"American Idol" unveiled the top 24, which shows a nice variety of country, pop, R&B and rock with the first drag queen ever to make it this far.
Oddly, we see only 23 of the 24 mentioned. Where is Alyssa Raghu??? She supposedly made the top 24 but we never saw it.
One Georgian made the cut: Caleb Lee Hutchinson. He is the only country male singer who made it this far and the judges clearly love him. So his chances to make the top 14 are not bad.
There is yet another round of taped solo performances and celebrity duets come Sunday. The celebrities: Aloe Blacc, Sugarland, Luis Fonsi , Lea Michele, Bishop Briggs, Cam, Andy Grammer, Rachel Platten, Pat Monahan, Allen Stone and Bebe Rexha.
Up first: Layla Spring. She is the cutesy 16 year old with the adoring sister. She blossoms nicely in her very truncated live version of "Proud Mary." Luke Bryan called her a "spark plug." Katy thought she had to speed up her vibrato - and she did. "You learned so much," Katy said. She's in the top 24.
Construction worker Trevor Holmes hoped Katy Perry's "crush" on him (and vice versa) would get him to the top 24. It isn't to be. His Niall Horan's "Slow Hands" during the showcase didn't move Katy. "I'm over him," she said. Then, "maybe not." It's more style than substance. Katy feels like she needs more and said he isn't moving on. Ouch. He takes it well.
Gabby Barrett was told not to sing "Church Bells" during her initial audition but decided to do it anyway. She thinks it shows diversity. The judges aren't thrilled by the song pick. The judges preferred her do R&B. But she does hit a big note at the end that may have saved her She said her family has struggled, her dad juggling four jobs and feels this could change her fortunes. Katy clearly didn't want her through but Luke pushed her into the top 24.
Thaddeus Johnson, who was cut in the top 50 season 9, feels he's ready now. He does Jill Scott's "Hate On Me" in total gospel mold. He doesn't hold back. But he doesn't make the cut in a bit of a surprise. Many of the other singers look shocked.
Four more are in - Dominique, Trevor McBane, Maddie Poppe and Ron Bultongez - but we don't get to hear them. Hopefully "Idol" will release their performances online.
Four singers get cut: Milos Spisato, Les Greene, Britney Holmes (who won the contest to get back in the competition) and William Casanova.
Noah Davis, the alpaca farm kid, is so charming and sweet. Can he pull it off? He does "You & I" by Lady Gaga with serious pitch issues. He choked big time. He's eliminated.
More cut: Harper Grace, Carly Moffa, Samothias, Lee Vasi, and East Point's Victoria McQueen
Georgia's Caleb Lee Hutchinson opts for Chris Stapleton's "I Was Wrong." The judges are beside themselves with joy. He has that old-school country feel that is, as Lionel said, identifiable. Katy: "You really represent the heart of America. I just don't want you to turn you in a character that is one dimensional." He's in!
Maddie Zahm is someone I really liked up to this point. She is competing with another potential keeper Effie Passero for the final female slot. Unfortunately, for some reason, Maddie's Pink does not work as expected. It's good but not good enough. "Shaky performance," Katy said.
Effie has a better voice than Maddie overall and she opts for Garth Brooks' "The Dance." It's a song her mom sang to her as a child. And she does a stupendous job, the best I heard today. Katy didn't think it was a kill. I did. You are wrong, Katy!
So Maddie is out. Effie stays.
The final two dudes: Dennis Lorenzo and Marcio Donaldson.
Dennis lived in a tent when he came to L.A. but then his life turned around and he met his wife. They have a small son. Marcio has had a rough life and he too has a small son from another family member. Both tell teary stories.
Marcio's "If You Really Love Me" by Stevie Wonder has its moments to show off his range though it's a bit uneven.
Dennis' "A Song For You" is more controlled, more emotive, just better to me. I like his outfit, too.
But good news! They didn't do the math and are in fact both in the top 24.
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