American Idol: Watch Kaibrienne Deliver a Faltering Yet Emotional Performance

American Idol Top 20 - Kaibrienne (KB Richens)
(Disney/Eric McCandless) KAIBRIENNE

American Idol 2024 Top 20: Katy Perry finds humanity in Kaibrienne’s imperfect performance of original “girl i am now”

American Idol Season 22 revealed its Top 20 on a Sunday 3-Hour special. The night was chock full of performances with some having big moments and others faltering under the pressure. One performance that resulted in a big moment despite faltering under pressure came from 20 year old Utah native K.B. Richins who is now going by her first name, Kaibrienne. (Read our Recap)

Host Ryan Seacrest declared Kaibrienne safe by calling her to the stage to perform. In her package, she revealed she will sing an original titled “girl i am now” which she called a “love letter to [herself].” She was a tomboy growing up and followed what her older siblings did, including cheering like her sisters and playing football like her brother. The singer also wrestled, and remarked, “boys would cry when they would get pinned by a girl.” She added, “I’m super grateful for that upbringing. It’s made me a way stronger person. All of it’s prepared me for this moment right here.”

American Idol Top 20 - Kaibrienne (KB Richens)
(Disney/Eric McCandless) KAIBRIENNE

Kaibrienne sat at the piano for the performance, and began strong with her signature emotive and raspy tone. She paused shortly as it appeared she might be slipping up, but she seamlessly continued. The lyrics of the song are very emotional. She hit a big note before pausing again, putting her hands over her face for a moment. Lionel Richie can be heard calling out, “come on, keep going.” Somehow her vocals were still really good, but she may have slowed down the tempo and paused again near the end. But it was less noticeable. It helped that she has a pro of a band behind her who guided her through it.

Katy Perry: “It’s boring when somebody is perfect”

The song is a well-written original, and had she fully pulled it off, it likely would have been a top 3 performance of the night. Either way, she had a moment on stage due to her vulnerability. It was reminiscent me of Hunter Metts messing up a line in his song a few seasons ago. He went viral with that performance, but then didn’t last in the competition much longer. Going forward, Kaibrienne will need to stay more composed as America tends to forgive one slip-up, but another one, and she may lose some voters.

The young singer was in tears after the performance. Ryan called her a “fighter,” adding that she “fought and you stayed on track with emotion we could all feel and see.” Katy Perry said that it is “boring when somebody is perfect,” noting there “was humanity” in the performance. Luke Bryan called the performance “real” and believed she “took [herself] to another level.” Kaibrienne’s struggle on stage reminded Lionel of his Madison Square Garden performance where he did the same with stopping and starting. He said “you got it with that performance!”.

American Idol Top 20 - Kaibrienne (KB Richens)

Fans on social media have been kind

So far her reception on socials seems fairly positive with some worrying about how she will hold up in future rounds. Either way, I expect her to soar through to the top 14 without needing a judges wildcard. Plus, her original is out on streaming services, so garnering a lot of the spotlight with this performance could lead to people streaming the song.

While Kaibrienne’s performance wasn’t flawless, a few of her competitors gave close to flawless performances. McKenna Faith Breinholt continued to wow with her storytelling on “Both Sides Now,” Abi Carter masterfully rearranged “Welcome to the Black Parade,” Odell Bunton Jr. gave the vocal of his life with “The Door,” and Kayko sounded like a future star on his original  “Over You.” Another performer who deserves a lot of credit even if he’s not my cup of tea is 15-year-old Triston Harper, a likely front runner after staying composed and nailing his original “H-O-P-E.” It’s a crowded field, so it will be interesting to see which 10 people America votes through and which 4 people the judges save to make up the top 14.

About Blake Busch 270 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.