The top 10 contestants were announced Monday night on ABC’s American Idol. Six of those spots were determined by Sunday night’s viewer votes, and the last four spots were chosen by judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
Contestants were brought to the stage one at a time, and Ryan Seacrest told them whether they were voted through or not. Those voted through sang victory performances, and those who didn’t make the cut sang for judges’ consideration, so there were still 14 more performances to fill the two hours.
Maddie Poppe received her fate first, learning that she made it to the top 10. For her victory song, she sang “Walk Like an Egyptian,” making it her own with her raspy, low voice and indie vibes.
The next contestant up was Michelle Sussette, and she was not voted through to the top 10. Sussette didn’t let that faze her, though, as she started singing her original song “I’m a Dreamer.” The song started out slow but then turned into more of an upbeat pop song, which played to Sussette’s strengths. “We believe you’re a star,” Bryan said. Perry said she gracefully delivered her song and dream.
Marcio Donaldson was brought out next, and he also was not voted through to the top 10. But he brought a lot of energy and flavor to his second-chance performance, singing “Jealous” by Nick Jonas with a lot of emotion. He ended on a huge high note. Bryan said it wasn’t the strongest song they’d seen from him and suggested that emotions may have gotten to him. “Know that you have always been enough,” Perry said. The way the judges were talking, it seemed like they’d already made up their minds about cutting Donaldson.
Cade Foehner was up next, and he was voted through to the top 10, so he got to perform knowing he was safe. He gave an easy breezy performance of “Bright Lights” by Gary Clark Jr.
Garrett Jacobs learned that he wasn’t voted through, so he sang “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival for a shot at getting picked by the judges. It was a gentle performance that allowed him to show a raw side of his voice. His ad libs and falsetto were impressive. “Way to state your case,” Bryan said. “This is the best you’ve ever sounded,” Perry added.
Gabby Barrett was voted through to the top 10, but that didn’t stop her from giving an all-out, rocking performance of “Little Red Wagon” by Miranda Lambert, reinforcing what made viewers vote for her.
The next contestant in the hot seat was Dennis Lorenzo, who was not voted through, but he gave a hauntingly beautiful performance of “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush, singing most of it in his gorgeous falsetto. “I’m going to fight for you,” Bryan said, adding that Lorenzo has shown them every style of singing. “America does not know what they’re doing,” Richie added.
Jonny Brenns also had to sing for his life, performing “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. It sat well in his range, and he also delivered a strong lyrical interpretation. “That style song really suits you the best,” Bryan said, adding that he should get back to playing some instruments. “You have grown leaps and bounds,” Perry said.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson was voted through, so he got to relax for his performance of “Getting You Home” by Chris Young, which was well within his wheelhouse.
Young singer Mara Justine received her verdict next. She had to sing for a spot in the top 10, and she chose “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna. It was a bold song choice that fit the high-stakes of her situation. She put just enough growl behind her vocal and had great phrasing and runs. “Way to get up there and sing your tail off,” Bryan said.
Jurnee was up next, and she learned that she, too, had to sing for a spot in the top 10. She didn’t let nerves shake her in her performance of “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman. Her ad libs and runs were effortlessly smooth and reiterated just how strong of an instrument she has. “You make it look so easy,” Bryan said. “Never have I ever seen a more qualified woman for the job and still not get the job. What’s the disconnect, America?” Perry said. Jurnee was definitely a judges’ favorite.
Michael J. Woodard next learned that he was voted into the top 10, and he had a lot of fun with his performance of “Believe in Yourself” from The Wiz.
The final person voted through to the top 10 by viewers was Catie Turner, so she got to sing “Havana” by Camila Cabello, putting her usual indie twists on it.
But that left Ada Vox, one of the best talents in the competition, to sing for a spot in the top 10. She rose to the occasion and sang “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” which was a bold song choice that played to her strengths. Vox had the whole room chanting her name by the end. The judges wasted no time, deciding to let her know she was already their first choice for the top 10 without leaving her hanging.
The judges still had to pick three more contestants to round out that top 10. They went with Jurnee, Sussette and Lorenzo. Justine, Brenns, Donaldson and Jacobs were eliminated.
The top 10 performances next week will be aired live in every time zone across the U.S.