Remember when American Idol finalized its Top 26 for the season but only actually announced 25 of the singers? Well, the plot thickened even further on Monday.
“Recently, one of the Top 26 decided to bow out of the competition, so we turned to the judges’ first alternate and gave her the life-changing news,” Ryan Seacrest announced during the broadcast, reveling that 16-year-old Paige Anne — who was eliminated during Final Judgment — would be getting a second chance. (They weren’t specific about which contestant dropped out… UPDATE: Mystery solved!)
“I said goodbye to Idol and everything, then I got invited back — everything happens for a reason,” Anne told this week’s guest mentor Noah Cyrus, who coached Anne through a strong take on her sister’s hit “Wrecking Ball.”
And just when the judges thought her performance was over, getting on their feet for a standing ovation, Anne surprised them with a key change. It wasn’t perfect — there were definitely nerves at play — but it was still a heck of a way to reenter the game.
“I just don’t like being wrong,” Katy admitted, saying they never should have voted Anne out in the first place. Whether America will agree is another story. (Voting is now open!)
Read on for a breakdown of the other 12 performances from Night 2 in Hawaii…
* Elijah McCormick kicked things off with Chris Janson’s “Good Vibes,” which is exactly what the audience was feeling as he bowled his way through the country hit.
* Luke Bryan had chills during MaryBeth Byrd’s take on Lainey Wilson’s “Heart Like a Truck,” which let her pure country soul shine through, even if some it “got lost at the end.”
* Wé Ani surprised the judges once again (not that they should have been surprised), crushing Miley Cyrus and Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Midnight.”
* It was Perry’s turn for goosebumps this time around, watching Michael Williams strut around the stage, romancing the audience with his pleasing falsetto on Jake Scott’s “Tuesdays,” which he dedicated to his parents.
* Self-proclaimed “sad boy singer” Dawson Wayne shifted gears with Billie Eilish’s “Copycat,” revealing his inner angry boy singer to the world. The judges enjoyed what they saw for the most part, acknowledging the risk.
* “Glitter in the Air” was a perfect song choice for Hannah Nicolaisen, who dedicated Pink’s romantic ballad to her supportive fiancé. She did admit to being hoarse, which the judges picked up on, so we’ll see how that affects America’s votes.
* Cyrus was worried about Megan Danielle’s nerves getting the better of her, but we didn’t detect any of that during her strong take on Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” which was another major departure for her.
* Paramore’s “Ain’t It Fun” was given a fully original spin by Malik Heard, who made the song his own with soulful riffs and powerful belting.
* Mariah Carey’s “Emotions”? Yes. Please. Olivia Soli had nothing to worry about as she took the stage, with both the judges and the audience hanging on her every word.
* After connecting with Colin Stough over their love of horses (and how much he reminds her of her dad!), Cyrus gave him the confidence he needed to take on The Steeldrivers’ “Midnight Train to Memphis.”
* Any Bruno Mars song feels like it would be a good fit for Tyson Venegas, so no one was surprised that he picked “It Will Rain.” There were definitely a few notes missing, and he did a little too much crowd work, but it was still pretty solid.
* Nutsa ended the night on a high note — several, actually — crushing Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ “Paris.” Ooh la la, indeed! I wouldn’t have changed a thing, especially that backbend she ended on.
Only 10 of these singers will be voted into Idol‘s Top 20, revealed next weekend, so it’s time to make some tough choices. Who deserves to go through? Vote in our poll below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts.
We Ani is a freaken star! She’s been killing it and has only gotten better each time. That’s my winner!
Also really enjoyed Paige (Welcome back!), Nutsa, Tyson, Michael and Marybeth
I loved your typo in the poll where Nutsa was referred to as “Nutso”..appropriate ? Probably, but let’s not even PRETEND that ANYONE can take their eyes off her when she’s on stage.The one inevitable duet oh her and the 20 year old burger flipper is going to be a manic performance for the ages
Speak for yourself, Steve…she’s a one trick pony & I can most definitely take my eyes off her.
There are five alums from “The Voice” in the Top 26 this season.
They are We, Marybeth, Malik, Megan, and Michael.
Three of them made the finals.
Someone might consider that depriving other contestants of their spots.
Really? I was just thinking it didn’t seem fair to have We & Nutsa in competition with the others (apparently, Nutsa is already a pro performer in Dubai). But now you’re adding 4 others? Wow. Nope. Don’t like it.
