Tonight, the contestants return to Hollywood to learn the results of America’s first votes for the Top 20, performing again in hopes of securing a spot in the Top 12. “American Idol” 2022 winner Noah Thompson and runner-up HunterGirl will also take the stage. Follow our live blog below (updated in Pacific Standard Time).
“American Idol,” the iconic series that revolutionized the television landscape by pioneering the music competition genre, is back for another season on ABC. Helping determine who America will ultimately vote for to become the next singing sensation are music industry forces and superstar judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie. Emmy Award winner Ryan Seacrest hosts the reality TV competition series for the show’s sixth season on ABC and 21st overall.
You can vote for your favorite contestants until 9 a.m. ET/ 6 a.m. PT on Monday morning. There are three voting methods: the “American Idol” app, directly on the website or by texting their number to 21523.
8:00 p.m. — Previously on “American Idol”! The Top 26 performed over two nights with soul singer Allen Stone and Grammy nominee Noah Cyrus as mentors. Then, America had until 6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT the following mornings to vote for their favorite. Let’s find out who made the Top 20!
8:10 p.m. — Zachariah Smith is the first singer to make the Top 20. The 20-year old grill cook is singing “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. He’s known as an entertainer, so it’s nice to see him focus on his vocals for this performance. If he wasn’t properly credited for his vocal chops before, this could easily change that! Lionel is on his feet and says, “Perfect song! Perfect presentation! You’re on your way to your career.” Katy says the pressure was on for Zachariah to go first, but she thinks he’s Top 10 material. Luke applauds the him for always putting his own stamp on every song he chooses.
8:15 p.m. — Matt Wilson is next to advance. The 21-year old teacher’s aide is singing “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur. Matt always picks nice contemporary songs, but they’re not always vocal showcases. He’s got the likability factor in his favor, but I don’t know if this vocal will be pulling in the votes he needs. Katy says Matt’s joy is contagious. Luke thinks Matt has come alive and picked a great song. Lionel tells Matt to “enjoy this ride, you are absolutely on your way.”
8:25 p.m. — Nailyah Serenity has made the Top 20! She’s singing “Baby Love” by Mother’s Finest, which is not a song I’m familiar with, but I like this direction for her. It’s a funkier side to this diva who we’ve already seen nail a ballad. She surprises me more each time she hits the stage. Luke says, “I can spot a star when I see one.” Lionel adds, “We are afraid of you!” Katy closes things out by calling it “STANK!” Nailyah is “an artist through and through.”
8:30 p.m. — Warren Peay is thrilled to be called next. The 24-year old appliance repairman is singing “Up There Down Here” by Zach Williams. The country soul sound is always a hit on these reality TV singing competitions, so I don’t expect to see Warren going home anytime soon. Lionel thinks he’s doing ” a great job.” Katy appreciates that he’s remained true to himself, despite going through the “star wash.” Luke called it “a world class song choice.”
8:40 p.m. — Kaeyra has done enough to reach the Top 20. The 21-year old is at the piano singing “Bruises” by Lewis Capaldi. It’s a great way to show another side of herself and she sounds great. I love how she shows off the lower register of her voice and doesn’t scream through the entire song. “That arrangement just smacked me across the face,” says Katy. It’s an A+ performance. Luke calls it a “breakout moment.” Lionel tells Kaeyra she’s already made it and “you have a career!”
8:50 p.m. — Mariah Faith is the next to advance. The 22-year old is singing “Cry to Me” by Solomon Burke. She’s definitely in her own lane within this competition. I love her bluesy, country tone and this performance is heads and shoulders better than her last. Luke calls it a “great performance.” Lionel applauds her for singing an old song with a new presentation. Katy appreciates “the vibe” and compares her to Bonnie Raitt.
9:05 p.m. — Iam Tongi is up next. He’s been the most popular on social media this season, so it’s no surprise he makes the cut this week. The 18-year old Hawaii native is singing “The Winner Takes It All” by ABBA while strumming along on his guitar. It’s so effortless for him. He doesn’t need any acrobatics or huge notes to make an impression, it’s a home run every time. The crowd is going wild for Iam. Lionel says, “I had a lot to say, but they said it for me.” Katy adds, “I guess this is the Iam Tongi show now” and says his voice is “timeless.” Luke says, “God gave you the magic.”
9:15 p.m. — Haven Madison is the next to advance, and the 17-year old high school student is singing “Mean Girls” by Leanna Crawford. It’s a smart song choice for the singer/songwriter that allows her to show off her storytelling ability. She also stretched her vocals further than we’ve seen before, which appears to have impressed the judges. Katy tells Haven it sounds “like something you would have written.” Luke can’t wait to hear Haven’s originals and calls this one of her best performances. Lionel says she’s a seasoned pro and “you aren’t supposed to know all of this at 17.”
