to health issues, Willie has been losing weight. But he struggles. But as far as singing is concerned? No struggle whatsoever. His performance is effortless. He builds up the drama beautifully, hitting the key change effortlessly. The performance could be so corny and overwrought, but he sings with power and simplicity.
Final Judgment: Willie explains to Katy and Luke that his family has sacrificed a lot for him to be there. “This is the crossroads of your life,” says Katy. “You gotta suit up, stay focused, stay connected.” Luke says, “I’m proud…that you’re in the Top 24. Willie is in the Top 24.
Emisunshine – Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin – Her performance is montaged. And a bit broken and yelly. Not a good sign.
Lizzy O’Very – Sign of the Times by Harry Styles – She left her accordion at home.
Caroline Lamb – Feel Like Makin’ Love by Bad Company – What a weird song choice. She feels she has a “full package” as an artist. Maybe sing something the kids will recognize?
Final Judgment: Emisunshine, Lizzy O’Very and Caroline Lamb are eliminated. Caroline doesn’t take her elimination well. She claims she’s an artist, while some of the contestants are merely singers. “I could have won the whole thing,” she insists.
Mary Jo Young – Us by James Bay – Oh gosh. Her duet performance didn’t go well. She wrote the lyrics of her song on her hand. And long time Idol watchers know how that goes. Never well. Mary Jo has a really good voice, but her song choices are so similar. However, she can sing the heck out of a big ballad. And for a kid who hasn’t sung in front of crowds much, she’s found her stride on stage.
Final Judgment: She feels that in only a few weeks, her nerves have subsided. Luke feels she has more work to do on her stage presence. “Do you want to be just a Tik Tok star or an American Idol?” However, Luke also believes she has “magic,” so she’s through to the Top 24. MARY JOSEPHINE! Her mom yells when she hears the news Hee. Mary Jo is in the Top 24
Hunter Metts – July by Noah Cyrus – Hunter’s musician parents have experienced financial insecurity in the past few years, and it fills him full of fear. Bobby helps Hunter get over his fear and feelings of inadequacy. The singer is tearful as he describes not feeling good enough. The judges told him he needs a moment, or he’s out. So he chooses what he considers a risky song. It’s a good choice. He really does have a sweet tone. The judges bugged him about having a “moment” in his performance, which I never understood. He’s a singer-songwriter who has connected to each of his performances. No glory notes needed.
Final Judgment: Luke says they push him, because that’s their job, reminding Hunter that he sounds like no one else. “You are definitely in our Top 24,” Luke says. Hunter Metts is in the Top 24
Althea Grace – We Can Work it Out by The Beatles – Althea shares more about her daughter, who needs a feeding tube 24/7. Before she had a baby, Althea was a full time touring musician. She feels comfortable on stage. I like Althea a lot. She’s got a great bluesy voice and major guitar skills.
Final Judgment: Katy felt Althea chose the wrong song. She’s got more soul than the poppy Beatles song warrented. “You gotta dig deeper.” Althea is eliminated. That’s really disappointing.
Ronda Felton – All in Love is Fair by Stevie Wonder – We only hear a snip of her performance, which sounds pitchy. She’s eliminated. Ronda is eliminated.
Funke – Orange Colored Sky by Natalie Cole – She had a dramatic moment during Hollywood that had nothing to do with singing. She fainted and had to be taken to the hospital. She needed stitches in her chin! Man. That performance was…odd. Unsurprisingly, she’s eliminated.
Grace Kinstler – Father by Demi Lovato – Grace began second guessing her song choice, but she stuck with it because it means so much to her. The loss of her father helped make her who she is today. Maybe there aren’t big huge notes in this song, but her phrasing and tone are beautiful. There’s more to performing than Star Search moments. Although, she has a huge huge note in the third verse! She would not have even needed to go there. The judges don’t think it was her best. Her voice broke, but I think her emotion more than made up for it.
Final Judgment: Katy doesn’t think she chose the right song. Eh. It was fine. “Take all that pain and use it,” Katy says. Uhm. Grace did that? The judges say stuff that doesn’t sound sincere, at all. Nevertheless. Grace is through. Grace is in the Top 24
Deshawn Goncalves – Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland – He sings a beautiful and simple version of the song sitting at his electric piano. He gets up to work the stage, and the performance gathers some steam. He hits a big long note. He goes into his falsetto. It’s a bit pitchy up there. But overall, the performance is lovely
Final Judgment: Lionel delivers the news over Zoom. Deshawn is in the Top 24
Colin Jamieson – Sugar We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy – Colin shares more about his boy band past back in New England. He’s been in a wedding band now for four years. He considers the song a big risk. I’m not sure why? He’s still BREATHY AS HECK. So dang breathy. He works the stage pretty well, though.
