Last week on “American Idol”, the top 24 contestants performed and in a special Monday night episode, host Ryan Seacrest revealed the top 12 singers.

On the Monday results show, Ryan Seacrest announced that Wyatt Pike left the show for what was later announced as personal reasons.

Former Idol judge Paula Abdul sat in for Luke Bryan after the Country music star tested positive for the Covid virus.

This week the top 12 will become nine in the first across the country simulcast with live voting. On Monday finalists from last season who never got to take the Idol stage due the the virus and lock down rules will take the stage with one of them joining the 2021 singers to fill out the top 10.

Gearing up for the annual Academy Awards presentation next week, the theme for tonight’s performances is songs from Oscar winning and nominated songs.

Idol judge Lionel Richie opens the show with a performance of his Oscar winning hit “Say You Say Me”.

After a week off for Covid, Luke Bryan returns to join fellow judges Katy Perry and Lionel Richie.

First up is Grace Kinstler for a performance of “Happy” by Pharrell. Katy said that Grace can sing the telephone book. Katy wondered what kind of record Grace would make and what kind of artist she is. Happy to be back, Luke liked the way Grace commanded the stage; adding that he loved hearing her voice. Lionel noted that Grace was in control; adding that she needs to pick songs that demonstrate who she is.

Ava August chose “City of Stars” from “La La Land”. Mentor Bobby Bones said that Ava is a singer far beyond her years. Bobby gave the 15 year old a driving lesson in the golf cart. Luke noted that Ava’s moments are amazing; adding her performance was incredible. Lionel said that Ava has managed to appear as if she been singing her whole life. Katy noted that she has socks older than Ava; adding that she wants her to BE 15.

Country boy Caleb Kennedy took on Willie Nelson with “On the Road Again”. Bobby took Caleb fishing and told him to channel the feeling while he was on the stage. Last week Caleb performed without his hat, this week the hat is back. Caleb had the house on their feet dancing…including the judges. Lionel called the performance fantastic; adding that they couldn’t wait to get back on the road again. Lionel said that if Caleb keeps it up, he will be on the road for a long time. Katy said that Caleb sounded great; adding it was so cool when Caleb invited them to join in. Luke noted that Caleb didn’t over sing; adding it was his best performance. Luke said that Caleb chose a great song.
Hunter Metts performs “Falling Slowly” from “Lost”. After some rousing applause, Katy said that it was his best performance ever. Hunter was very emotional after his performance. Katy called it an incredible song choice and connected with them. Luke said that it was intense for him watching; adding that Hunter took him on a crazy ride of emotions. Luke said that Hunter’s falsettos were some of the best he has heard on the show. Lionel related a time he forgot the lyrics and the audience took over. Hunter thought he messed up, but all of the judges and Ryan said that he did not mess up, he was emotional and perfect.

Madison Watkins takes on Whitney Houston with “Run to You” from “The Bodyguard”. Luke said that Madison always gives solid performances. Lionel said that she knocked it out of the park. Katy called it an A level performance; adding that Madison played the favourites.

Chayce Beckham chose the Bryan Adams song “Everything I Do (I Do for You)” from “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves”. Lionel said that Chayce found himself in the second half of the song. Katy noted that there are a lot of young ladies thinking the song was just for them. Luke was so inspired by Chayce’s growth since the auditions; adding that he thinks Chayce is the front runner.

Judges save Beane performs “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing”. Beane put his own spin on the song and opened with the guitar and sitting on a stool before getting up to dance around the stage as he sang. Katy noted that she saw another side of Beane; adding the performance was cool. Katy said that Beane is ready for the stage.

Alyssa Wray chose “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”. Lionel called Alyssa a subtle force; adding that when the guns go off, they know it will be amazing.
Ryan announced that the nine remaining singers will go to Disney World in Florida after the show.

Deshawn Goncalves took on the iconic Barbra Streisand with “The Way We Were” from the film “The Way We Were”. Luke called the performance beautiful, classic, and classy; adding that he was caught up in the moment. When Luke couldn’t find the words, Katy mentioned Luther Vandross.

Casey Bishop performed the classic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” made famous by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz”. Katy noted that Casey can do anything she wants; adding that Casey is the front runner. Luke said that Casey came out and gave another side of herself. Lionel said that it is one of his favourite songs. Lionel wonders what the DNA is made of from the 16 year old; adding that going from rock to Judy Garland is incredible.

Cassandra Coleman performed the Sam Smith song “Writing’s on the Wall” from the James Bond film “Spectre”. Luke said it was some of the most amazing stuff he has heard on the show. Lionel said that Cassandra brings them in. Katy told Cassandra that she isn’t what the world thinks of her but what she thinks of her.

The final performance of the night was from Willie Spence with a gospel inspired song from “Harriet” with “Stand Up” performed by Cynthia Erivo. Cynthia sent him a video message of thanks and encouragement. Standing, Lionel had a few words for Willie, “Amen, religious experiece, and you delivered the goods”. Katy called the performance powerful. Luke said that Willie taught him to never use the word front runner until the whole show is done.

After the nationwide voting, Ryan revealed the nine singers who would be moving on to the top 10…
Grace Kinstler
Casey Bishop
Willie Spence
Alyssa Wray
Caleb Kennedy
Deshawn Goncalves
Chayce Beckham
Cassandra Coleman
and Hunter Metts

Ava, Madison, and Beane have been eliminated from the competition.

On Monday, the comeback show where singers from last season will compete for the final spot in the top 10.