The American Idol Top 11 will perform this week for a chance to perform for next week’s Disney Night. It’s the first LIVE COAST-TO-COAST broadcast on a Monday night. That means the show will air simultaneously across ET/CT/MT/CT time zones. VOTING begins at 8 pm ET and ends after the last comercial break. At the end of the show, host Ryan Seacrest will announce the singers moving on to Monday’s show.
There is a special twist tonight. Each of the judges–Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan–have chosen a song for each of the Top 11. Each contestant will choose a song from 3 choices. The theme tonight is “Judges Song Contest.” The judge with the highest number of chosen songs WINS.
In the meantime, TWO more contestants leave the competition tonight. UPDATE: Except NOT. The winner of the Judges Song Contest will save a singer in the bottom 2, leaving a Top 10.
Go to ABC.com or the American Idol app to vote. Fans can also text their votes. Voting rules and text numbers at the link below:
Just under 18 million votes last night! The contestants were handed three songs, but didn’t know which judge chose it.
The vocal coaches are mentoring the contestants this week. A few familiar faces: India Carney competed on The Voice season 8, while Adriana McPhee is Katharine McPhee’s sister.
Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson – Nicolina chose it because she resonates with the message. She and her mom are on the outs after her parents divorced. The song starts low for her. This song is NOT a vocal showcase. It’s fun pop song. Even when Kelly sings it, she shouts and hands half the lyrics to the crowd. Nicolina shouts and yells her way through the song. That was her worst performance to date.
Nicolina thinks Katy picked her song. She did not. Lionel Richie chose the song. “I wanted fire from you…you lit up the room,” he said. “It was fun seeing you in that light,” says Luke. He compared it to punk rock. “You showed us something different,” says Katy. (Not Chosen: My Heart will Go On by Celine Dion, Someone Like You by Adele) The Adele song would have been a better choice.
Chasin You by Morgan Wallen – Mike wants to be the person who brings divided communities together under the country umbrella. Aside from being pitchy in parts, Mike continues to grow comfortable in his new country shoes. He adds a little growl on the chorus. The band is too loud! His final run is the best part of the performance.
Mike thinks Luke picked the song. And he is correct. Luke Bryan chose the song. Mike liked the jacket Luke wore last night on the show. Now the judge is gifting it to him. “It’s tailored for beer gut.” Luke says, “He did his own thing on it.” Lionel loved that he made it his song. “I loved the vibe…you gave us show business.” Katy says, “You parked that car so nice.” (Not Chosen: Times Like This by Diane Warren ft Darius Rucker, I Swear by John Michael Montgomery)
Wonderwall by Oasis – He loves the lyrics and relates to them. “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys was a pick. I’d love to hear him sing that! Still, Fritz makes subtle and beautiful choices with the melody. The original is heart wrenching enough. But Fritz lends another layer of yearning and angst. I like this A LOT, and I’m a huge fan of the original. He starts the last chorus with a whisper, builds and ends with a sigh. Lovely.
Fritz believes Katy picked the song. Oh she picked “God Only Knows.” She says “I’m a California girl.” Luke Bryan chose the song! WOW. I didn’t think his musical knowledge was that deep. He jammed the song with his band? Whodathunk it. Katy gushes that Fritz flipped the song on its head. (Not Chosen: God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, Perfect by Ed Sheeran)
I’m Not the Only One by Sam Smith – After considering “For Once In My Life,” by Stevie Wonder, Christian goes with Sam Smith. Good choice. Christian reminds me of Elliot Yamin. But Elliott knew how to phrase song perfectly without oversinging. Having said that, this rendition is solid and should keep the singer in the game for another week.
Christian thinks Luke chose the song. He did not. Katy Perry chose the song. It’s her first point on the board. She loves that the song has both soul and gospel. “Sam Smith is the GOAT,” she says. Luke calls him “amazing…you need to walk out no mic stand and really trust that you are great.” Lionel calls him “special…you turned Sam’s song into your song.” (Not Chosen: For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder, Talking to the Moon by Bruno Mars)
Heartbreak Warfare by John Mayer – Two John Mayer songs are on the list, and Noah has never heard of either. He tries “Country Roads” by John Denver, but it’s not a good vocal fit. He eventually settles on Heartbreak Warfare. This is much better choice than the John Denver pick. It gives him a chance to really connect to the song and show that he can sing pop. He wouldn’t sing a song like this outside of Idol, but he’s delivering a beautiful and heartfelt rendition, without countrifying it that much. Noah’s versatility will take him far. Still though THE BAND IS VERY LOUD.
