The auditions are over and the singers have gathered in California or “Hollywood Week”.

The night opens with judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie singing The Beatles hit “All You Need is Love”. The got a little help from the singing hopefuls that had gathered in Hollywood.

In years past the singers had to compete in multiple rounds including an all night session for a group performance. But in this year of Covid, things have changed a bit. There are only two rounds this season – the genre round and the duets.

For the genre round, the singers pick one of six genres – Pop, Rock, Country, Indie and Folk, R&B, and Soul – and choose their own songs.

Idol has brought back Bobby Bones to serve as mentor to the singers; to aid in song choice or just help them cope with being so far away.

There is no feedback during this round, just singing with the judges making their announcements as to who stays and who goes after each group has performed.

First up is the biggest and most popular genre – the Pop singers.

After the first group of pop singers, the judges announced that only three of them are moving on including 15 year olds Ava and Laila. Llahona made the cut but her brother Ammon did not.

Next up is the first group of Country singers – a group that has bonded like family. As one singer put it, everybody speaks his language. In this first group of Country singers five of them are moving on to the next round.

Next up is the Soul genre. Yale student Xavier Washington was studying his Chinese book for a test while he waited to perform. In this group, all but two of the singers are moving on; including Xavier.

The Indie and Folk singers are next. Lionel pointed out that they don’t need to sound like anybody else as long as they are themselves. Of this group four singers will move on.

In the next group of pop singers is a very eclectic group of singers including Viking Anthony who performed wearing a kilt and Erika who is on the search for a new boyfriend…and a spot on the show. Only two singers are moving on from this group including Anthony. After not making the cut, Erika went off, arguing with the judges, and even asked to see the manager.

In the next batch of Country singers nerves and a lack of timing got the better of some singers. Only one of the three singers made it to the next round.

In the final batch of Pop singers were Claudia Conway, who was unrecognizable – in her original audition she was blonde, now she is a brunette. All of this group got the good news that they are moving on to the next round.

The R&B group finally gets their chance to perform, but New Yorker Vahley did not make it.

Another group of Indie and Folk singers take the stage including storytellers, quarky singers, and professional busker Murphy. In this group four singers are moving on including Murphy.

Nine rockers take the stage to show off their chops. All but one of the group made it through to the duets round.

Douglas, Georgia’s Willie Spenge was the final singer in the genre round. His performance of “All of Me” by John Legend brought the judges to their feet and earned Willie a spot in the next round.

After learning that they had made it into the duet rounds, the singers were busy planning who their duet partners were going to be…but the judges revealed that they would be deciding who will perform with who. Lionel told the singers that both could move on, only one could move on, or no one will move on.

Sitting out by the pool, host Ryan Seacrest announced the singers. Each singer was called up to select their photo, on the other side of the photo was their duet partner.

The singers that survive will perform in the showstopper round.

The judges visit the pairs to offer some advice for their performances.

First up are Laila and Llahona. Llahona is finding it hard to handle being on her own without her brother who was sent home during the genre round. After Katy gave Llahona a good talking to, she gave both singers a yes.

Next up were Cameron and Graham, whose performance of “Watermelon Sugar” broke up the duo with Graham going through.

Beane and Kari also sang “Watermelon Sugar” also broke up the duo with Beane getting a nod for the next round.

Katy announced that they were banning “Watermelon Sugar”.

Bobby Bones told Anthony and Adriel that their song choice of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” was boring so they chose another song…”Watermelon Sugar” and brought the judges to their feet with their rousing performance. Both guys earned a spot in the next round.

The singers have a set list of songs to choose from; as a result, the judges hear the same songs several times.

Madison and DeShawn have become more than just partners, they are also very good friends. Noting that they have two very powerful voices, Lionel announced that both singers are moving on to the next round.

But not all of the couples hit it off. Claudia was paired with Hannah, but she couldn’t find her. She finally found her and said that they needed to rehearse. Hannah’s response was “oh”. Katy told the duo that she was going to be looking for teamwork in their performance. Katy noted that the duo had made some good growth from the rehearsals but didn’t carve out enough individual time. Hannah is moving on to the next round but it is the end of the road for Claudia. An emotional Hannah told Claudia that she enjoyed working with her.

Alex and Emisunshine “Walk the Line” in rehearsals but Luke asked what would be another choice for them. In the end, they stuck to the song that even included a little yolding from Emisunshine. Luke said that he wants to see what Alex turns into and told him to throw them a curve ball. Luke passed both of them through to the next round.

Indie singers Murphy and Lizzy paired up for a Fleetwood Mac song. Lizzy prefers to go barefoot and she got Murphy to take the stage in bare feet for their performance. Bringing the judges to their feet, Lionel said that Lizzy brought something brand new out of Murphy; both singers are moving on to the next round.

Cassandra and Wyatt are paired up. Katy walking into the room and Cassandra’s nerves got the better of her. Bobby Bones said that the best way not ot have nerves was to be prepared. Katy said that Cassandra looked fear in the face and said not today; adding that Wyatt made her feel safe. Both singers are moving on to the next round.

Monica and Miguela sang “Titanium” but neither singer moved on. Lionel said they did a duel and not a duet.

The singers had one day to learn the songs.

Ronda’s insecurities got the better of her but her partner Funke helped her through it. After a beautiful performance Katy and Luke disagreed on a decision that Luke had to solve. While talking to the girls, Funke hit the stage and busted her chin. The judges walked over to Ronda and Lionel told her that both girls are moving through. Ronda was visibly upset about what had happened. Funke was treated for dehydration and had stitches in her chin.

Willie and Kya took the stage next. Willie noted that following the medical incident was a rough act to follow. The performance brought the judges to ther feet and had Lionel saying “Lord have mercy”. Lionel called the performance devine. Luke said that he had been waiting for that moment. Lionel said that both singers are going through with flying colours. Willie said that he was so grateful to be paired with Kya.

Ben and Henry paired up for hairstyles and a song. Luke said that he couldn’t shoot any holes in the performance; adding that both were moving on to the next round.

Next up were Jazzy Rose and R’eh. Calling them both incredible, Lionel told them that they were moving on.

Zach and Sloane were paired together. Sloane was very excited but Zach calls himself a nerd. Bobby reminded Zach not become Sloane’s backup singer. Katy said that Zach has grown; adding that both singers need more experience and will not be moving on.

Christina and Chayce were paired together; both singers were excited to hear the news. Luke called it a believable performance; adding that both of their voices were very unique. Chayce is moving on but Christina is going home.

Alec and Saide, Samantha and Alaina, Althea and Camille all had issues with their pairing and songs. Althea got a call from home that her father had to take her daughter to the hospital. Althea’s daughter is doing good. Katy noted that the sum of the girls together was better than them separately. The girls moved on to the next round.

Hunter and Ave join up. Luke told them to challenge themselves and push for the big moments. Katy thought that they played it safe, but Luke called the performance star like. Both singers are moving on to the next round. Katy told them that the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.

The final pairing of the night was powerhouse singers Grace and Alyssa. Lionel told them to remember to support each other. Their performance of “Gernade” brought the judges to their feet. Katy called the performance unbelievable. Lionel said that they stopped the show; add “you are absolutely going through”.

Next week, it’s the Showstopper round and a revelation of the top 24.