American Idol Recap: Top 12 Revealed! And who got off? And what did Paula Abdul say about Simon Cowell?
Paula Abdul returned to American Idol on Monday and the world was good again for two fleeting hours. And by good I mean wonderfully funny.
The living legend, who served as a judge for Idol’s first nine seasons (2002-2010), returned to the panel to represent Luke Bryan, who announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. This brought her back together with host Ryan Seacrest, who took her on a delightfully uncomfortable walk back in time.
“It’s kind of nostalgic,” she said when she got back to Idol. “I feel like I’m going to visit my little brother on the show we started on with our other brother Randy … and of course our grandfather Simon [Cowell]. “Seacrest added,” He’s going to love this, “before clarifying,” He’s not watching. ” (Let’s hope he isn’t watching as Abdul later referred to him as an “STD”.)
Seacrest and Abdul then looked back at a photo of themselves from the show’s first season, a moment that went downhill … immediately. “Why do I look like I’m not happy?” he asked. And when Abdul noticed that she wasn’t smiling either, he asked, “Why were we so miserable?” Yikes
Then came the biggest surprise of the night: After the introduction of Abdul, Seacrest announced that Wyatt Pike “will not be participating in the competition. He had to get out, but we wish him all the best. ” Oh ok? I wish we had a bit more information, but that at least explains why Idol is bringing Season 18 contestants back to battle for his spot.
To arrive at the results, the following 10 singers were brought to safety: Casey Bishop, Deshawn Gongalves, Cassandra Coleman, Caleb Kennedy, Chayce Beckham, Alyssa Wray, Willie Spence, Grace Kinstler and Hunter Metts.
Unfortunately, the following finalists did not receive enough votes and were therefore sent into the danger zone: Colin Jamieson, Madison Watkins, Beane, Alanis Sophia and Graham DeFranco. The judges had a chance to save only two and eventually decided to keep Watkins and Beane in the game.
Read on for a breakdown of Monday’s performances. Official videos will be added as they become available:
CASEY BISHOP, Jan. | The first to go through this week, Bishop made me shiver from the moment she started singing “House of the Rising Sun”. Not only was it another perfect choice for her timeless voice – which has more tricks up its sleeve than Mary Poppins – it set the tone for the rest of the night. Clock:
COLIN JAMIESON, 22 | First of all, I have to praise Jamieson for doing Dean Lewis’ “Waves” as well as he did, considering he was just told he was the first candidate to step into the danger zone. Something about the delivery of these messages felt…. That said, it was exactly what we expected from Jamieson – the energy and the grades were there. (What more do you want America ?!) Click here to see.
DESHAWN GONCALVES, 20 | The Ohio-born man was in a much better position and received good news from Seacrest before starting a feel-good performance of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” It was cute and Goncalves was clearly having a good time up there, but I was hoping for something more impressive. In Goncalves’ favor, this was his first fast-paced song in the competition. That is growth. Click here to see.
CASSANDRA COLEMAN, 24 | I felt like we saw Coleman in its purest form during the performance of Maggie Rogers’ “Light On”. I fell in love with the ethereal quality of her voice, although she often loses control of it under the pressure of competition, and I’m excited to see what else she has in store for us. Clock:
CALEB KENNEDY, Jan. | I’m still not the biggest fan of this objectively talented teenager, but that’s just because I can’t figure him out. And neither do the judges. How could the same guy who gave us absolutely nothing during the pre-performance interview turn around and become a completely different person once the music started playing? We got around to discussing whether Kennedy was spoiled for choice (he does!), But I really wish he’d even give us a clue of a personality to cling to. Click here to see.
Madison Watchkins, Jan. | Can’t say I ever expected to hear Drake’s “Hotline Bling” from an Idol candidate, but I definitely didn’t hate it. Watkins envisioned the late night love hymn as a sultry lounge song before spicing things up with a lot of emotion and some vocal gymnastics. I wasn’t surprised to see that she ended up in the danger zone, even though I wouldn’t have got her there myself. Click here to see.
AVA AUGUST, 15 | I love that the youngest finalist in the competition picked one of the oldest songs of the night – Queens “Love of My Life” – and showed everyone how to do it. Angelic in both picture and singing her performance was simply divine. Click here to see.
BEAN, 23 | Guys I think I could be a beanie baby I wasn’t too surprised when Seacrest put him in danger, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed his performance of Ben Platt’s Grow As We Go. Beautiful, emotional, authentic. There was no reference to cheesy wedding singers on this stage tonight – just a legitimate artist terrifying me with his magical voice. (OK, yeah, I’m definitely a beanie baby.) Observe:
CHAYCE BECKHAM, Jan. | After he was brought to safety, the incredibly relieved Beckham treated the audience with an encore from his Kolton Moore foreplay and the Clever Few “What Brings Life Also Kills”. It was everything we expected from Beckham – from the growing voice to the all-black ensemble – and it was very good. That said, it was very good in the way that even the Grammys have some shows that serve as bathroom breaks. He’s always been a top 10 shoe-in, but if he really wants to stand out from some of his defined competitors, Beckham has to take a page from Katy Perry’s book and give us a fireworks display. Click here to see.
ALYSSA WRAY, Jan. | A few weeks after crushing I’m Your Baby Tonight, Wray returned to the stage with a solid version of a slightly more dramatic Whitney Houston ballad, The Greatest Love of All. I’m sure she could sing the phone book and make it sound exciting. Click here to see.
ALANIS SOPHIA, 19th | Real talk: I have to applaud Sophia for trying in the first place to attempt this challenging rendition of Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack,” which is difficult enough on its own. And she absolutely killed it … until she didn’t. I was impressed with the jump, but by the end of their performance the high notes just weren’t there. It became uncomfortable to see and even more uncomfortable to hear. Click here to see.
WILLIE SPENCE, 21 | I’m so glad Spence sang Rihanna’s “Diamonds” because that is exactly what he is as a performer – a bloody diamond. This was not only another impressive accomplishment, but also the most confident of Spence’s. He was alive while he sang this and the energy was contagious. Depending on how America is in this mood, he might really win this thing. Clock:
GRACE KINSTLER, Jan. | Not all queens wear crowns. Just look at Kinstler, who killed Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” this week. Your voice, your self-confidence – it’s the whole package. Lionel Richie was right when he called it an “oh my god” performance, and something tells me Grande would say the same thing. Click here to see.
HUNTER METTS, 22 | The last safe candidate from Tennessee celebrated with a beautiful performance of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” I haven’t found Metts to be the most dynamic performer this season, so I really appreciated the emotions he authentically poured into this performance. Click here to see.
GRAHAM DEFRANCO, 28 | Perhaps it was because DeFranco was the last singer to be sent into danger, but there was something particularly bittersweet about his performance of Jason Isbell’s “Cover Me Up”. And make no mistake, it was very good – the kind of performance that makes you wonder why it didn’t get through. (Oh, America, you’re so moody.) Click to see.
Your thoughts on Monday’s results? Abdul’s return? Whatever you think about idol write it in a comment below.