It doesn’t s Nuteem fair that singers who have professional experience, including the coaching they get on other singing competitions, are going up against contestants who have only made videos or sung in small-time local venues. It might explain why this year’s Idol class is so strong…but I hope the winner isn’t someone who’s already had their skills sharpened by national TV exposure or going on every night in a Dubai showroom. It’s hard to believe Nutsa didn’t pick her duet partner just for the contrast (professional vs. beginning performer). And it wouldn’t hurt her to try for sincererity as well as showmanship.
There has been two main rules since the beginning; under a certain age and do not have a current recording contract. The talk about professionals has been a topic forever. Jennifer Hudson was performing on Disney cruises, Adam Lambert toured with Wicked, some have already competed on Star Search and some already had expired recording deals. If your voting criteria is fresh off the farm that’s your prerogative, but there has never been a amateurs only rule.
So you’re saying that just because they did not win on another similar TV show, they should be banned from competing in this one???
This is a TV show. A popularity contest once it reaches the final rounds. No need to get upset over details that the producers control.
Yes, the producers control “Idol.”
Many semifinalists over the years were robbed because he/she posed a threat to the Chosen One(s).
I had to Google We on the Voice and she came in third to Billy Gilman (someone who already had a career before going on the Voice) and Sundance Head, someone who had competed on Idol and released an album with whatever record company they were affiliated with.
I used to think people on competition shows who’d already competed on another one shouldn’t have the chance to do it again. But she was on a season that happened almost seven years ago and has faded into relative obscurity, I don’t see why it matters.
1st of all I don’t think the judges made a mistake with Paige. I think she’s horrible. When Hannah was singing I said to myself I think she’s sick, which she admitted afterwards. I thought her hoarse voice was even better than Paige. My sister loves Paige’s voice so I guess it’s what a person likes. But I don’t know why it was important to replace the one who dropped out. They were originally going to have just 24 so why replace Beckett? Maybe they needed to have an ever number.
I couldn’t be more proud of Paige Anne! Way to let everyone know she belongs there! Who did she replace, & is it sad that I don’t know who’s missing? ha.
My guess as to who is in danger: Hannah, Dawson, Michael, Tyson or Elijah? Can’t believe I’m saying Tyson or Elijah, but…I didn’t care for Elijah’s song choice, & in spite of his enormous talent, Tyson keep messing up & underperforming. Bless his heart, I actually liked Dawson’s performance, but the judges obviously didn’t, & he has zero personality. So…
Also, no matter how good Olivia is, she’s soooo…”diva-like”, & I don’t see her becoming relatable. I think her personality is gonna kick her out before she should go.
She replaced a guy that was edited out of everything, Beckett Rex. He’s the son of actor Malcolm McDowell, and chose to leave the show for reasons unknown.
Oh, OK. Thanks! Well, no wonder I had no idea, since he was edited out of everything. Ha.
I love the song Paris, but Nutsa’s performance was a little too much for me. Still want Kaeyra to win at the moment. She’s awesome!
I thought the second group of 13 was noticeably weaker than the first. I am sorry to lose any of last night’s singers (apart from Haven) while there are few (apart from We) from tonight that I would be sorry to see go.
I am totally with you. There were few standouts for me the 2nd night and there were several the first. Not understanding how they chose the division.
It seemed like a lot of it boiled down to song choices and they were not very good ones.
I also totally agree, Sunday’s group was so good, but Monday’s night was like a regular starting out 24, a few good ones but many just Ok or not so good. They should have done a better job in dividing the talent. Nutsa is very talented but she has to pull back the I am entertaining horny old men. I think We did great, I can’t believe I didn’t realize the three I like were from the Voice. I knew they looked familiar, but didn’t make the connection. Megan is talented but I don’t think she was very good last night.
I actually thought Monday’s performers were way better than Sunday’s. I only liked threefrom Sunday and seven from Monday, more than double.
Nutsa you are the best ❤️✌️
My top 3 from the night.
I know some don’t like Utso can sing and dance. Her main thing as Katy said was just to tone it down.
I’m sorry to see Dawson at the bottom of the survey. I appreciated his song choice and taking a risk, and I thought he sung very well. Many others were so much worse. I hope he gets through.
If someone can’t beat the rejects from The Voice then I don’t think much about their chances out in the real world. This isn’t jr high.
Careful Katy your fangs are showing. Nutsa was awesome. Least you could have done was clap a little and not pick your fingernails during the other judges’ comments