On Monday’s American Idol, 12 contestants each experienced the high of performing a duet with a big-name music star. But by the end, five had experienced the low of being sent home by judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
We bid farewell to the following contestants: Shannon O’Hara, Ron Bultongez, Effie Passero, Amelia Hammer Harris and Alyssa Raghu.
Katy Perry left them with some words of encouragement, reminding them that two of the big music stars they duetted with – Colbie Caillat and Bebe Rexha – tried out for American Idol and didn’t make it, and look where they are now.
The seven who’ll round out the top 14 and go on to compete for America’s vote are: Mara Justine, Jurnee, Maddie Poppe, Ada Vox, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Garrett Jacobs and Marcio Donaldson.
Here’s how the performances went down, starting with the seven who made it through:
Caleb Lee Hutchinson sang with Bebe Rexha to her hit song with Florida Georgia Line, “Meant to Be.” Bebe got him to loosen up a bit and even show off some dance moves. “Nobody has ‘aw shucks country boy’ down better than you,” Luke Bryan told him.
Ada Vox soared on her duet with Glee actress Lea Michele to “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway musical Wicked. Ada harmonized, hit high notes, and altogether crushed it, leading Lionel to proclaim, “A star is born.”
Maddie Poppe conquered her nerves by singing “Bubbly” with Colbie Caillat. The two bonded over the fact that they both get stage fright. During a stage rehearsal, Maddie couldn’t quite get her nerves under control, but her performance for the judges went off without a hitch. Lionel even complimented how “relaxed” and “comfortable” she appeared on stage.
Jurnee sang Lea Michele’s song “Run to You” with Lea. She brought Lea to tears during rehearsals and delivered a moving performance for the judges. Katy complimented the “synchronicity” and “flow” of the performance.
Marcio Donaldson wowed the judges — and the crowd — with his performance of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” with Allen Stone. He was originally supposed to duet with Toni Braxton, but when she was unable to make it, he had to get a new duet partner at the last minute. It turned out to be a perfect pairing. Lionel called the performance “a spiritual moment” and Katy told Marcio he had “arrived.”
Mara Justine showed her vulnerable side with Rachel Platten on “Fight Song.” She took the judges’ advice to show less hair-flipping sassiness and a little more tenderness. The performance even brought Ryan Seacrest to tears. Lionel commended her for “finding her center,” while Katy advised her to find a combination of center and swagger.
Garrett Jacobs sang the Jason Mraz part in the duet “Lucky” with Colbie Caillat. His strategy was to pretend he was singing to his girlfriend back home, and she ended up surprising him in the audience. The performance upped his cool factor with Katy and Luke told him he’s headed in the right direction.
As for the singers who didn’t make it through:
Ron Bultongez stepped out of his comfort zone to sing the song “Someone to You” with Banners. He gave an energetic performance, but it was admittedly not his style. The judges enjoyed the fact that he let go towards the end.
Amelia Hammer Harris performed “Me, Myself and I” with Bebe Rexha. The two put a grittier, rock spin on the tune and Amelia scored points for both her stage presence and her fashion sense. Katy was impressed she could pull off lime green leather pants. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to put her through.
Shannon O’Hara came out of her shell a bit to perform “Burning House” with country singer Cam. The judges thought it was a successful duet and that Shannon made the lyrics believable. Despite the positive feedback, they didn’t send her through.
Alyssa Raghu sang “Yellow” by Coldplay with Banners. While she gave a confident performance, it didn’t seem to be the best song choice for her and did little to show off her range. The judges didn’t see her “shine” on it.
Much like Marcio, Effie Passero also had a last minute duet cancellation – from Jessie J. Cam stepped in and taught Effie her song “Diane,” which Effie learned in about 15 minutes. Though Effie was nervous about singing country music, she belted the tune just fine, but fell short of making the cut.
This Sunday night on ABC at 8 p.m. ET, the remaining 14 contestants will compete for a nationwide vote.
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