‘American Idol’ Top 20: The Competition Heats Up With Fierce Solo Performances

Jill O'Rourke
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Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon American Idol Top 20ABC

The American Idol Top 20 have been chosen, and the competition is getting fierce. In Monday’s episode, the contestants returned to Los Angeles from Aulani Resort in Hawaii. They performed solos in front of a live audience at the historic Wiltern Theatre.

These performances gave the hopefuls a chance to receive feedback from the judges before next week’s All-Star Duets round, which will feature artists like Shaggy, Julia Michaels, and Chris Isaak. There were no eliminations this time, but the contestants will have to bring their A-game next week for a spot in the Top 14.

Madison VanDenburg

The judges compared this teen to Kelly Clarkson in her audition, and Katy Perry repeated the comparison after her performance of “Domino” by Jessie J. Katy also encouraged her to show off more “big, long notes.” Lionel Richie, meanwhile, told her to develop her stage presence.

Shawn Robinson

Shawn said he used to be bullied for his voice, but now he’s performing in front of an adoring audience. He sang “Jealous” by Nick Jonas, and blew the judges away. Luke Bryan encouraged him to “let it flow,” while Katy said she wanted to hear more of his amazing low range.

Laine Hardy

After returning to the show in his friend Ashton’s audition, this contestant from last season says he’s in it to win it. He’s been showing off a sleeker style since Sunday’s episode, and his performance of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It on Home to Me” was a crowd-pleaser. “I’m scared of you,” Katy told him. Luke said it looks like he’s trying to win.


This funky wedding singer’s powerhouse performance made Katy Perry swoon. He chose to sing “Figures” by Jessie Reyez. “We almost sent him away,” Luke marveled. Katy admitted that he’s definitely “a lot,” but said that’s not always bad thing.

Eddie Island

The judges asked this chill singer to take the competition seriously when they chose to send him to the Top 20. He definitely did that in this performance of “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers. He actually made the judges tear up over his growth. “You have all of it,” Katy told him.

Evelyn Cormier

This former reality TV star with a unique voice chose to sing John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” Katy said she finally found her “authentic self.” Luke said she gained a fan in him as the competition went on. Lionel encouraged her to hold onto her “style.”

Alyssa Raghu

This returning contestant says she promised herself to “have fun” this season. Appropriately, she sang “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore. Luke questioned her song choice but enjoyed watching her on stage. Lionel said she was thinking too much during the first half of the song, and told her to be natural.

Ryan Hammond

This singer with an emotional backstory gave a powerful performance of “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. Lionel said he has “a storytelling voice,” but asked him to “own the stage.” Luke and Katy agreed, saying he should have confidence in the power of his voice.

Raquel Trinidad

This singer hopes to win a Nobel Peace Prize one day, but first she wants to win American Idol. She showed off her distinctive style with a cover of “Lovefool” by the Cardigans. Katy said she’s “becoming an artist,” and asked for a link to her outfit. Lionel encouraged her to be herself.

Logan Johnson

This recovering addict strummed his guitar for a tender rendition of “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” by Rose Royce. Luke said he seemed like a “seasoned veteran.” However, Katy said it seemed more like he was performing a rehearsal for the first part of the song.

Dimitrius Graham

Dimitrius says he’s competing for his mother. He surely made her proud after his haunting performance of Adele’s “Hello.” Lionel said he heard notes he had never heard from Dimitrius before. Luke said he gave “too much” at the beginning of the season, but he’s been “reeling it in.”

Riley Thompson

The youngest competitor this season put her own spin on Dolly Parton’s classic “Jolene.” All the judges agreed that it could have been “grittier” for the song choice. However, Lionel acknowledged that it would take time for her to master it.

Walker Burroughs

Walker delivered a smooth performance of “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees. Luke said he seemed like a “seasoned pro,” and Katy called him “the guy next door.” She also praised his song choice, as well as his Harry Potter-esque fashion sense.


This former subway busker gave a husky performance of “Vision of Love” by Mariah Carey. Lionel said she seemed nervous, and Katy said it didn’t seem like the right song for her. Luke said they were “picking you apart” because she as a great voice.

Ashley Hess

Ashley was back at her piano this episode to sing “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” by John Mayer. “I thought I was at your show,” Katy told her, saying she got “lost” in her performance. Lionel put it simply when he said her performance was “solid.”

Alejandro Aranda

Alejandro says he finally feels accepted on American Idol. His performance of “I Fall Apart” by Post Malone had the audience going wild. “I am not worthy to critique you,” Luke told him, saying no one on the show has ever been like him. Katy told him his arrangement of the song was “next level.”

Kate Barnette

Kate recently considered quitting music, but her time on American Idol has given her a newfound confidence. She performed “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5. Katy said it was “natural,” and Luke said they can “just sit back and listen to you.” Lionel added that she has “funk.”

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon

Jeremiah’s soulful piano performance of “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan had the judges on their feet. Lionel said they were “sucked in from the first note,” calling it “brilliant.” Katy called him a “really important contribution” to music.

Laci Kaye Booth

Laci turned Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me” into a tender ballad. Katy was wowed by her confidence, and Luke was pleasantly surprised by her execution of the song. Lionel said she “found her identity.”

Wade Cota

Wade brought his distinctive voice to a cover of “All I Want” by Kodaline to round out a night of great performances. “A star is born,” Luke told him. Katy said she was “grateful” to be able to support him. Ryan Seacrest invited Wade’s mom on the stage with him as the audience cheered.

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