It’s still Hollywood week on American Idol which means it’s time for another round of eliminations.
Usually, what comes next — and what the contestants were expecting — is to pair up into groups but Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan had a surprise in store for everyone. For the first time in the show’s history, the singers paired off with the person of their choosing and performed duets.
First up were Fransicso Martin and Louis Knight, who the judges were already comparing to each other during the audition rounds. “You have more in common than you don’t,” Katy said before the two took on “Breakeven” by The Script. Francisco’s future wasn’t looking promising after he forgot his lyrics, however, after a pep talk about pushing through from the judges, he, along with Louis, made it through to the next round.
A brief look at other duets performances revealed that favorites like Franklin Boone, Lauren Mascitti, Rob Taylor, Grace Leer, and Olivia Ximines made it on to the next stage in the competition. In fact, everyone seemed to be on their A-game until one of the American Idol hopefuls went missing.
Madison Paige paired up with guitar-slinging Peyton Aldridge but couldn’t find him when it came time for rehearsals. Eventually, after some help from Bobby Bones, the two reunited. So, where was Peyton? As it turned out, he was just hungry and ventured off to get some gas station chicken wings.
They sang “Don’t You Wanna Stay” by Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean but their performance fell short of being star-worthy. The future looked grim for both of them until Peyton issued a huge apology to Madison for going missing and for switching their performance at last minute from piano to guitar and prompted the judges to take a sidebar to reconsider their decision. With Luke outvoted 2-to-1 Madison and Peyton were both given the privilege to stay in the competition a little longer.
Getting back to the duets that served up some piping hot talent, Jimmy Levy and Nick Merico‘s voices complimented each other so nicely they live on to see another day. That wasn’t the case for everyone though.
The unlikely twosome that consisted of pop singer Courtney Timmons and country crooner Zach Dobbins went through three song choices before finally ending up with Ariana Grande‘s “Dangerous Woman.” The cringe-worthy performance — which showed Zach forgetting the lyrics and Courtney’s subpar vocals — landed them both a ticket home, but not before Lionel shared a lesson about giving up and working with a partner.
Returning contestant Genavieve Linkowski came one step closer to making it further on the show than she did last time, meanwhile, fellow returner Margie Mays and her boyfriend Johnny West, barely made it to the next round of the competition after receiving some solid advice from Katy about giving each other space.
The rest of the night left Katy, Lionel, and Luke with some tough decisions about the fate of the remaining contestants. Cyniah Elise and Makayla Phillips‘ duet wasn’t one of those. The two powerhouse singers were equated to the late great Whitney Houston and legend Mariah Carey, respectively, by the judges before they even sang a note. Their performance of Celine Dion‘s “The Prayer” left the judges wowed and feeling like they had just seen a movie. Needless to say, they both made it to the next round.
Some other contestants that made it through are Kimmy Gabriela, Jovin Webb, DemiRae “Demi” Moreno, and Samantha “Sam” Diaz (A.K.A. Just Sam).
Next up for the lucky ones — the solo round. Unless, of course, the judges have another surprise up their sleeves.
American Idol returns Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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