Stay at home orders and social distancing orders have changed the way the nation does things. As a result; live television programming has also had to do business.
For the first time in “American Idol” history, the top 20 singers will perform for fan votes from their homes.
Host Ryan Seacrest gets the night started from his Los Angeles home and using the latest in technology to canvas the country and bring the music to fans.
The judges are also working from their homes. Katy comes on camera dressed as a bottle sanitizer – “American Idol Music Sanitizer”.
Lionel pointed out that the singers don’t have all the glitz and glamour and will have to bring themselves to the performances.
Next week the top 20 will become the top 10.
Kimmy Gabriela in Florida gets the night of music started off with an Ariana Grande song. Katy said that Kimmy has had a character evolution and is starting to know who she is. Luke was looking for the neighbours to look over the fence; adding that it was impressive to see her navigate the notes. Lionel noted that it was one thing to sing but another to act out the song and she took it to the next level.
Baton Rouge’s Jovin Webb is next with the Joe Cocker classic “A Little Help from My Friends”. Luke called Jovin a very special talent. Lionel said that Jovin has that instant identity and is delivering it with feeling; adding that he killed it. Katy noted that every singer gets the same stuff but Jovin separated himself from the rest of the group.
Music teacher Franklin Boone performed the Tears for Fears hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”. Lionel and Luke came to their feet. Lionel loves Franklin’s voice; adding that he is true to himself. Katy said that she started tearing up; adding that Franklin has the “it” factor. Luke said that he had chill bumps the whole song. Luke called it a top 10 performance.
Back in California, Olivia Ximines sang the Billie Eilish song “bad guy”. Katy said that she got to hear the quality of Olivia’s voice. Luke said that Olivia always brings a show. Lionel said that Olivia has everything to be a star.
Up next is Louis Knight from Pennsylvania with “If the World was Ending”. Luke loved the song choice; adding that it gave a clear message as to who he is. Lionel said that Louis’ voice was stellar; adding that loved the performance. Katy agreed it was a great song choice; adding that his inflections were really cool.
Back to California and Makayla Phillips with the Ariana Grande song “Greedy”. Lionel said that all 20 should go through and call it a day. Lionel called her performance professional. Katy said Makayla looked natural; adding that her song choice was a good one; but there were better choices. Luke liked the star power and vocals at the end of the song.
Mentor Bobby Bones announced that next week the top 10 will again be at home next week performing songs about home.
Back to the deep south with Aliana Jester in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida singing “Run to You” by Whitney Houston. Katy noted that Aliana put a lot of passion into her performance; adding that she got goose bumps. Luke also noted that he got goose bumps; adding that he loved it. Lionel noted that Aliana made the song her own.
Faith Becnel in Louisiana chose the Bishop Briggs song “River” for her performance. Faith brought a “dang” out of Luke. Lionel told Faith to open her eyes more; but he loved the song. Luke called it his favourite rendition of the song. Katy noted that Faith stuck the song.
From Woodland Hills, California Nick Merico performed the Plain White T’s song “Hey There Delilah”. Katy called the performance amazing. Lionel loved the performance. Luke liked that Nick had stripped it down, just playing the piano.
Lauren Spencer-Smith gave a performance of “Mama Knows Best” by Jesse J with an incredible lakeside view behind her. Katy said that Lauren sounded great; adding that she is growing as a star. Luke said that Lauren’s voice gets better and better; adding that it is amazing. Lionel said that her voice and attitude were amazing.
In Georgia, Cyniah Elise performed the Demi Lovato song “Warrior”. Lionel called the performance crazy. Luke called Cyinah one of the best singers in the show; adding it was a great song choice. Lionel said that she makes things look effortless. Katy noted that Cyniah is growing.
Crossing the country back to California for Francisco Martin performed judge Katy Perry’s song “Teenage Dream”. Katy said the song choice worked; adding he did it real justice. Luke said that he was nervous; adding that Francisco made it his own. Lionel also said that Francisco made the song his own.
Close to home, Sophia has changed her name from Wackerman to James. She sings “Burning”. Katy said that Sophia is constantly evolving. Luke called Sophia sneaky good. Lionel said that Sophia can melt hearts when she looks into the camera.
In Colorado, Dewayne Crocker Jr performed the James Brown hit “I Got You (I Feel Good)” while family members danced. Luke said that the song had a little too much slick for him but the last note was impressive. Lionel agreed with Luke. Katy noted that Dewayne has a good voice but wanted more growl. Lionel told Dewayne to keep his dancers.
In Bakersfield, sitting outside Dillon James performed “Let it Be Me”. Lionel said that Dillon’s presentation looked like a world class artist. Luke said that Dillon needs to just go and make the kind of music he wants to make. Katy agreed; adding that Dillon’s dreams are in his hands.
In Kansas, Nepal native Arthur Gunn performed “Lovin’ Machine”. Host Ryan Seacrest said that the judge’s body language said it all. Katy reminded Arthur to look at the camera. Lionel called the performance powerful. Luke said that Arthur has the potential to be a “ginormous” star.
In New York, Julia Gargano performed “Human”. Luke loved hearing the nuances in the singer’s voices. Lionel noted that there are a lot of singers in the world but stylists rule the world. Katy said that Julia checked all the boxes.
After winning the first fan vote of the season, Grace Leer performed the Faith Hill song “Cry” from California. Lionel said that Idol is discovering true artists; adding Grace gave a great delivery. Katy said that Grace rode that bull real well. Luke noted that Grace gave then the big notes in the second half of the song.
Just Sam takes on the music of season three Idol winner Fantasia Barrino with “I Believe”. Katy said that Sam looked great; adding that she is flourishing. Luke said that Sam owns every aspect of her voice range; adding that she did a great job. Lionel called Sam an inspirational figure in the group; adding that he loves her Afro.
Closing out the night of music is Jonny West on the west coast performed the Louis Armstrong classic “What a Wonderful World”. Katy kept saying, “we’re not worthy”. Luke said that Jonny could take his career anywhere he wanted. Lionel said that Jonny has a musical arsenal. Jonny noted that he had made his song choice before the current situation.
Voting ends at 9am eastern time on Monday morning.