Eric McCandless/ABC
Maggie Fremont
April 09, 2018 at 11:28 PM EDT

American Idol

type
TV Show
genre
Reality TV
performer
Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, Ryan Seacrest
broadcaster
ABC
seasons
16
Current Status
In Season

Kay Kay with Pat Monahan
“Drive By”
This is a weird pairing, but Kay Kay and Pat Monahan seem to have fun in rehearsal. Well, until Kay Kay has some issues hearing herself once the full band kicks in. She sounds good throughout, but the song choice just doesn’t seem like the best fit. The judges, who are basically cheerleaders at this point, stick to the positive. Kay Kay has great energy, she held her own, and for her first duet, she really took care of business. There could be some surprises in the results tonight, but I fear for Kay Kay.

Trevor McBane with Bishop Briggs
“River”
Trevor is such a big fan of Bishop Briggs; it is very sweet. They sound great together in rehearsals and on stage, but Trevor just can’t match Bishop’s energy. This makes sense since it is her big song and all. The judges were happy to see Trevor open up a little more emotionally, but don’t seem too enthused. I feel like Trevor still hasn’t shown us everything he’s capable of, but I do hope he gets the chance. Fingers crossed!

Michelle Sussett with Luis Fonsi
“I Can’t Make You Love Me”
A surprising song choice for these two, but the Bonnie Raitt classic is Fonsi’s favorite. It’s a great choice for Michelle, who slows things down and shows us a quiet, tender side to her voice. There is real chemistry between the two. You have to assume the judges knew they’d be sending Michelle into the Top 14 before they even saw her perform this week, but they were still pleased to be invited to her show and witness a, wait for it, moment.

Jonny Brenns with Andy Grammer
“Back Home”
It is nice to see Jonny having fun for once! Of course, he’ll probably never do it again now that Katy Perry told him, in front of everyone, that he should take ballet lessons, but still. It was fun while it lasted. Even though we haven’t seen Jonny do many upbeat numbers, Grammer’s “Back Home” is a great fit. Again, it’s not his best performance to date, but the judges appreciated seeing some versatility in ol’ Jonny Brenns.

Dennis Lorenzo with Allen Stone
“Unaware”
How wonderfully full circle it is for Dennis to sing the song he auditioned with alongside the artist himself. This is the first pairing of the night where it truly felt equally matched. Get these two on tour together, like yesterday. Allen Stone tells us that Dennis’s vocal chords are like a “flock of beautiful doves,” and it is very accurate. The two guys sound tremendous together, their voices blending perfectly. The judges are moved.

Michael J. Woodard with Pat Monahan
“Blue Jean Angel”
Pat Monahan’s second duet partner works out a little better than his first. Michael and Pat decide not to make too much eye contact during the performance since this is a song Monahan wrote about his wife. The strategy works! Michael is still surprising us each week with his versatility, and the two sound pretty good together. Katy calls Michael a “beautiful chameleon,” which is a compliment I never knew I wanted but now am striving to receive.

Gabby Barrett with Sugarland
“Stay”
Yeah, this all makes sense. Gabby gets the big, emotional Sugarland ballad “Stay,” and looks much more at home on stage with her duet partners than some of the other contestants we’ve seen. More important, she sounds great next to Le Nettles. Again, the judges are all impressed, so we really have no idea who is staying or going based on performance. Gabby seems like a safe bet though.

With all 12 contestants having performed, it’s time to make some cuts. For the first time this season we’re dimming the lights and making dramatic pauses — doesn’t this all feel so right? Let’s take a look at which seven hopefuls have made it through to the Top 14:

Cade Foehner
Michelle Sussett
Dennis Lorenzo
Gabby Barrett
Jonny Brenns
Michael J. Woodard
Catie Turner

Well, friends, any surprises in those seven? Anyone you’ll miss seeing perform now that they’ve been added to the American Idol Rejection Pile? Should Allen Stone just hang out with us all season long?

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