Talent Recap

‘American Idol’ Recap: Top 20 Revealed During Night of Strong Performances

ABC/Christopher Willard

Reading Time: 3 minutes

American Idol Season 20 returned on Sunday night, as the Top 20 was revealed in a three-hour episode. Because Kenedi Anderson left the competition after her Top 24 performance, only three contestants were sent home in this episode— Scarlet, Danielle Finn, and Sir Blayke.


The Top 20 performers were announced one by one throughout the show, and they each performed a song. The night was full of some seriously impressive performances. It’s now up to fans to vote for their favorites to decide who should be in the Top 14.

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‘American Idol’ Judges Are Blown Away by Top 20

The Top 20 delivered some incredible performances on Sunday night. At one point, Luke Bryan said it felt “like a finale night,” and Lionel Richie said this is “the strongest class ever.” One of the best performances of the night came from Platinum Ticket winner Jay.

The singer put his own spin on “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse, earning a standing ovation from the panel. Bryan said he “solidified why we gave you the Platinum Ticket,” and Richie agreed by saying Jay “lived up to that potential.”


Other standout performances came from Jacob Moran, whom Katy Perry called “the best singer in the competition,” and Allegra Miles, who had Bryan’s “favorite performance of the night.” Leah Marlene also wowed the judges by singing “Heal” by Tom Odell.

Bryan had to close Perry’s mouth after Leah’s performance, because she was in shock. “What happened to you guys?” Perry asked the night’s performers. “Are you real?”

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Country Stars Bring It with Strong Performances

Sunday night’s show featured several powerhouse performances from the season’s country stars. That includes Platinum Ticket winner HunterGirl, who performed a great original song called “Heartbreak Down.”


Bryan said HunterGirl has a “magic sound” that could be on country radio, while Richie called her a “natural.” Other strong country singers included Mike Parker, whom Perry called “the next country artist,” and Dan Marshall, whose wowed with his stage presence.

Noah Thompson also delivered an impressive performance of “Falling” by Harry Styles. Perry got choked up while sharing her thoughts, because she related to Noah missing his baby while on the show. She called him “a great human being.”

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Singers Make the Judges Cry During Sunday’s Episode

Noah wasn’t the only singer to make the judges cry during Sunday night’s show. Christian Guardino had her full-on sobbing during his performance of “Imagine” by John Lennon, showing off an impressive falsetto.

Bryan told Christian that he “didn’t hear anything but perfection,” while Richie called him the “poster child for the power of the human spirit.” Perry reacted by telling Christian, “God bless you.”

Fritz Hager had all three judges choked up when he performed “when the party’s over” by Billie Eilish. Bryan said it was “perfectly done.” The moment was made even more emotional by the fact that Fritz got to sing right after his idol Phillip Phillips, who was a guest performer.

Remember to vote for your favorite contestants ahead of Monday night’s Top 14 show. Voting is open until Monday, April 18, at 9 a.m. ET. Let us know in your comments which singer had your favorite performance of the night.

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Bea from Indiana
Bea from Indiana
1 year ago

After 20 seasons …..I am astonished at the top 20 performances sounding, acting and singing like professionals. The April 17, 2022 performances were over the moon and I would be thrilled to own a video (without advertisements) of the top 20 performances. I have the show on my DVR “keep until I erase” but prefer without the advertisements. American Idol producers…..please create a DVD we can purchase of these top 20 talented contestants and let me be the first to purchase one.

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