Final Judgment: I think Katy might have a tiny crush on Colin. He reminds me a little of Constantine Maroulis, the way he works the camera. She’s definitely buying what he’s selling. Katy thought he did take a big risk, and that previously he played it safe. And now, he’s through. Colin is in the Top 24.
Laila Mach – If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys – Laila thought she’d be fine, but she has never performed with a band before. She’s struggling. She’s picked a huge song, something she’s never done before. She’s a little shaky up there. She needs to work on control. But she’s giving the performance everything she’s got.
Final Judgment: Katy thinks her voice is getting better and better. But it’s all about timing. “Sometimes we have to say no. I’m sorry but you will not be going through to the Top 24.” Aw. She’s sobbing. – Laila is eliminated
Ava August – Ghost of You (Original) – Ava is the youngest contestant this season. She dueted with Hunter. They warned her not to play it safe. She’ll perform an original song with just a guitar. This is a big risk. The song is just…OK. But she’s connecting to what she’s singing, which counts for a lot. She’s an unusual singer. Mostly that’s a compliment. Luke calls her “interesting.” That’s definitely one way to put it.
Final Judgment: Katy didn’t think the song was all the way there. It wasn’t her strongest moment. But because she has something special, she’s advancing. Ava is in the Top 24
Nia Renee – A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke – I have no idea why we haven’t heard more of this singer. She’s really good. REALLY good. She brings everyone to church with this Sam Cooke cover.
Final Judgment: Lionel delivers the bad news. “You have put up an amazing fight, but it’s not going to get you to the next round.” Lionel believes she needs to work harder. Alrighty then. I don’t get it. – Nia Renee is eliminated
Liahona Olayan – Me Too by Meghan Trainor – After the judges eliminated her brother, she couldn’t stay focused. Now she gets a second chance. Liahona not only has a good voice, but she’s very sassy. Personality, plus she is. Her stage presence is infectious. And that goes a LONG way in the pop music world. She ends her performance with a split. Oh my.
Final Judgment: Katy explains why she was upset with her during Hollywood Week, and should not have allowed the loss of her brother to affect her. “The sooner that you flip a switch in your mind, the sooner the door opens for you.” Luke feels she has a lot to contribute to music. She’s through. Liahona is in the Top 24
Madison Watkins – It’s a Man’s Man’s World by James Brown – I know she’s a hair model, but what’s with the 80’s styling? Like always? Nevertheless, she’s a terrific singer, with a ton of confidence. In her video package, she displays no self doubt. She simply declared, “I have to go big!” Her performance is not only big, but it’s effortless and free.
Final Judgment: Lionel delivers the news. He tells her that she did a great job. “You’re in the Top 24.” Madison is in the Top 24.
Alana Sherman – Bust Your Windows by Jazmine Sullivan – So far, we’ve barely seen Alana. She’s an athlete as well as a musician. But who knew? She’s a solid R&B singer.
Final Judgment: No critique or words for the singer. Alana is in the Top 24
Anilee List – Ain’t Nobody by Rufus and Chaka Khan – She was a rock singer originally wasn’t she? She’s another singer we haven’t seen much throughout the competition. As a soul singer, she’s very good.
Final Judgment: Notice how she never sat down with the judges? Ryan announces that she advanced to the Top 24. That’s because the answer was initially NO. She took Benson Boone’s place when he DROPPED OUT after making the Top 24, reportedly. Anilee List is in the Top 24.
Cecil Ray – Beyond by Leon Bridges – He grew up in government housing. He has a little girl and wants to give her everything he didn’t have. His song choice is excellent. Cecil came off as an immature singer initially. But he’s gotten better. He has a lot of heart and sincerity, which makes up for his lack of professionalism, to a degree. He really wears his heart on his sleeve.
Drake McCain – Country Girl (Shake it for me) by Luke Bryan – Drake calls his mom a “superhero.” He knows he’s taking a risk singing Luke’s song. Luke shakes along with Drake! But the young singer isn’t QUITE there yet. Something is missing. His stage presence is better than his voice.
Final Judgment: There really is only one spot left in the Top 24. Cecil and Ray learn their fate together. One will make it, one will be eliminated. Drake is eliminated. Cecil is in the Top 24. Drake is so gracious, congratulating Cecil and stating that he deserves it.
American Idol 2021 Top 24
Mary Jo Young