‘American Idol’ Reveals the Top 24 During ‘Showstoppers Round’ (RECAP)

American Idol
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ABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol

Hollywood Week: Showstoppers

Season 20 • Episode 8

The 59 remaining contestants left it all on the American Idol stage during the “Showstoppers Round.” At stake was a slot in the coveted Top 24. This was the first time these hopefuls got to sing in front of a live audience.  

Judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie had a watchful eye and ear as they decided who really has the potential of making it all the way. The trio had their work cut out for them. It’s why they decided to pull a new move out of the playbook by having an on-the-spot sing-off on two occasions. 

Ultimately, the two dozen selected get to sing for America’s vote at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii  Who survived the “Final Judgement?” Find out below 

Leah Marlene

Leah didn’t feel like it was her best performance on “She’s A Self Made Man” by Larkin Poe but showed enough. Music runs in her bones thanks to dad Derry, who was in a 1980s rock band Honeymoon Suite. Katy called her the guitar queen but was hoping for a more vocal queen. Despite that, she was the first revealed in the Top 24.

Jay Copeland

The Salisbury, Maryland musician pulled out those vocal runs on Christina Perri’s “Jar of Hearts.” Katy said he is almost a perfect singer, but that doesn’t always win over feeling. He looked like a star and is part of the two dozen sent through. They want to see something wild out of him in the future. 


The 18-year-old student brought the house down with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” Some notes brought kill bumps to Luke. Even before sitting down, Katy gave her the good news that she was moving on. 

Ryleigh Madison & Emyrson Flora

The 16-year-olds were brought into the Malibu Outpost together to face the judges.  Emyrson wanted to show versatility on “Honey” by Kehlani. Ryleigh went with “Blue” by Leann Rimes. Katy felt it was too fast of an arrangement. Lionel revealed Emyrson would stay in the game. 

Katyrah Love

The Baltimore native got a confidence boost when she came on stage after Katy yelled her name.  Katyrah was concerned about hitting the high note on “Sweet Thing” by Rufus and Chaka Khan. Luke applauded Katyrah’s personality, but she has not sung flawlessly. Then Katy tells her to smooth out the edges. But she sings like Whitney Houston.  And Whitney is the GOAT. Not a bad person to be compared to this round. 

Fritz Hager

He took a risk by performing an original called “Inconsequential Love” in honor of his sister.  Katy stood in appreciation. An emotional Fritz felt proud to do the song. Katy said they know he wants this, and he’ll take that drive into the Top 24. 

Jacob Moran & Alegra Miles

The singing nurse went with “Is That Alright?” by Lady Gaga. Luke said there are times when going away and coming back works. In this case, it did for Jacob. Joining him is Alegra Miles. 

Cameron Whitcomb, Ava Maybee & Yoli Mayor

The Canadian back flipper caught the eye of Ava, and now they are besties. Ava sang “Falling” by Harry Styles. Cameron went with Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe. Katy revealed the pipeliner was in the Top 24.

Yoli was paired in the decision room with Ava. They reflected on her performance of “Human” by rum. gold. For the first time, they decided to do a sing-off on the spot. Ava survived.  Douglas Mills Jr., Sam Moss, and Betty Maxwell got the same bad news as Yoli.

Sir Blayke, Ellie Rowe & Mike Parker

He said performing “Honesty” by Pink Sweat$ in the round was an awakening experience for him. Katy said he doesn’t see the confidence there 100 percent, but they are putting him into the Top 24 to find it the next time he takes the stage. Joining him in the coveted group are Nashville’s Elli Rowe and Virginia’s Mike Parker. 

Tristen Gressett

The 17-year-old showman entertained the crowd on “Come Together” by The Beatles Katy’s immediate response was a maybe. Lionel said he is evolving into the artist he wants to be rather than a gimmick. And that’s why he is going into the Top 24. Katy said, “Welcome to the freak show.” 

Christian Guardino, Dontrell Briggs & Noah Thompson

Christian thought he was taking a risk on Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon. The same could be said for his song choice of “Hello,” sung in front of the man himself. The chance paid off for Christian, but it was goodbye for Dontrell. Noah stepped outside his comfort zone with “Stay” by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko. Luke was happy to tell him he made it through another round. 

Cadence Baker

The 18-year-old performed “The Story” by Brandi Carlile before an audience including her mom. Katy said she had fear written all over her face. With that in mind, Luke told Cadence it will be a bit more before she played with dad again as she takes another spot.   

Kelsie Dolan

Kelsie Dolin continued to break out of her shell on “Before You Go” by Lewis Capaldi. The judges appreciated her growth in confidence. Lionel said she already won in that department but won’t be making it through. 


The 23-year-old went with Ashley McBryde by “Girl Goin’ Nowhere, which gave Katy those chill bumps. Judges gave a standing ovation. Luke thought she has all the magic. “If she plays her cards right, she can win it.” 

Sage & Danielle Finn

Danielle felt she performed the way she wanted to perform on “Evergreen” by Yebba. Katy wasn’t feeling it. A contrast to Sage, who slayed on “I Hate This” by Tenille Arts. Katy said she fought for Danielle, but she can’t do it anymore. They both are sent through. 

Jordan Chase & Kenedi Anderson

The 21-year-old took on “Cold” by Chris Stapleton. Linoel felt he was losing concentration in parts and did not make the Top 24. His “Duets” partner Kenedi hoped for a different outcome for her performance of “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars. Lionel found it wasn’t her finest. Despite that, the platinum ticket holder goes to Top 24. 


The 18-year-old fought her way back on Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” Katy saw the eye of the tiger. She was added to the two-dozen list. Redemption. 

Lady K

The 25-year-shined with a raw and real performance of Etta James’  “I’d Rather Go Blind.” Lionel said they’ve had to make some major cuts, but she isn’t one of them here. This is a break she can use to pull out of the trials and tribulations of life in Alabama. 

Dakota Hayden & Dan Marshall

The final spot was up for grabs between two country crooners. Dan brought the party to “Hard Workin’ Man” by Brooks & Dunn. Dakota went a little more current on “Pretty Heart” by Parker McCollum. Luke declared a sing-off. When the dust settled, the judge decided upon experience over youth with Dan. 

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