The 12 remaining contestants on season 21 of American Idol perform for their shot at getting in the top 10 during the show’s April 30 episode. Throughout the episode, each artist takes the stage to perform a rock ‘n roll song for America’s votes amidst the first live show of the season. Up first is Tyson Venegas, who sings “For Once In My Life” by Stevie Wonder. He gets a standing ovation from all three judges, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. “For you to step out of the piano and have all of that comfort working the stage, connecting…it was like you weren’t even trying to make the magic happen,” Luke gushes. “Great job.”
Warren Peay, who is newly engaged, is next to perform. He puts his own spin on “House of the Rising Sun” for his rock performance, injecting his soul and raspy voice into the powerful lyrics. His song choice is applauded by the judges, although Lionel and Luke that he might have started the performance with his voice at range that was a bit too low. “I love your voice. It’s like a bottle of grit and you just bring that authenticity,” Katy raves.
The next performance is from Haven Madison. Her dad helps her come up with a partly stripped down arrangement of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” and mentor Adam Lambert gives her advice for keeping her individuality while performing a cover song. The judges are blown away by the performance, especially Haven’s newfound confidence. “You’re the next big pop star as far as this performance goes,” Katy says, while Luke calls it her “breakout” performance.
Lucy Love takes the stage next after earning the judges’ save last week. Now, she has to prove herself to America with her performance of Lionel’s own song “All Night Long.” Lionel himself is very impressed with what Lucy does onstage. “You did such a great job. You took my song and made it your song. That’s crazy good,” Lionel assures Lucy. Next, Oliver Steele reimagines Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind” for his performance. The judges applaud the performance, but urge Oliver to give a little more and dig even deeper in the future.
After his breakthrough performance last week, Colin Stough has some trouble choosing a rock ‘n’ roll song. He winds up going with “Midnight Rider,” and once again impresses the judges, who are also happy to see his growth week after week. After Colin, Marybeth Byrd takes the state with a rendition of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” putting her own country twist on the song. “I love how you made that you. You didn’t overdo anything, you just made it you, and it was great,” Luke tells Marybeth.
Following a performance from Adam, it’s back to the competition. We Ani is up next with a performance of an Etta James classic, “Something’s Got A Hold On Me.” After she belts out the track, all three of the judges give a standing ovation. “That was how you bring nasty to the table,” Lionel raves. “That’s all I wanted to say. A breakout performance right there.”
The judges’ other pick from last week, Nutsa, is up next. Adam advises her to sing a softer song to show a different side of herself. However, Nutsa is worried she doesn’t have enough time, so she goes with her original choice of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” but decides to make it more angelic. Once again, the judges are on their feet. “You can’t change,” Katy tells Nutsa, while also praising her for taking Adam’s advice and rolling with it.
Megan Danielle is next with a performance of “Angel From Montgomery” by Bonnie Raitt. Luke is so emotional by the end of the performance. “What you just did will stand up in any room — any award show I’ve ever been to, that performance will stand up anywhere,” he gushes. Next, Zachariah Smith sings “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra. “You brought the party to the stage,” Lionel tells Zachariah, specifically gushing over his ability to “entertain,” as well as sing.
The final performance of the night is from Iam Tongi. He sings “Bring It On Home To Me.” This was another performance to get a standing ovation from the judges, and the crowd was going crazy afterward. “You are magic,” Katy tells Iam. “You are the one. It’s wild. I can’t even hear myself.” At the end of the night, the top 10 is revealed based on the live vote. The artists moving on to the top 10 are: Warren Peay, We Ani, Iam Tongi, Megan Danielle, Zachariah Smith, Haven Madison, Colin Stough, Oliver Steele, Tyson Venegas and Marybeth Byrd. That means that Nutsa and Lucy Love are eliminated.
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