Somehow, there are still 50 contestants left at the top of Monday (April 2) night’s episode of American Idol — one for every week of auditions it feels we endured this season. But now Hollywood Week, with its Group Round, Solo Round, Ground Round and You Spin Me Right Round, is over, and it’s time to chop the slack off this stack of hopefuls once and for all and see who’s left standing in the Top 24.
Kentucky teen Layla Spring is the first to face Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan’s so-called “Final Judgement,” following her showcase performance of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” the night before. Luke tells Layla, “We’re really scared to send 16-year-olds through, but you’re a 16 year old that’s going through.” And so she’s secured a spot in the Top 24.
Michael J. Woodard previously stunned the judges with his version of Cabaret show tune “Maybe This Time” during the Solo Round. For his Showcase, he makes another bold song choice with Alanis Morissette’s ‘90s alt-rock anthem “You Oughta Know.” The risky pays off as Michael becomes the first male to land in the Top 24.
Katy’s fauxmance with California construction worker Trevor Holmes comes to an end as she declares, “I’m over him,” during his Showcase performance of Niall Horan’s hit “Slow Hands.” True to her word, Trevor is sent packing back to the Valley. On the bright side, you’ll probably see him next time you’re trapped in one-lane traffic near an Encino on-ramp on the 101.
Once again, Pittsburgh teen Gabby Barrett finds herself unable to stray from the Carrie Underwood songbook. She does “Church Bells” for her Showcase, which ultimately pays off. “I think you’re next level,” Luke tells ecstatic Gabby. She make it to the Top 24.
Alas, Thaddeus Johnson isn’t so lucky. The returning Season 9 contestant finds history repeating itself when he loses out on making the Top 24 once more. “Thaddeus, you’ll rise,” Katy offers in consolation. Probably not the best time for a judge to reference one of their own songs, but I digress.
Miami firecracker Michelle Sussett has consistently shown that she’s got a touch of Looney Tunes going on, and that’s why she’s been my favorite contestant all season. With her singing, dancing, personality and inspired outfit choices, she’s also very clearly got star quality. But will she make the Top 24? I decide that if she doesn’t, I’m throwing my TV out the window of my sixth-floor apartment. Good news for any neighbors down below: Michelle advances in the competition.
Also moving forward are Trevor McBane, Dominique, Maddie Poppe, Ron Bultongez, Alyssa Rhagu, Kay Kay, Brandon Diaz and Amelia Hammer Harris. On the flip side, it’s curtains for Milo Sposato, Les Greene, Britney Holmes and William Casanova.
Jurnee make the right Showcase song choice with “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman, as does Shannon O’Hara, who takes on Katy’s Prism ballad “Unconditionally.” Both ladies sail on through to the Top 24, along with quirky Catie Turner following her complete reinvention of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”
Noah Davis sadly isn’t as lucky when he tackles Gaga’s “You And I.” His performance is uncharacteristically terrible, and Katy ultimately sticks the knife in by telling him, “I think [your] journey must continue, but it’s not going to be here.” So long, wig. Noah joins Harper Grace, Carly Moffa, Samothias, Lee Vasi and Victoria McQueen in getting the boot.
What happens next is an absolute showstopper: Drag queen Ada Vox gives not only the performance of the night, but of the entire season to-date. Vox completely kills it with Radiohead’s “Creep,” then bravely strips off the wig and makeup to meet with the judges for the first time as Adam Sanders, the man behind Ada. “I wanted to face you all as myself,” says Adam. Lionel tells him, “You have taken us on a rollercoaster ride,” before announcing that Adam/Ada will be in the Top 24.
Youngsters Jonny Brenns, Mara Justine, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Garrett Jacobs also nab spots in the next round, but one teenager who’s sent back to reality is Louisiana native Laine Hardy. It’s also the end of the line for Maddie Zahm, following her shaky Showcase performance of Pink’s “What About Us.”
Cade Foehner continues to shine as this season’s electric guitar rock-and-roller, while Effie Passero impresses with her rendition of Garth Brooks’ “The Dance.” Both join proud papas Marcio Donaldson and Dennis Lorenzo in filling the final four spots in the Top 24.
Don’t get too attached to this double dozen, though; next week 10 more contestants will wind up on the chopping block, while the contestants also pair up with current hit-making artists for Idol’s first time staging all-star duets.