The Showstopper round of American Idol fills the remaining spots in the Top 24. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie (checking in virtually) don’t have an easy time of it given the season’s strong talent.
Night one of the round was left with a cliffhanger, as viewers waited to see whether Alanis Sophia or Casey Bishop would make it through. And…they both do, joining other deserving picks who will sing alongside celebrity guests (Jason Aldean, Josh Groban, Tori Kelly, and Idol alum Katharine McPhee to name a few), before a live studio audience. Check out the standouts from night two and find out who also survived the “Final judgement.”
Willie Is Here
Willie Spence walks out in a black suit and kills it with his take on Beyoncé’s “I Was Here.” The 21-year-old feels he has a second chance at life after battling weight and health issues. A walking inspiration. Katy feels Willie is at a crossroads, encouraging him to do the work and cancel out the noise. He’ll get a chance to do that as a member of the Top 24 club.
Mary Jo Redeems Herself
Mary Jo Young admittedly has had some stumbles this season, and the 19-year-old sees her performance of “Us” by James Bay as the comeback. Luke and Katy don’t think she has the stage presence just yet, which is no surprise considering Mary Joe’s experience doesn’t extend much beyond singing in the bedroom. But the judges see a star on the rise and keep her Idol dream alive.
Hunter Is Good Enough
Hunter Metts, dealing with self-doubt, has been wondering just where music could take him. The 22-year-old decides to risk everything with a unique cover of “July” by Noah Cyrus. His musicality brings a smile to Katy’s face and Luke tells the software engineer to keep pushing. He is a definite Top 24.
Grace Under Fire
Grace Kinstler second guesses her song choice after the fact, but it turns out she makes the right decision with “Father” by Demi Lovato. The 20-year-old dedicates the performance to her late dad, which adds an emotional layer. Katy encourages Grace to use any pain as fuel when she sings — then welcomes her to the next round.
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
Deshawn Goncalves puts a modern spin on the Judy Garland classic Lionel, who has been touched by the 19-year-old’s story of overcoming adversity, excitedly gives him the good news about a pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. There’s no place like the Top 24.
Coming Out Swinging
Katy may be having a flashback to her Warped Tour days with Colin Jamieson’s cover of “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy. The former boy bander decides to take a more challenging route in the song choice and it opens eyes as the judges feel he has been playing it safe for much of the competition. Katy sends the 22-year-old through.
Well Beyond Her Years
Ava August goes it alone without a band, depending solely on her guitar and original “Ghost of You.” The youngest in the competition showed the maturity of someone much older and it the judges see that this 15-year-old has the makings of a real singer-songwriter. Katy, who believes however that it isn’t Ava’s strongest moment, sees something special about her and she moves on.
A New Attitude
Liahona Olayan’s brother was eliminated in Hollywood Week, but she continues to thrive. The 16-year-old brings the fun for a rendition of “Met Too” by Meaghan Trainor. Katy gives her a standing ovation, and Luke gives her the news that they’ve found another Top 24 caliber performer.
One for the Ladies
Madison Watkins dedicates her performance of “It’s Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” by James Brown to the ladies. The hair model proceeds to bring the house down. Lionel tells the 25-year-old she did a great job and the judges put her through.
Alana Sherman, 22, puts some attitude into “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan, and Anilee List, 20, gets funky with “Ain’t Nobody” by Rufus & Chaka Khan. Both move on.
And the Final Spot Goes to…
With one spot remaining, it’s down to Cecil Ray and Idol alum Drake McCain. Cecil, 20, stays in his wheelhouse with “Beyond” by Leon Bridges. Drake, 19, goes with Luke’s party anthem “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).” Luke breaks the news that Drake isn’t moving forward, and Cecil gets his shot.