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‘American Idol’s First Night Of Celebrity Duets Ends With Three Artists Going Home

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

Laine Hardy Elle King American IdolYoutube

After a round of solos, American Idol‘s Top 20 returns to the stage this week to perform celebrity duets with some of music’s biggest stars. Artists such as Jason Mraz, Pat Benatar, and Shaggy joined 10 of the hopefuls on Sunday night.


Some of the contestants got to sing with artists they’ve admired since they were kids. During rehearsals, the stars gave the young singers advice and feedback. At the end of the night, three of the contestants were eliminated. Check out the star-studded performances, and find out if your favorite made it, below.

Walker Burroughs & Jason Mraz

Walker revealed that the first song he ever performed was “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, at 9 years old. That’s why it’s so special that he and Jason paired up for a cover of “Have It All.” Jason praised Walker’s “charm” and encouraged him to be authentic. The pair even performed a secret handshake before their performance. Luke Bryan said it seemed like they were “meant to be on stage together.” Lionel Richie called it “perfect.”

Kate Barnette, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

Kate, who wasn’t allowed to listen to much besides gospel music growing up, said she first heard Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” when she played Guitar Hero. Neil encouraged Kate to perform a solo on the electric guitar, which she’s only been playing for a year. Luke said it was good for Kate to get out of her comfort zone.


Riley Thompson & Brett Young

Riley said her friends would “freak” when they found out that she’s performing with Brett Young. She shared that she loves all of his songs, especially “Like I Loved You,” which they performed for Riley’s first-ever duet. Brett compared her voice to Dolly Parton’s. The judges gave the performance a standing ovation. Lionel said he was proud of how she was handling the pressure, while Luke called it her “best performance.”

Uché & Shaggy

Uché was very excited to be singing with Shaggy, and said it felt like they were on the “same wavelength.” They performed Shaggy’s song “I Need Your Love,” with the Grammy-winning artist guiding Uché in rehearsals. The high-energy performance impressed the judges, with Katy Perry calling it “such a vibe.” Luke said it was OK if he had “a little slip vocally,” because he’s so fun to watch.

Madison VanDenburg, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

She may only be 17, but Madison said she was “fangirling” over these “legends.” The trio performed the classic “We Belong,” which was written when the couple was trying to have a child. Luke said Madison went “toe-to-toe” with Pat, while Lionel said she “took it to the next level.” Katy compared her voice to a Ferrari.


Shawn Robinson & Elle King

Shawn said he was trying to improve his stage presence, and Elle gave him some tips to show more confidence. The pair performed “Proud Mary,” which Shawn admitted he wouldn’t have chosen for himself. After rehearsing, Elle suggested they should sing a slower version of the song. Elle said afterward that Shawn came in early at one point, but Lionel said they “recovered” well. Elle said she was “proud” of how he handled it.

Ashley Hess & Jason Mraz

Ashley and Jason bonded about their initial uncertainty about pursuing music. Ashley said she used to listen to their chosen song, “I’m Yours,” in high school. She chose to change the arrangement of the song, which Jason said he “loved.” Ashley started the duet at the piano, before standing up to join Jason on stage. Katy said this version of the song was “fresh,” and the pair was “in sync.”

Bumbly & Shaggy

Bumbly was excited to be singing a reggae song on the show. She and Shaggy performed his song “Angel.” He advised her not to pay attention to the haters. Bumbly made sure to add some Spanish into the lyrics, and Shaggy added her name at one point. Luke said it was “a lot of fun,” and Katy praised the song choice.

Laci Kaye Booth & Brett Young

Laci said she was “shocked” to be singing with Brett. They chose to sing one of her favorite recent country songs, “Mercy.” Brett said it was his favorite song from his first album. Laci said she wanted to “challenge herself” with the duet. “Have mercy,” Lionel said afterward, calling it a “believable” performance. Katy said it seemed like something on the Grammys, and even implied that Laci is her favorite.

Laine Hardy & Elle King

Elle called Laine a “shy country boy” with a strong voice. The pair sang “The Weight” by The Band, which happens to be the song Laine performed for the judges in his friend Ashton’s audition, earning him a golden ticket to return to the show. Katy said Laine looked and sounded “like a rock star.” After the performance, Laine got a surprise visit from his brother Kyle.

Who Was Eliminated?

The judges announced one by one which contestants would make it through to the Top 14 for America’s vote. Strangely, they chose to put one of their clear favorites, Laine Hardy, in the last four artists on stage. He obviously made it through, sending Kate Barnette, Shawn Robinson, and Bumbly home.

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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