‘American Idol’ Top 24 Kick Off Performances in Hawaii for America’s Vote (RECAP)
Top 24, Part 1
Season 20 • Episode 9
American Idol says aloha to the Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii as the Top 24 take the stage surrounded by paradise. Judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, and Lionel Richie gave the normal feedback. Though now it’s ultimately up to America to decide who makes it through.
The two nights kicked off Sunday with Season 10 alum Jimmie Allen serving as mentor. The country star and Grammy-nominated artist performed “Down Home” in honor of his late father. Who out of the first 12 hopefuls impressed? Who made Jimmie tear up? Let’s hula on to how the night unfolded.
The platinum ticket holder performed “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. Jimmie appreciated what he could do with his voice. He pushed being authentic with his vocals. Jay showcased his showmanship and football sidestep dance moves, which brought a smile to Lionel. Lionel appreciated the energy. Katy wondered who he could be as an artist, but it had a lot of sauce. Luke told him to stick with his best tools.
The Tennesseean played “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac, singing it to her younger self. Jimmie said he was moved by the acoustic performance and smoothness of her voice. He hoped she kept the performance to just her and the guitar rather than with a full-on band. She took in the advice. Katy was taken to another place but could see the nerves. Luke felt like he witnessed a moment. Lionel thought she did an amazing job.
The 17-year-old rocked out “With a Little Help from My Friends” by the Beatles and Joe Cocker. Jimmie’s advice was to build to the higher notes. The mentor got emotional watching Tristen and his mom interact. He encouraged him to draw from that connection. The judges gave him a standing ovation. Luke said he goes out and leaves it on the stage every time. Lionel felt his navigation of the stage is ridiculous. Katy felt when the dust settles, that he is a rock star right now. If a little freaky deaky.
Scarlet chose “Levitating” by Dua Lipa. Jimmie wasn’t impressed at first. Then she picked up with the vocals. They talked about Scarlet’s love for her grandma. Jimmie wanted her to tap into that inner confidence. Lionel noticed she felt more in control when in front of an audience. Katy said she picked a great song and showed good artistry. Luke overall thought it was a great performance.
The 21-year-old sang “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, which surprised Jimmie because of how big the artist and song is it. He was caught off guard in a good way how she made the song her own. Katy thought it was a very hypnotic performance and sees Top 5. Luke heard so many flavors in her voice and complimented her artistic talent. Lionel’s advice was to keep her identity.
The 17-year-old took on Elton John’s love song “Your Song.” Danielle took Katy’s tough love from the “Showstoppers Round” to heart. Jimmie felt she shouldn’t change a thing from the rehearsal. Katy thought the rendition was jazzy and cool with her spin on it. Luke liked Danielle’s tone but wanted her to own the moment a little more. Lionel told her to relax into the performance and enjoy the ride.
Mike opened up to Jimmie about finding his identity and said how much he inspired him. It’s why Mike chose Allen’s “Best Shot.” Jimmie teared up watching the performance having his song sung. Luke is seeing all the pieces coming together. Lionel thought he did a great job. Katy felt like this experience helped him arrive.
The youngest contestant picked “Angels Like You” by Miley Cyrus. Jimmie said if the 16-year-old lets herself go, that’s where the magic happens. He felt she can set the bar vocally. It was one of Luke’s favorite performances that he has seen. Lionel said she has a future in this business. Katy said her voice is vibrating on a different level and has the potential of being the next American Idol.
The jock performed “Heaven” by Bryan Adams with and without the guitar for Jimmie. Dan said he was playing it for his girlfriend in the audience. Jimmie felt he was invested when he lost the guitar. Lionel saw him slowly relax and told him to forget the guitar. Katy could feel the stiffness of nerves but felt if he had the guitar he would have loosened up a bit. Luke thought he settled in, but it wasn’t his best performance.
The nurse with the big voice reflected on his time with Jimmie. He chose “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes because he felt it was a representation of what he has done in between Idol journeys and not giving up. Jimmie thinks he has a real shot at winning the competition. Lionel said it was one of Jacob’s greatest performances. Katy loves his voice. However, she wants to see him sing more with his heart. Luke appreciated his high-level singing.
The platinum ticket girl went back to the Rascal Flatts well with “Banjo.” This time she doesn’t have her safety blanket, the guitar. Jimmie wanted her to deliver the full picture of an entertainer. Katy said she knows how to work a crowd. Luke loved the song choice and the fact she can get away from the guitar and still entertain. Lionel told her she mastered the art of leading a crowd.
Closing the episode is this Canadian vocal powerhouse. She demonstrated those big notes on Sia’s “Elastic Heart.” A song choice based on past tribulations like her parents splitting it up and the message you can make it through the hard times. Jimmie felt every word of the song and that she could win the competition. Luke felt she delivered all the emotions and enjoy the quality of her voice. Lionel said her voice is angelic and mesmorizing. Katy said she sounded like a star and now looks like one too.
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