Noah thinks Katy maybe chose the song. But she picked John Denver. “You should Wikipedia me,” she jokes. Ha. She dated John Mayer. And when it dawns on Noah he’s REAL REAL EMBARRASSED. Luke chose the song. Luke liked that he challenged himself. “You are really stepping into that space of your career.” says Lionel. “Who is going to pay for my extra hour of therapy?” quips Katy. At least the pick wasn’t “I Still Feel Like Your Man.” Did Luke and Lionel troll Katy with their song picks? Hm. (Not Chosen: Bigger Than My Body by John Mayer, Thank God I’m a Country Boy by John Denver)
Traitor by Olivia Rodrigo – Jesus Take the Wheel is the only song she “knew personally.” But she decided not to be safe. She chose Olivia Rodrigo “Traitor” instead. The last time Lady stepped out of her box, it didn’t work out very well. She was lucky to advance after singing “Before He Cheats.” But here, Lady K is showing some impressive pop chops. She’s more versatile than I first thought. Her voice sounds tired on the high notes. But otherwise, it’s a great rendition. It almost sounds like a 60’s pop hit.
Lady K thinks Katy picked the song. NOPE. She did not. Lionel Richie chose the song. Lady thought Lionel chose the Nat King Cole song. “I took you out of your wheelhouse…and you won the challenge,” says Lionel. “You’ve grown so much…your story was so beautiful,” says Katy. Luke picked “Jesus Take the Wheel.” (Not Chosen: Smile by Nat King Cole, Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood)
9 to 5 by Dolly Parton – The judges picked two Dolly Parton songs. HunterGirl chose “9 to 5.” She plans to stretch her range on this one. It’s a pretty boring song choice, though. Hunter isn’t doing much to change the arrangement, until the second verse, where she brings her unique sass. Still. HO HUM. Not a favorite performance from HunterGirl.
Hunter thinks Lionel picked the song. NOPE. Luke Bryan chose the song. He’s winning this thing. Lionel picked “Here We Come Again” and Katy chose The Chicks “Wide Open Spaces.” (Not Chosen: Here You Come Again by Dolly Parton, Wide Open Spaces by Chicks)
Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan – Leah feels the song gives her an opportunity to paint on a canvas. And indeed, she grabs that paintbrush with both hands. The singer’s tone and phrasing are perfection. She’s subtle and tender, giving the song a country feel. The Bob Dylan classic has been covered over and over on singing shows. But Leah still manages to make the song fresh and unique. Standing ovation for Leah!
Leah thinks Katy chose the song. And Katy Perry chose the song! She’s still in it. She compares Leah to Alison Krauss. Luke namechecks Emmylou Harris. “You presented us the artist of who you are,” says Lionel. (Not Chosen: The First Cut is the Deepest by Cat Stevens, Steve McQueen by Sheryl Crow)
You Can’t Always Get What You Want by Rolling Stones – Tristen loves all his song choices. He tries Queen’s “I Want it All” but then settles on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by Rolling Stones. It’s a good song choice for Tristen. It fits well into his vocal range and allows him to work the stage like a rock star. This performance might propel him to another round!
Tristen thinks Lionel picked the song. CORRECT. Lionel Richie chose the song. Katy calls it “electricity in a bottle.” Luke says, “Way to get out here and have fun.” (Not Chosen: Paint it Black by Rolling Stones, I Want it All by Queen)
Lovely by Billie Eilish – She gets compared to Billie a lot, and wants to make the song it her own. She also tries out “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper. In the end, she makes the safe choice. But not a bad one. Her voice cuts through like a knife. She sings with an affecting ache that’s emotional and effortless.
Emyrson guesses that Katy chose the song. Correct. Katy Perry chose the song. She doesn’t care if there are a million Billie Eilishes, because she’s wonderful. Meaning being a karaoke clone would be just fine? Good thing Emyrson is not that. Luke chose “True Colors.” Lionel calls it an “all around perfect performance. (Not Chosen: Starting Over by Chris Stapleton, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper)
Lilac Wine by Jeff Buckley – Out of the three songs, Jay only knows “I’ll Be There” but he does not want to repeat the Jackson 5. Also, he wants to show his vulnerable side this week. An interesting and unexpected song pick, I did not have Jeff Buckley on my bingo card for Jay. Nevertheless, he’s delivering a beautiful, wonderfully phrased vocal. Jay picks boring songs–that’s part of his problem. Maybe the judges should continue to choose his songs. The performance has some Sam Cooke vibes going on. It’s his best performance of the season. 100 percent.
Jay believes Katy chose the song. And she did! Katy Perry chose the song. She ties with Luke! Katy calls it beautiful and controlled and his best performance yet. Luke compares him to Nat King Cole reborn. Lionel calls it “one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen in my life…absolute control.” (Not Chosen: I’ll Be There by Jackson 5, Caught Up by Usher)
Judges Song Contest Results: Katy Perry and Luke Bryan tie for 1st place with 4 song choices each. Lionel Richie garnered 3 song choices, and comes in 2nd place.
19 million live votes tonight, says Ryan. The first person making it through tonight is Noah, up next is Christian, Fritz, Nicolina, next it’s HunterGirl, Emyrson, Leah, Jay and Mike. Lady K and Tristen are the Bottom two BUT.
The winner of the Judges Song Contest will save a singer. I KNEW IT. The show was being so stinking cagey about tonight’s eliminations. Luke Bryan and Katy Perry tied with 4 song choices each. And they jointly decide to save Lady K. Tristen Gressette leaves the competition.
Lady K – Katy and Luke winners of the “Judges Song Contest” save a contestant