9:20 p.m. — The next spot goes to Oliver Steele. The 25-year old picks up his guitar and sings an original song called “Too Soon.” It sounds like a hit to me! He’s got a naturally soulful voice that would fit in well in today’s current music landscape. Luke gives him a “10 out of 10.” Lionel tells Oliver his “talent is on fire.” Katy calls it “really great” and wonders why he never sang an original song before.
9:29 p.m. — The last singer to advance to the Top 20 from this first group is Lucy Love. The 28-year old is taking this opportunity to sing her own original song, “Boulders.” It’s a more controlled performance for Lucy, and I think it suits her well even though people won’t recognize the tune. Lionel says, “You came into this world invisible. You will leave this life as Lucy Love.” Katy says Lucy won’t survive, she’s going to thrive. Luke loves the way Lucy attacks each song, but tonight she captured his heart.
9:30 p.m. — Three artists have just been eliminated: Elise Kristine, Emma Busse and PJAE.
9:40 p.m. — The first person from the second group to advance is Hannah Nicolaisen. The 24-year old former volleyball player is singing “Somebody to Love” by Queen. I’m not sure if she’s built up one of the biggest fanbases this season, but she’s one of my personal favorites. I love the tone of her voice and her easygoing spirit. Katy says Hannah reminds her of Jennifer Lawrence, and hopes her career is on a rocket ride. Luke calls it a “great performance.” Lionel says, “you have guts!”
9:50 p.m. — Olivia Soli is next. The 21-year old continues her string of pop diva hits with “I Surrender” by Celine Dion. It’s the second time we’ve heard her sing a Celine song, but who can blame her? These power ballads are right up her alley. Luke says she soared “beyond the clouds” again. Lionel is impressed with her power and confidence. Katy is thrilled America voted Olivia through and tells her to “keep playing the power card.”
10:00 p.m. — Marybeth Byrd has advanced next. The 22-year old country singer is performing her own original, “People Pleaser.” I’m impressed with the original songs tonight. Lionel is seen screaming “Wow!” while she’s in the middle of the chorus. “That was superstar material,” he says. Katy says this finally showed us who Marybeth Byrd is. Luke got goosebumps and admits, “I did not see that coming down the track. That was a big, big moment for you.”
10:05 p.m. — Michael Williams will sing next. The 21-year old heartthrob smartly plays to his base performing “Lose You to Love Me” by Selena Gomez. It actually fits his voice perfectly. It’s a bit of a strain for him to hit those high belts, but his falsetto sounds great. Katy says he just stepped into being an artist. Luke thinks he looks like a million dollars and says Michael just “crushed that.” Lionel calls him a “real stylist.”
10:15 p.m. — Paige Anne has gone from an alternate to the Top 20! The 16-year old is singing “Say Something” by A Great Big World. Her approach to this song is a bit aggressive and I think she just belted out a few too many notes. The message may have been lost in that translation. Luke congratulates her for getting this far. Lionel tells her to “enjoy this ride.” Katy admits, “So we get it wrong. But guess what? Jesus takes the wheel.”
10:25 p.m. — Nutsa has been announced as the next to advance. She takes the judges’ advice from last week and tones things down tonight with “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton. She sounds nice, but Toni’s version is so iconic, it’s just hard for me to get into this version. Lionel calls her “the hardest-working person” he’s ever met on the show. Katy compliments for holding the room by being her “powerful Nutsa self.” Luke tells her to hold her head high following that performance.
10:35 p.m. — Tyson Venegas is next. The last Platinum Ticket winner standing is singing an original called “180” while sitting at the piano. It’s the best he’s sounded since his original audition. Katy says she finally knows who Tyson is and it’s a “great song.” Luke calls him “far beyond” his years. Lionel says “that was a damn good song.”
10:45 p.m. — Megan Danielle is up next! The 21-year old is singing “Holy Water” by We the Kingdom. She looks more confident than ever singing gospel music, and her raspy voice is at full strength. This is probably her best performance of the season. Luke says, “Nobody sounds anything like you.” Lionel calls it a “sold-out performance.” Katy calls it her “best delivery all season.”
10:50 p.m. — Colin Stough is next to advance. The 18-year old country singer is performing “Pretty Heart” by Parker McCollum. He doesn’t have the best voice — even for this genre within the competition — but he looks like a country star. Lionel tells him to “keep doing what he’s doing.” Katy appreciates him for being authentic, but wants him to push his vocals. Luke calls Colin his “little science experiment” before staying, “I believe you’re a big star, but you gotta understand you are.”
10:59 p.m. — The final artist to advance to the Top 20 is Wé Ani. She closes out the show with “Skyfall” by Adele. It’s a great way to end the show since Wé always nails it. Luke says she crushes it every night, but the judges seem distracted and focus more on who was just eliminated than Wé’s performance. But America has spoken!
11:00 p.m. — These three artists were just eliminated: Dawson Wayne, Elijah McCormick and Malik Heard.
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