Talent Recap

‘American Idol’ Recap: Top 20 Revealed as Contestants Perform Original Songs

ABC/Eric McCandless

Reading Time: 3 minutes

American Idol Season 21 returned on Sunday night with a three-hour episode, as the Top 20 was revealed following last week’s vote. The contestants who made it through performed for the chance to make it into the Top 12. Several of them took the stage with original songs.


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American Idol Top 20 Contestants Perform Originals

Several members of the Top 20 chose to perform original songs on Sunday night. That included Marybeth Byrd, who sang a song she wrote called “People Pleaser.” The emotional performance earned a standing ovation from the judges and was described by Lionel Richie as “superstar material.”

Oliver Steele also earned praise for his performance of a song called “Too Soon,” and Lucy Love shared an inspirational song called “Boulders.” Judge Katy Perry told Lucy that she “captured my heart” with her performance.

Platinum Ticket winner Tyson Venegas also impressed with a performance of his song “180” while playing the piano. Perry told him the song helped everyone to understand “what you stand for.” Tyson is now the only Platinum Ticket winner left in the competition this season.


SEE ALSO: ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ WINNER NOAH THOMPSON TEASES NEW MUSIC FOR FANS

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Female Singers Bring the House Down

Sunday’s episode featured a number of powerhouse performances from the Top 20. It was an especially strong night for the competition’s female singers, who belted out hits by Celine Dion, Adele, Toni Braxton, and more.

Olivia Soli’s soaring performance of “I Surrender” earned a standing ovation, as Perry said that “America got this one right.” Meanwhile Nutsa’s performance of “Un-Break My Heart” inspired Richie to call her a “force to be reckoned with.”


Paige Anne, who was eliminated in the Showstoppers round before replacing a contestant in the Top 26, also impressed with a performance of “Say Something” by A Great Big World. Perry told the 16-year-old that she’s the “best vocalist in this age category.”

At the end of the night, Wé Ani was the final contestant announced as part of the Top 20. She followed the news with a stunning performance of “Skyfall.” Luke Bryan said she was “so deserving” of her spot.

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Six Contestants Eliminated, Voting Open Overnight

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to six contestants on Sunday night. That includes Elijah McCormick, who earned America’s Platinum Ticket for his audition. The other eliminated contestants included PJAE, Elise Kristine, Emma Busse, Malik Heard, and Dawson Wayne.

The night also featured a guest performance by music legend Smokey Robinson. Last season’s winner Noah Thompson also took the stage during the show with runner-up HunterGirl to perform Thompson’s song “One Day Tonight.”

Fans can now vote for their favorite singers to make it into the Top 12, which will be revealed during Monday night’s show. Voting is open until Monday morning at 9 a.m. ET. Fans can make their choices on the show’s website, on the American Idol app, or by texting the number of their favorite singer to 21523.

What do you think about Sunday night’s show? Do you think America made the right decision about the Top 20? Did your favorites make it through? Let us know in the comments below.

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