7:31pm PT by Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
'American Idol': Judges Complete the Top 14
The second half of the top 20 performed their celebrity duets on ABC's American Idol on Monday night, following the same format as Sunday night’s episode. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie chose seven singers to advance to the top 14 and sent three home.
First up were Alyssa Raghu and Julia Michaels, singing “Issues.” Raghu admitted that she’s obsessed with Michaels. She wanted to slow things down to really focus on her vocals, and this song provided the perfect opportunity for that. Her runs were strong, and she even almost upstaged Michaels. Richie praised her confidence.
Eddie Island was matched with Lukas Graham, and they sang “7 Years.” Island brought his own signature sound to the song and also his playful energy. Graham gave him some advice to be more serious and vulnerable, reiterating what the judges have been telling Island throughout the competition. Bryan praised him for hitting the notes, and Perry said she feels like she’s on another planet whenever he performs.
Wade Cota sang “Broken” with Lovelytheband. It was a different song for him, but it showed that he can sing more contemporary pop songs. He put his signature grit behind the vocals and showcased more moves than usual. Bryan said he was blossoming in front of their eyes, and Perry called him a rock star.
Ryan Hammond and Broadway star Cynthia Erivo were up next, singing “Hold On I’m Coming” by Sam and Dave. Hammond deviated from his usual ballad choices to do something more upbeat, and it yielded an energetic performance that still showcased the power in his voice. Perry called his voice “amazing.”
Evelyn Cormier and Chris Isaak next sang “Wicked Game.” The ballad allowed Cormier to focus on the vocals, and she gave a solid performance that really built momentum. Perry described their duet as “sophisticated.” She also noted that she believed the lyrics Cormier was singing, suggesting a skill at storytelling.
Michaels returned to sing with contestant Logan Johnson. They sang “What a Time,” and Johnson was hoping to do better than he did during his solo. The song suited his falsetto, and he appeared more confident, delivering on the emotions of the song. Bryan instructed him to push more with his vocals.
Lovelytheband performed again, this time with Raquel Trinidad. They sang Elton John's “Tiny Dancer,” and Perry thought it was Trinidad’s strongest vocal of the competition so far. Bryan said she showed a new side of her voice.
Alejandro Aranda sang with Ben Harper, and said that he has been impressed with Harper’s songwriting abilities. They sang “There Will Be a Light” and gave an understated performance that played to Aranda’s strengths. Perry praised his authenticity.
Dimitrius Graham and Lukas Graham sang “Love Someone,” and the contestant gave another standout, original performance. Their harmonies were solid throughout, and Graham showcased impressive range. It was one of the best duets of the night, and the judges were all blown away.
Erivo returned to sing “Time After Time” by Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon. It was a bold song choice, but Harmon handled it well, keeping up with Erivo’s powerhouse vocals. He had well placed runs, and Perry said it was “spiritual.” Richie called it a “masterful performance.”
With the duets over, it was time for results. The judges picked Cormier, Graham, Raghu, Harmon, Cota, Island and Aranda to join the others who advanced Sunday night in the top 14. That meant it was the end of the Idol road for Hammond, Johnson and Trinidad.