Sunday’s episode of American Idol: This Is Me picked up right where it left off with a look back at some of the season’s most memorable moments so far and a deeper look into the lives of the Top 20.
First up, Francisco Martin, a 19-year-old college student who judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan can see going very far in the competition if he could just get over one thing — his nerves. In an unseen clip of his initial audition, he sang Kings of Leon‘s “Use Somebody” showing fans what made the judges fall in love with him in the first place.
For Kimmy Gabriela, nerves aren’t an issue nor are hitting her notes, largely thanks to her father Gabino Amparo, who is a Mexican singer-songwriter. Fans got to learn more about the man who inspired her to follow the same path learning that he was the real deal doing music videos and going on tour.
Also making the list of memorable moments was a hilarious montage of Luke Bryan fans who were equally as obsessed with his bright white teeth as they were his hit song “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)”. Speaking of fans, they couldn’t leave out Lionel Richie’s biggest fan who just so happened to be Dewayne Cocker Jr.‘s great grandmother who, by the way, strutted her stuff and danced with the legend in some six-inch heels and a cheetah print dress.
Getting back to the Top 20 American Idol hopefuls, viewers got a glimpse into the pre-teen days of Faith Becnel, one of Katy’s favs, performing along with a never before seen clip of her singing Khalid‘s “Location” during the Hollywood genre challenge.
Joining the list of contestants who started singing early are spiritual cowboy Dillon James and Cyniah Elise, both who shared adorable home videos of themselves holding a tune during their younger years.
Viewers were also treated to unseen performances from Aliana Jester and Louis Knight, meanwhile, Jovin Webb and Cyniah Elise got candid about the role their mothers have played in their lives so far.
Last but not least, in true American Idol fashion, it was time to find out who viewers voted into the last slot of the Top 20 — Grace Leer or Lauren Mascitti. Unlike the other top contestants, these two Nashville country singers were left in limbo for weeks as they awaited the results. Joined by Ryan Seacrest, the two appeared remotely from their respective homes to find out that… drum roll, please… Grace would advance to the next stage of the competition.
The official Top 20 now consists of Grace Leer, Dylan James, Franklin Boone, Julia Gargano, Aliana Jester, Sophia James (Wackerman), Kimmy Gabriela, MaKayla Phillips, Lauren Spencer-Smith, Cyniah Elise, Olivia Ximines, Arthur Gunn, Grace Leer, Lauren Mascitti, Nick Merico, Dewayne Crocker Jr., Louis Knight, Francisco Martin, Jovin Webb, Faith Becnel, Just Sam, and Jonny West.
As COVID-19 still leaves the world uncertain, American Idol will continue to truck along with the competition. The show will start airing remotely, with judges, Katy, Lionel, host Ryan, and mentor Bobby Bones, all appearing from their homes with the top 20 contestants performing remotely as well.
American Idol returns Sunday, April 26 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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