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‘American Idol’ recap: The contestants stun with at-home performances


ABCYou know what they say: The show must go on — and that’s exactly what American Idol embodied on Sunday night’s episode and they made history doing so. 

For the first time ever in the history of the series, the Top 20 performed remotely for the chance to earn a spot in the Top 10. Judges Katy PerryLionel Richie, and Luke Bryan, appeared remotely from their respective homes, as well as, host Ryan Seacrest and mentor Bobby Bones. It should be noted that Katy had an interesting, yet hilarious, choice of attire for the night which involved her dressing up as a bottle hand sanitizer conveniently labeled, “American Idol music sanitizer” in the spirit of everyone staying healthy and safe.

Kimmy Gabriela – “Leave Me Lonely” Ariana Grande ft. Macy Gray: Performing from her florally draped backyard with she did what she always does and hit all of the impressive notes. 

Jovin Webb – “With A Little Help From My Friends” Joe Crocker: Coming from the makeshift stage in the garage of his Mississippi home, he performed this timely song as the band and back-up singers assisted him remotely. 

Franklin Boone – “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” Tears For Fears: With his partner, baby girl, and other friends and family holding their supportive “We Love Frank” posters in the background, He had Lionel going crazy over the performance and even gave Luke chill bumps.

Olivia Ximines – “Bad Guy” Billie Eilish: Even though she was in her living room, Olivia brought the sass which had Lionel branding her as a superstar. 

Louis Knight – “If The World Was Ending” JP Saxe ft Julia Michaels: He delivered a captivating rendition of this record from behind his piano as he looked deep into the cameras and to America.  

Makayla Phillips – “Greedy” Ariana Grande: In typical Makayla fashion, she effortlessly hit all her notes. Although she gave an enjoyable performance, Katy challenged the Southern Californian girl to make better choices when it comes to song selection.

Aliana Jester – “Run To You” Whitney Houston: Katy, Luke, and Lionel were wowed by her cover of the late legend’s song and they couldn’t help but praise her for taking on such a risk and doing so well. 

Lauren Spencer-Smith – “Mamma Knows Best” Jessie J: With a breathtaking view of the mountains behind her she Jessie J “Mamma Knows Best” brought the attitude and showed just how much of a powerhouse she can be. 

Cyniah Elise – “Warrior” Demi Lovato: Cyniah played into the camera views as she sang this emotional ballad which earned her a standing ovation from Lionel, and a “stanky face” from Luke, which means the performance was oh, so good. 

Francisco Martin – “Teenage Dream” Katy Perry: Francisco slowed down the tempo and made this song his own as he strummed his guitar and sang. It was a bold decision to choose one of the judge’s hit songs but, luckily for him, everyone loved it — so much so that Luke admitted to being jealous of him. 

Arthur Gunn – “Lovin’ Machine” Wynonie Harris: Without his guitar holding him back, he not only did a little two-step on his back porch, he got the judges up and dancing as well. 

Jonny West –  “What A Wonderful World” Louis Armstrong: Delivered a beautiful and moving performance, earning a place in Katy’s Top 2 of her favorite performances for the night.

Here are the rest of the contestants and their performances:

Faith Becnel – “River” Bishop Briggs

Nick Merico “Hey There Delilah” Plain White T’s 

Sophia James (Wackerman) – “Burning” Maggie Rodgers

Dewayne Corcker Jr. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” James Brown

Dillon James – “Let It Be Me” Ray LaMontagne

Julia Gargano – “Human” Christina Perri

Grace Leer – “Cry” Faith Hill

Just Sam – “I Believe” Fantasia

Next week, with the help of mentor Bobby Bones, the contestants will choose a song that reminds them of home. 

Voting for the Top Ten is open until Monday, April 27 at 9 a.m. ET. 

American Idol returns Sunday, May 3 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

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