7:05pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'American Idol': Five More Eliminated After Celebrity Duets
On Monday’s American Idol, the 12 contestants from the top 24 who performed solos on Sunday night took the stage again to sing celebrity duets with professionals from the industry. At the end of the night, five contestants were eliminated by judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. The remaining artists, along with the seven who survived last week, will have a chance to sing for America’s vote next week.
First up, Caleb Lee Hutchinson was paired with Bebe Rexha, singing Rexha’s own “Meant to Be.” It was a great matchup and song choice, suiting Hutchinson’s country sound. He gave a fun performance, and the judges were satisfied though not necessarily super-impressed.
Ada Vox, who had a standout solo performance on Sunday night, sang with actress and singer Lea Michele on Monday night. They sang “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked, which was a risky song choice that really paid off. Vox proved she has the power and control of a seasoned Broadway performer like Michele, and it made for a bold, theatrical performance that still had enough layers to it to make it more than just showy.
Maddie Poppe teamed up with Colbie Caillat to sing Caillat’s own “Bubbly.” Poppe expressed some concerns about her own nerves, but she ended up giving a confident and seasoned performance. The song choice was perfect for Poppe’s unique tone, and Bryan’s comments suggested that she’s a fully formed artist.
Next up, Ron Bultongez sang “Someone to You” with musician Banners, and it just wasn’t the right song choice for him. The performance felt very by-the-numbers, but the judges seemed pleased with it. They have been championing him all season.
Amelia Hammer Harris next sang with Rexha. They did a duet of Rexha’s “Me, Myself, and I,” and the song choice was a good fit for Harris’ range and vibe. She again showcased a star quality that the judges are drawn to.
Shannon O’Hara teamed up with country music star Cam to sing “Burning House.” O’Hara has shown a lot of versatility in this competition so far, and she continued that with this country ballad. It was gentle and gorgeous, and Bryan was mesmerized. Perry again expressed that she was impressed by how young O’Hara is.
Alyssa Raghu also sang with Banners, performing a duet of “Yellow” by Coldplay. It was the first underwhelming performance of the evening. Raghu seemed like she was still trying to figure out what kind of artist she wants to be, and the judges are looking for something more polished at this point. “Just give us a couple more notes the next time you sing,” Perry said.
Marcio Donaldson sang Marvin Gaye's “What’s Going On" with Allen Stone. Their voices blended very well together, and their chemistry sold the performance. Donaldson once again showed effortless stage presence and a strong understanding of who he is. The judges were blown away just like they were with his solo last night.
Michele returned to sing with Jurnee, who admitted that she was a big fan of Glee. They sang a powerful duet of “Run to You,” and the harmonies were gorgeous. It was a better song choice than Jurnee’s solo on Sunday night. “The sky’s the limit,” Richie said.
Garrett Jacobs was next up, also pairing with Caillat to sing “Lucky,” which Caillat originally sang with Jason Mraz. It was stronger than his performance on Sunday night, and Jacobs was surprised by his girlfriend in the audience in a touching moment. Bryan said it was a step in the right direction for Jacobs and that he was proud.
Mara Justine was up next, paired with Rachel Platten to sing Platten’s own “Fight Song.” It was a big and emotional song, and Justine nailed the nuances, allowing herself to be vulnerable and soft. “I thought that what I saw tonight was so beautiful,” Perry said.
Closing out the night, Cam was back to perform with rocker Effie Passero. It was an odd pairing since Cam skews more country, but together they gave a solid performance of Cam’s own “Diane.” Despite coming from different genres, they blended very well together and the harmonies were on point. “You harmonized beautifully,” Bryan said.
Next, it was time for the judges to deliver their verdict, eliminating five contestants and sending the remaining seven to sing in the top 14 for America’s vote. Justine, Jurnee, Poppe, Vox, Jacobs, Donaldson and Hutchinson advanced, and the remaining artists were eliminated. After the top 14 sing next week, four will be sent home.