American Idol recap: Let's meet the Top 10!
It’s time to reveal our Top 10 — but not without torturing these poor souls just a little bit more. I mean, who thought it was a good idea to announce if a person made it through based on America’s Vote or not and then force them to sing? Anxiety and shock do not make for a good vocal foundation. But Idol loves the drama. We know this. Here’s how this evening will go down. After America’s Vote last night, seven of the 14 contestants have automatically been sent into the Top 10. The other seven have one last chance to impress the judges and win one of the three Judges’ Saves to round out the Top 10. Whether you’re in on America’s Vote or waiting to hear the judges’ decisions, every contestant will be singing again.
If that sounds overly complicated, that’s because it is! Now, let’s see how the results shake out.
AMERICA’S PICKS (YOU LIKE THEM, YOU REALLY LIKE THEM)
These seven contestants are automatically in your Top 10!
Madison VanDenburg // “You and I” by Lady Gaga
Madison has such a commercial pop voice, it would’ve been crazy to have a Top 10 without her power voice in there. She proves that point with her little Lady Gaga victory lap (it even includes tears of joy!). The girl can wail and she’s one of the contestants whose growth I’m most looking forward to seeing.
Walker Burroughs // “Lovebug” by the Jonas Brothers
Apparently, back at home, Walker already has an ice cream flavor named after him and it’s like, does he need any other accolades in this life? Aren’t we being a little bit greedy now? Walker comes out and celebrates his Top 10 place with a little JoBro action, so honestly, I’m glad he’s not simply taking his ice cream and going home. Walker is a delight!
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon // “Almost Heaven” by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon
As if this wasn’t going to happen. JLH is the real deal, people. He sings his original song that wowed us all in his audition for a second time. I cry for a second time. Do we need to know anything else?
Wade Cota // “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Wade is so emotional! Is he the only one surprised to have made it into the Top 10 on America’s votes? His voice is insane and he knows exactly what songs to pick to show his instrument off best (like this one!). Plus, he loves his mom. That’s like the secret American Idol formula right there. I’m very happy to see Wade Cota in the Top 10, not only but certainly partly because WHAT WILL HE DO FOR DISNEY NIGHT?
Laci Kaye Booth // “As Long As You Follow” by Fleetwood Mac
Not only are the contestants scared out of their minds to find out their fate, but Ryan also makes them do a West Wing walk-and-talk on their way to the stage to get results. This is torturous. Anyway, of course, Laci makes the Top 10 and as a gift to all of us, she tackles some Fleetwood Mac. Laci shows off more attitude than we’ve seen from her and no surprise, it’s great.
Laine Hardy // “Hurricane” by The Band of Heathens
Oh, you know all the teeny boppers were voting for this kid. Look at him — he’s a star! This darker side of Laine is a nice change of pace, too, but I’m looking forward to him showing off some more vulnerability as we move forward. Getting emotional in a suit? Instant votes!
Alejandro Aranda // “Cholo Love” by Alejandro Aranda
My Alejandro has returned to me! I worried he was forever lost to EDM Land. HE IS NOT. This original bop reminds us all why Alejandro made such a huge splash during his audition (ahem, artistry and authenticity and probably some other ‘a’ words). I mean, it’s not like the judges would have ever let him go, but it is nice to know America is behind Alejandro, too.
SINGING FOR THEIR LIVES (NOT LITERALLY, BUT YOU GET IT)
These seven will try to win one of the three Judges’ Saves to make the Top 10!
Evelyn Cormier // “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas
Honestly, this isn’t terribly surprising. Super unique voices like Evelyn’s are typically love it or hate it and her song choice last night, regardless of what the judges said, seemed really off for what she can do. Tonight’s choice isn’t much better (sorry, all I can see is Will Ferrell singing this song to his boy Blue, always and forever). Just sing some Florence and the Machine and call it a day!
Riley Thompson // “It Must Be Love” by Don Williams
Riley is such a cute country crooner (and the Dolly in her voice cannot be denied), but she’s never fully connected on an emotional level (I know, I know, she’s just a teen). I wish for her “sing for your life” song she had picked a big country ballad to show more versatility. She does not. Luke, however, loves the song choice and thinks it shows off just what they’ve always loved about Riley. We’ll see if that means they’ll give up one of their coveted three spots for her.
Alyssa Raghu // “The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry
A real risky move to choose a Katy Perry song for this occasion. On one hand, Katy might put it up to extreme scrutiny. On the other, if Alyssa nails it, it might be hard for Katy not to save her. I love Alyssa on these pop ballads, but there’s no denying (for all the contestants) that nerves must play a factor when you’re immediately told you weren’t voted in and then forced to sing. Even pros would get rattled! The judges don’t really talk about her vocals and rather focus on her growth and how she should “keep applying” herself. That seems like a bad sign!!
Dimitrius Graham // “When The Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish
Oh, friends. The first rule of Idol is to never pick a song with “goodbye” or “it’s over” in the title. You’re asking for trouble! The good news is Dimitrius crushes this Billie Eilish song. The judges have been big fans of Dimitrius from the beginning, so I could definitely see them handing over a spot for this guy. Luke appreciates the fight in that performance. Make it so, judges!
Eddie Island // “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon
Katy is more outraged than Eddie himself at the news that America has not gotten on board with the Island. Thankfully, he redeems himself after last night’s misfire with a performance that focuses on his vocals rather than fabulous taste in outerwear. It’s still not his best, and Luke thinks that song choice is really at fault for both this and last night’s issues. The judges’ critiques all pretty much spell goodbye for Eddie, but Eddie has always surprised us, so one shouldn’t count him out until the very end.
Ashley Hess // “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder
The first one that truly hurts! And she’s wearing a sparkly tux! And she’s singing Stevie Wonder! A person does not sing “Sir Duke” when she is looking to phone something in. It’s a definite “sing for your life” song choice and the judges seem to love it. Luke can’t believe that after weeks of them telling her to stay behind the piano, she delivers this kind of performance. Katy calls it her best performance. That must guarantee her one of the three available spots, right? RIGHT?
Uché // “Diamonds” by Rihanna
As soon as I saw that we were down to Uché and Alejandro I figured it didn’t much matter who got America’s vote because the judges would definitely save whoever was left. Uché just has to work a little harder for it. And then he comes out and throws down with this song. I mean, Lionel has to get up and go give Uché a hug afterward…and automatically gives him his save. Papa Lionel, everybody.
THE JUDGES’ SAVES (THE LUCKY THREE WHO GET A SECOND CHANCE)
Meet the rest of your Top 10!
Lionel Richie: Uché
Luke Bryan: Dimitrius Graham
Katy Perry: Alyssa Raghu
The final group we’re left with feels pretty solid, honestly. Any true shocks out there? Who are your frontrunners? Are you already over the dramatic lights and music cues this season? You are not alone!