‘American Idol’ Recap: Contestant Quits the Competition as Hollywood Week Begins

Jill O'Rourke
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ABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol Season 21 returned Sunday night as Hollywood Week kicked off with the performance challenge. In addition to some incredible performances, the episode also featured a surprising moment as contestant Sara Beth quit the competition.

Sara Beth Quits American Idol During Hollywood Week

Singer Sara Beth got people talking during the auditions, as fans accused judge Katy Perry of mom shaming her. During Hollywood Week, she performed “Roxanne” by The Police. After singing, she shared that it would be her “last performance,” as she wanted to go home to her kids.

Perry tried to convince her to stay in the competition, telling her that “self-love is just as big as motherly love.” The judges even told Sara Beth that she had made it through to the next stage of Hollywood Week. However, she still chose to go home, admitting that she would probably regret it later.

As part of this round, the contestants chose one of three areas of improvement for themselves — confidence, songwriting, and stage presence. There were several Idol alumni on hand to mentor them, including Jordin Sparks, Clay Aiken, Justin Guarini, David Archuleta, Phillip Phillips, and Catie Turner.


Singers Deliver Strong Performances

Sunday night’s episode featured several strong performances from this season’s contestants. That includes a powerhouse rendition of “I Surrender” by Nutsa, an emotional take on “Something in the Orange” by Marybeth Byrd, and a creative original song by Wé Ani.

Wé challenged herself to work on her stage presence by encouraging the judges and audience to sing along with her as she performed. After she walked off the stage, she heard everyone continuing to sing the lyrics, which made her cry.

Another impressive performance from Sunday night came from Lucy Love, who sang “Make You Feel My Love,” earning a standing ovation from the judges. Perry called it “spectacular” and joked that “the show is over.”

The judges were also wowed by Iam Tongi, who performed “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt. Luke Bryan predicted that he’ll make it into the Top 10.

Judges Hand Out Fourth Platinum Ticket

Promos for Sunday’s new Hollywood Week episode teased that the judges would be handing out another Platinum Ticket. That turned out to be the one chosen by fans last year. Singer Elijah McCormick was announced as the winner thanks to America’s votes.

Elijah joins fellow Platinum Ticket winners Tyson Venegas, Kaylin Hedges, and Cam Amen. They got to skip the first round of Hollywood Week and go straight to the duets round, which will air on Monday night. The judges told the remaining contestants at the end of Sunday’s episode that they’ll be choosing their own partners.

Find out which singers are paired up and who makes it through to the next round when the second night of Hollywood Week airs Monday night at 8/7c on ABC.

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