“American Idol,” the iconic series that revolutionized the television landscape by pioneering the music competition genre, is back for another season on ABC. Music industry leaders and celebrity judges will help America decide who to vote for to be the next singing sensation. Luke Bryan, Katy Perry Lionel Richie. Emmy Award Winner Ryan Seacrest hosts the reality TV competition series for the show’s sixth season on ABC and 21st overall.
Performing with a band for the first time, contestants sing their hearts out in their last chance to make it to America’s vote. In the “Final Judgment,” contestants face off with the judges sealing their fate for a spot in the Top 24. You can follow our live blog for this episode, which airs Sunday, April 9 at 8:00-10:00 EDT on ABC.
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8:00 p.m. — Previously on “American Idol”! Remarkable alumni served as mentors for contestants to help them improve their stage presence, songwriting abilities and confidence. All the contenders sang in the Duets round, but only a select few advanced to tonight’s Showstopper performances. Who will be in the Top 24? Let’s find out!
8:06 p.m. — The morning after their Showstopper performances, contestants gather in a room to be called into the judges’ chambers. There, they will be told if they’ve done enough to reach the Top 24 and compete for America’s vote. They will eliminate more than half of them. The first one is Kaeyra, who sang “River” by Bishop Briggs For her Showstopper. To show her additional musical talents, she played bass guitar in the competition for the first-time. Lionel told the 21-year it’s time for her quit being a lounge singer and start being a lead singer. She’s in the Top 24!
8:12 p.m. — Warren Peay put down his guitar to concentrate on the vocals of his Showstopper performance, “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers Band. It’s one of his favorite songs of all time, so he hopes he did it justice. Although the judges were concerned that he would not have a guitar, they did not object. Warren is told by Luke that he will be the next Top 24 singer.
8:25 p.m. — After narrowly making it through the Duets round, 25-year old Nutsa She had much to prove. She pulled out all the stops for her Showstopper of “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner. It’s fun to see someone actually cut loose and dance with their performance. She certainly puts on quite a show. Katy says, “We might be nuts for Nutsa!” While delivering the news, Katy tortures the poor woman and says, “We did not put you in our Top 24,” before adding, “You put yourself in the Top 24.” So we’ll be seeing more from Nutsa next week!
8:33 p.m. — Next to learn his fate is music teacher Adin Boyer, who sang “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay His Showstopper performance. The judges are mesmerized by the 22-year old’s piano skills, but does he move them vocally? But not enough. Lionel tells Adin that he’s ready to start a career in songwriting right now, in fact, Lionel wants to write alongside him. But he’s just not vocally ready for this particular competition.
8:37 p.m. — Michael Williams is next. The 21-year old from Ohio sang “Angels Like You” by Miley Cyrus His Showstopper. He’s got great stage presence, but this was a rare vocal struggle for the performer. Lionel sums it up best by saying, “There’s a point where you gotta stop being cute really kill ’em.” Once again, Katy scares him into thinking he’s been cut before saying, “We have to let you go…into the Top 24.” So, despite a less-than-stellar round from Michael, he’ll have another shot for America’s vote.
9:00 p.m. — The judges have had a hard time deciding between PJAE and Malik HeardThey both call each other in together. For his Showtopper, PJAE sang “I Want You” by Luke James. It’s a little strained and Katy thinks he stays in his higher register for a little too long. Malik sang “Can We Talk” by Tevin Campbell. His falsetto is a little too loud for my taste, but it’s still a great performance. The judges choose PJAE and Malik to perform a song. They’ll have a bit of time to rehearse and come back. Who will win? After an hour, they return and sing “Everything I Wanted” by Billie Eilish. BOTH were deemed to have what it took to be in the Top 24. They’ve decided to move someone else out of the competition instead.
9:04 p.m. — Wé Ani has been taking risks throughout the entire competition, and she won’t stop now taking on “Ain’t No Way” by Aretha Franklin. As Luke said, she was really layin’ it on them with this one. She’s a star and she’s heading to the Top 24!
9:15 p.m. — Zachariah Smith This season has been entertaining to watch, but is it enough to propel him forward? He continues the theatrics with a performance of “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen He is a great entertainer and shows it every time. He’s a bit of a ham up there, but in a fun way. More importantly, he’s got a great voice! It’s really difficult not to smile while Zachariah is on stage. If he makes it to America’s vote, he’s a legitimate threat to win. And he’s done just that. Zachariah is among the Top 24!
9:25 p.m. — Platinum Ticket winner Kaylin Hedges is singing “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal for her spot in the Top 24. The 15-year old came in with high expectations, but she’s sort of been in the background in Hollywood. This Showstopper performance is actually a bit brutal to listen to, so I’m not sure what the judges will do here. Alas, Lionel tells Kaylin she just needs more time, but she wouldn’t have made it this far if she didn’t have promise. It’s the end of the road for this Platinum Ticket holder.
9:32 p.m. — Kaylin’s duet partner and fellow Platinum Ticket holder Tyson Venegas He now fears that he will also be subject to the same fate. He had a rough time in the Showstoppers round while singing “Cuz I Love You” by Lizzo. He lost his focus and forgot the first verse lyrics, but he recovered. He still managed to perform his worst performance at the competition. The judges haven’t lost faith in this young talent and Tyson will advance to the Top 24.
9:38 p.m. — Songwriter Haven Madison has chosen “Bird Set Free” by Sia for her Showstopper. The 16-year old has been a standout all season, but this wasn’t particularly her best moment. Luke thinks she has “tons of promise” and Haven has made the Top 24!
9:45 p.m. — Next up is FireThis season has been quite a rollercoaster ride for, She auditioned twice and her Duets partner quit her. Then she barely made it to the Showstoppers round. She sings “Mercy” by Duffy in hopes of proving she has what it takes to sing for America’s vote. The judges have seen a lot of growth from Fire, but she’s not quite ready for the main stage. Her journey is over.
9:50 p.m. — Powerhouse Lucy Love is up next and she sang “Flying Without Wings” by Season 2 champ Ruben Studdard Showstopper. It’s a little less controlled than some of her other performances, but I can’t imagine them dropping her. She’s got too much personality. Lionel says she has “such a vocal gift,” but Katy noticed Lucy wasn’t happy with her performance. Lucy made it to the Top 24 thanks to the judges.
10:00 p.m. — Closing out tonight’s episode will be another face-off between two contestants. Paige Anne was sick for the Showstoppers round and had to perform “California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & the Papas An iPhone. It certainly wasn’t ideal, but she did her best and sounded good. Megan Danielle sang “Always Remember Us This Way” by Lady Gaga. These two young singers are great, but there’s only one. They’re asked to pick any Adele Song and return. They choose “Easy On Me” and return. Paige sings her heart out and everyone’s impressed. But when it’s time for Megan to take her shot, the episode ends! This duel will continue tomorrow night when “American Idol” returns for the “Final Judgement Part 2.” Who will make the cut?
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