There is something comforting Ryan seacrest welcome us at American Idol from a real scene and not via Zoom. The season’s Top 24 performed in front of an in-person, but socially distant, super-fan crowd to kick off the All-Star Duets and Solos round.
And of course the judges Katy Perry, Lionel richie, and Luke bryan were there to lend their criticism. However, it is not up to them to reduce the field from two dozen to 16. In keeping with viewers’ votes, the results of the two evenings of second-half performances aired on Monday April 5 will be revealed on the April 11 show.
The first 12 don’t make it easy. First of all, they go it alone before being joined by a famous mentor for their second performances. Let’s take a look at which Idol hopes bring it for the first night.
Alanis Sophia, 19, kicks off the evening with a performance by Alive de Sia. She is then joined by Jimmie Allen, who was part of Season 10 of Idol 2011, for Shallow. Katy enjoys the solo performance and feels in control, but is a bit overwhelmed playing with Jimmie. Luke and Lionel encourage her to take more ownership of the scene and not let the nerves get the better of her.
No need to apologize
Katy Perry feels Cassandra Colemans’ performance of Find Me by Sigma with Birdy. For her second act, the 24-year-old is teaming up with monster producer and successful writer Ryan Tedder. Cassandra is revisiting her audition song, which happens to be Apologize by Tedders band OneRepublic. Lionel calls this a great performance. Katy finds listening to her voice a spiritual experience. She kind of comes close to the fact that as a new mom she stopped shaving her legs. Katy Perry doesn’t give an F, and we love her for it.
Must be something in the water
Alyssa Wray kills with Carrie Underwood’s Something in the Water to throw a double. She then joins Idol finalist Katharine McPhee. The two deliver Im Your Baby Tonight by Whitney Houston. Lionel feels that the two complement each other. Katy gives her props as the night’s first singer to hold her alongside their star. Luke sees the star twinkle.
The secret sauce
Wyatt Pike walks out the door with a Canadas rubber band Tate McRae, who receives a standing ovation from Luke and Katy. Singer-songwriter Ben Rector then joined Wyatt, who put down the guitar for his song Brand New. Wyatt reveals that he performed one of Bens’ songs when he graduated from high school. The judges rise to appreciate their efforts. Katy senses his authenticity and says he has become her celebrity. Luke looks on with emotion. Lionel congratulates his presence on stage.
Someone to count on
Judges can see Alanas’ strong stage presence and demeanor take Dua Lipa’s Blow Your Mind (Mwah). She sits under the R&B royalty learning tree in Brian McKnight, with whom she sings Back at One. McKnight says this is the first time hell has sung the hit duet. No pressure. Luke sees great energy in the solo and says Alana really makes sense with McKnight. Lionel wants more attitude though, saying it’s the secret to his success. Katy feels that she embodies entertainment and encourages her to take risks in her notes.
Anilee List accompanies My Future by Billie Eilish for her first song. Joss Stone brings some funk with Anilee for Rufus & Chaka Khan’s Tell Me Something Good. Joss remembers singing the last song with John Legend and entering the wrong key. The judges end up loving their collaboration. Lionel wants Anilee to use Joss as an example of relaxation and focus. Katy feels like she was taken to church. Luke says she’s so close to next level greatness.
DeShawn Goncalves chooses to start with an out of the ordinary interpretation of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. Ryan Tedder returns to duet with DeShawn for OneRepublic I Lived, channeling their life experiences with each other. Katy thinks he has a unique voice in the top 3 of the competition, but says he’s too stiff. Luke agrees. Lionel wants him to enjoy the scene.
Pilot Graham DeFranco poses his soft voice for John Splithoffs Raye. Mentor Ben Rector got in touch with Graham years ago for a little show in a high school cafeteria. Small world. The two perform Bens’s beautiful track Love Like This together. Luke finds Graham’s voice very listenable. Lionel adds that he has an excellent voice for telling stories. Katy thinks her first song was based on vibrations, but the second is where he draws her.
The eye of the tiger
Andrea Valles, rocking a dazzled eye patch, brings a hot Latin twist to the competition with Billie Eilish and Rosala Lo Vas A Olvidar. She tells McKnight that the eye patch was less trendy and more due to surgery on a detached retinal eye. It was not difficult to see the talent of Andreas in their duet for George Michaels Careless Whisper. Lionel is amazed by their voices. Katy thinks she’s done a good job and finds her eye patch on trend.
Cecil Ray stays true to his country roots for his cover of Tracy Lawrences Paint Me in Birmingham. He immediately feels connected with his mentor and fellow daddy Jimmie Allen. Cecil stars as Brad Paisley in this rendition of Jimmies Freedom Was A Highway. Katy thinks Cecil is the underdog who needs to start rolling the dice. Luke hears pitch issues. Lionel needs more attitude from him.
Willie Spence flies high on Bette Midlers Wind Beneath My Wings. Does anyone else have the vibes of Ruben Studdard? He dedicates his next performance of The Prayer (Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli) with McPhee to his recently deceased grandfather. Katharine is touched and decides to do the same for her late dad. The powerful duo deserve a standing ovation from the judges. Luke is in love with him and his talent. Lionel calls him Willie Pavarotti. Katy says it was creepy central and winning her song choice. It’s a good.
Grace Kinstler ends the evening on a high note. She begins with a self-love hymn in Jessie J’s Queen, then shines alongside Gladys Knight & the Pips’ Stone on Midnight Train to Georgia. The judges are impressed. Lionel describes it as a winning package. Katy says she was booming and classifies the duo as timeless. Luke is thrilled to see her grow as an artist and performer.
American Idol All Star Duos and Solos Round Part 2, April 4, 8 / 7c, ABC