American Idol Recap: Who's Going to Hawaii for the 'Final Judgment'?

American Idol Recap

Hollywood Week — or “Hell Week,” according to that little devil Ryan Seacrest — continued on Monday’s American Idol, which ended with one contestant threatening (nay, promising!) to pee on the floor. And after sitting through this episode, I could relate.

These poor children were put through the wringer, forced to sing and dance and smile on mere minutes of sleep. They were treated like… like… well, like children in Hollywood, to be honest.

But unlike the episode, which forced the contestants to wait until the last possible moment to learn their fates, we’re going straight to the results:


* Walker Burroughs should really start listening to his mom, who never once doubted that her son deserves a spot in this competition. He breezed through to Hawaii with a crystal clear performance of Elton John’s “Your Song” that had the judges freaking out.

* There was almost a Katy Perry-like tone in Kai the Singer‘s voice as she tackled Freya Ridings’ “Lost Without You,” showing off lots of fun vocal tricks I wasn’t expecting. With a little more confidence, she could be a real contender in this.

* I’d like to congratulate Riley Thompson on what had to have been the most adorable “Ring of Fire” cover I’ve ever heard.

* Despite Katy calling it a “really bad song,” I actually enjoyed “1974,” the original ditty Eddie Island performed in the Solo Round. Sometimes different is good, and I like that he dedicated it to love. (Don’t crush his hippie spirit, Katy!)

* Then came an original song we could all enjoy: Alejandro Aranda damn near broke my heart with his performance of “10 Years,” a song he wrote about — wait for it — someone he cares about. Impressive vocals aside, I could sit (and watch) him play guitar all day.

* Luke Bryan put it best when he said that Margie Mays “still doesn’t know how good she is.” Her performance of “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman was stunning.

* I have to admit, Tyler Mitchell has really grown on me. I didn’t quite get it at first, but something — maybe his boosted confidence — really spoke to me about his performance of Chris Stapleton’s “Broken Halos.” He’s just pure denim country. And you know the judges love him, because they didn’t even care that he stopped singing the lyrics and just started making handsome noises.

* Drake McCain the kind of voice that just breaks your heart. It’s so pure and effortless and genuine. The fact that he dedicated his performance of Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind” to his mom (who was in the audience) only amped up the emotions. He kept it simple, but he really didn’t need anything fancy to prop himself up.

* It’s ironic that Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon no longer works for his preacher dad, because I feel like he took us all to church this week. His performance of Roberta Flack’s “First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” was next-level incredible, from the quiet moments to the dynamic climax. It was truly incredible, and the fact that his boyfriend was there to watch it happen made it even more special. (That said, do they have to play that same Sufjan Stevens song from Call Me By Your Name every single time they show Jeremiah?)

* Myra Tran singing “I Put a Spell on You” was really just a formality. Haven’t we been under her spell since Day 1?

* Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty” was an inspired choice on Shayy’s behalf, given how well it seems to echo her own recent struggles, and she absolutely crushed it.

* Once again, I felt that Nick Townsend performed a Shawn Mendes jam (this time “In My Blood”) just as good — if not better — than Mendes would have performed it, himself. He really connected to the lyrics, and it came though in his performance 100 percent.

* When Alyssa Raghu sang Pink’s “What About Us,” I felt like she was singing it directly to the judges. She is determined to get back into his competition, and I applaud her tenacity.

* Poor Nate Walker. He barely made it through the Group Rounds, and by the time his Solo performance came around, he had no voice to speak — or sing — of. I have to agree with Katy that his performance was “all over the place,” even if it wasn’t his fault.

* Like the lyrics go, I didn’t want to fall in love with yet another take on Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Games,” but along came Johanna Jones — and I just couldn’t help myself. (Her boyfriend also couldn’t help himself, surprising her on stage with a proposal, which she accepted.)

* Other memorable singers still in the competition include: Laci Kaye Booth, UcheBumbly, Wade Cota and Dimitrius Graham.


* Though Juan Pablo took Katy’s advice and toned down the “queso” factor, his shaky performance of Lady Gaga’s “A Million Reasons” wasn’t enough to keep him in the competition.

* A last-minute song choice proved disastrous for Austin Michael Robinson, whose unrehearsed performance of Chris Stapleton’s “Parachute” was riddled with forgotten lyrics. Ironically, he… could have used a parachute.

* Other memorable singers not proceeding to Hawaii include Ruthie Craft, Gaba and Katie Belle.

We’ll be updating this recap with additional names and performance videos as they come through. In the meantime, did your favorites make it through? Which eliminations surprised you? Drop a comment with all of your thoughts below.

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