‘American Idol’ Recap: Carrie Underwood Mentors Top 5 as Season 20’s Finalists Are Decided

Jill O'Rourke
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HUNTERGIRLABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol Season 20 returned Sunday night as the Top 5 performed for a spot in next week’s finale after being mentored by former winner Carrie Underwood in Las Vegas. At the end of the night, the Top 3 were revealed after a live vote.


HunterGirl, Noah Thompson, and Leah Marlene got through thanks to America’s vote. That means we had to say goodbye to Nicolina and Fritz Hager. All of the remaining singers delivered strong performances on Sunday, so it would have been tough to see any of the Top 5 go.

‘American Idol’ Top 5 Mentored by Carrie Underwood

Four out of the five remaining contestants traveled to Las Vegas to see Underwood’s show and be mentored by the star before singing one of her songs on the live stage. After testing positive for Covid-19 last week, Fritz was able to go, but Noah had to stay behind in his hotel room and talk to Underwood remotely.

Standout performances from the Carrie Underwood portion of the show included HunterGirl’s cover of “Undo It.” Underwood showed her how to strut in their mentor session, and HunterGirl definitely took the advice. She really used the stage, even starting her performance in the audience. Judge Katy Perry called it her best performance.


Leah Marlene also knocked it out of the park with her rendition of “I’ll Stand by You” by the Pretenders, which Underwood famously covered. Perry said she reinvented the song. Meanwhile, Underwood was in tears as she helped Noah prepare for his cover of “So Small.”

It was fitting that on a night honoring the show’s most famous country artist, both of the remaining country singers (Noah and HunterGirl) made it through to the finale.

The Top 3 Were Decided Ahead of the Season 20 Finale

Voting was open during the show, and at the end of the night, host Ryan Seacrest announced the Top 3. They’ll be heading back home for the show’s traditional hometown visits ahead of next Sunday’s Season 20 finale.


Both Nicolina and Fritz have been strong competitors this season, and Sunday’s episode was no different. They both blew the judges away this week, especially during their second songs, which were intended to be tracks they’d perform to close their shows.

Nicolina got emotional as she sang Adele’s “All I Ask,” sharing that she admires the singer so much and couldn’t believe she got to perform her song. Fritz sang “Youngblood” by 5 Seconds of Summer, ditching his signature acoustic guitar and giving an energetic performance.

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to both artists at the end of the night. Next week, we’ll get to see the American Idol Top 3 perform for their last chance to be named the winner, in a finale featuring performances from Carrie Underwood, Ben Platt, Michael Bublé, and more.

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