Here are Sunday’s highlights:
Dominique — who vowed to quit his job if he makes it into the top 10 — came a step closer to realizing that dream with his version of “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan.
“You have arrived,” Perry exclaimed afterwards, adding that she felt like she was “in a club” and “caught a vibe.” Richie agreed, saying “there’s an opening attraction and a starring attraction,” and Dominique was definitely “the star attraction.”
Before her performance, 16-year-old Layla Spring from Lebanon, Kentucky, had the chance to video chat with her idol — and “American Idol” season 10 runner-up — Lauren Alaina, who advised her that the show would “change her life,” but she would “have to continue on that journey.” Layla showed a more emotional side of herself with her cover of Martina McBride’s “A Broken Wing,” after which Richie praised the teen for not only listening to their advice, but actually following it. Perry noted that Layla had “grown leaps and bounds,” and Bryan added that Spring was “mature far beyond your years.”
Perry critiqued Catie Turner for her choice of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” She more than atoned for that on Sunday with her take on Blondie’s “Call Me” — her dad’s choice — knocking over the mic stand at the end for effect. Turner got a standing ovation from the judges, including Bryan, who said he “couldn’t quit watching” her, adding, “You’re quirky and crazy Catie, but we love you.” Perry praised the singer for her “cool song choice and incredible presentation.” Richie added that Catie was “something” when they first saw her, and now she’s “made us believers in [her] style.”
.@hashtagcatie is ready for her “Blondie by a Ginger World Tour” with her #IdolSolo performance of @BlondieOfficial’s “Call Me” #AmericanIdol #IdolTop24 https://t.co/eqyWbIQqIU— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) April 9, 2018
Michelle Sussett also took Perry’s advice to heart and utilized her bilingual ability, delivering Beyoncé’s “If I Were a Boy” in both Spanish and English, picking up the tempo midway through the song, while dancing around the stage. Perry was impressed, noting that Michelle’s bilingual skills are her “ace,” although she felt Sussett was a “good singer” and could’ve held the audience a little longer with it before breaking out her dance moves.
On the advice of the judges, New Hampshire native Kay Kay tried to “get lost” in her performance of Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain” and succeeded. Bryan declared Kay Kay was just “born as a star.” Perry said of the singer — who had come off as a little too polished in her previous performances – that the whole package “has finally arrived,” and that Kay Kay had “turned a corner.”
Brandon Diaz went out on a limb, putting his touch on Lionel Richie’s 1983 hit, “Hello.” Perry praised Brandon for being “so brave.” As to whether or not he nailed it, she thought his version “landed somewhere in the middle,” explaining, “There was a little turbulence in the air,” but Diaz “landed it so well.” The man himself – Lionel Richie – agreed, admitting that he was nervous throughout the song, hoping Brandon would “own it,” and he succeeded at the very end. Later, he joined Brandon for an impromptu duet of the tune.
It was a BIG risk to sing “Hello” in front of @LionelRichie (and with @RyanSeacrest) – will it pay off for @BrandonDMusic? #AmericanIdol #IdolTop24 https://t.co/T5eyHaIhzO— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) April 9, 2018
County singer Gabby Barrett wants to “make it Madison Square Garden in five years,” and got a little advice on making it as a female country artist from one of her favorites, Maren Morris. She chose Morris’ “My Church” for her solo performance. All three judges agreed that Gabby had a great attitude, but were disappointed they didn’t see it until the end.
Rocker Cade Foehner — who’s also a minister — closed out the show with a fiery performance of Jimi Hendrix‘s version of the Bob Dylan tune, “All Along the Watchtower,” showing off some rock star moves as well as his guitar chops. Perry was overwhelmed by the performance, joking afterwards, “I saw some things my minister parents had to shun.” When he noted that he was also a minister, Katy replied, “You sure are a minister and you can preach to me anytime.” She then declared that regardless of how America votes, he’s “a star” in her book, before pretending to faint.
The 12 contestants will hit the stage again for special celebrity duet performances when “American Idol” returns Monday at 7 p.m. on ABC4 Utah.