American Idol handed the aux cord over to the judges on Monday, letting them decide which songs the Top 10 would sing live for viewers’ votes — and they made some choices.
Colin Stough, Haven Madison, Iam Tongi, Marybeth Byrd, Megan Danielle, Oliver Steele, Tyson Venegas, Warren Peay, Wé Ani and Zachariah Smith returned to the Idol stage less than 24 hours after bidding farewell to Lucy Love and Nutsa.
And they all had one question on their minds: Which of them would go home next? That answer played out in Idol‘s usual dramatic fashion over the course of the two-hour broadcast, which also included a performance by Season 19 winner Chayce Beckham.
In addition to the competition at hand, Ryan Seacrest also kept track of how many judges had their songs chosen by one of the contestants. And unlike on Whose Line Is It Anyway, these points mattered big-time. Monday’s winner, Katy Perry, got to save one of this week’s bottom three singers — and we know you’re going to have thoughts about who she picked.
Read on for a complete breakdown of Monday’s results — the eight singers declared safe, the two whose Idol journeys reached an abrupt end, and the lucky recipient of Perry’s save. When you’re finished, drop a comment with your thoughts on Monday’s results overall.
SAFE: Zachariah Smith
Smith set the bar high with a selection from Lionel, Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” which he slayed, filleted and sautéed without breaking a sweat. (And without his usual fancy footwork!) Still, the energy was there, and I feel like Smith singing about “standing tall” and shooting his fist in the air perfectly captured his role in this competition. He’s a force to be reckoned with.
SAFE: Haven Madison
A perfect song choice, America! Not only did Paramore’s “The Only Exception” fit Madison’s vibe like a puzzle piece, but her vocals were absolute dreamlike. The softer moments captured the song’s innocence and vulnerability, while the bigger moments reminded us that Madison’s got a powerful set of pipes on her.
SAFE: Wé Ani
I won’t lie, I really though Ani was going to pick Macy Gray’s “I Try.” (Like Perry, I guess my mind also went to the most obvious song.) That said, I couldn’t possibly hate on her poised, polished performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Ani’s powerhouse voice blew the roof off that studio, leaving the judges wondering where to even start, though I did appreciate hearing Luke Bryan screaming about beauty and elegance.
SAFE: Warren Peay
Remember what I said earlier about the importance of taking risks? I’m not sure Peay got that memo, as his performance of Zac Brown Band’s “Colder Weather” was very good… but also extremely predictable. It picked up midway through, but that first half was practically putting me to sleep. We still have quite a few country singers left in this competition, and he’s going to need to step up his game if he really wants to stand out.
SAFE: Iam Tongi
I’m actually glad that Idol didn’t save Tongi for last this time around, because I wouldn’t have wanted to wait another second to enjoy his gorgeous take on Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” This guy’s voice is pure magic, so pairing it with an equally magical song only enhanced the unforgettable experience. It just felt right, if a little unfair to the other contestants. (Sorry not sorry!)
SAFE: Colin Stough
The season’s best head of hair finished the night with a delightful 2001 throwback, Staind’s “It’s Been Awhile.” And we have to tip our own cowboy hat to Perry for the excellent choice, which earned her a well-deserved win.
SAFE: Megan Danielle
Even without the song’s connection to her grandfather’s funeral, Danielle’s performance of Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on the Mountain” would have been devastating. Bryan deserved that hug for pairing her with that absolutely perfect song.
BOTTOM 3, ELIMINATED: Marybeth Byrd
True to her name, Byrd has been gradually spreading her wings all season, and she went full albatross this week. I know very little of Morgan Wallen (blah), but Byrd sang the heck out of “Wasted on You,” ripping every note and lyric to shreds like an animal. But, you know, not a bird.
BOTTOM 3, ELIMINATED: Tyson Venegas
With all respect to Lewis Capaldi, can we please retire “Someone You Loved” from all future singing competition shows? Don’t get me wrong, Venegas sounded fantastic on it — I’m just so incredibly tired of hearing this song. Let’s mix it up, people!
BOTTOM 3, SAVED BY KATY: Oliver Steele
Steele believed he was taking a risk performing Radiohead’s “High and Dry” this week, but at this point in the competition, shouldn’t everyone be taking big swings? Anyway, I’m not sure what he was so worried about. I very much enjoyed seeing Steele’s softer (dare I say less steely?) side with this stripped-down, emotional performance.
America didn’t feel the same way, but Perry did, using her Judges’ Song Contest win to keep him in the competition.
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