Talent Recap

Lionel Richie Believes ‘American Idol’ Top 5 Contestants Will All Make It Big

Lionel Richie on 'American Idol'ABC/Eric McCandless

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American Idol season 21 hasn’t even ended yet, but R&B superstar Lionel Richie already bets a bright future for the show’s Top 5. The longtime judge is obviously proud of what the artists have become throughout the series.

Lionel Richie Believes That Success Awaits American Idol’s Top 5

During Sunday’s Disney Night episode of the series, the vocal battle between the Top 5 contestants have been intense. Colin Stough, Iam Tongi, Megan Danielle, Wé Ani, and Zachariah Smith didn’t waste any chance and belted the best in an attempt to secure a spot in the Top 3.

After the show, Richie took the time to speak with ET and share his thoughts about this season’s Top 5. According to him, he strongly believes that the contestants could go a long way after the competition.

“The Top 5, they have careers. I mean, you could just see it. Each one of them, they tick off a box,” Richie said. “[They] have the identity, they’ve got the voice, they’ve got the entertainment factor. It’s just a matter now of what you do with it.”

The Idol judge went on and stated how fascinated he is by the fact these contestants just sang for “30 million people,” then quickly gaining billions of impressions.

Last Sunday, the turn of events led Smith and Ani to walk away from the Idol stage. Consequently, Stough, Tongi and Danielle comprise the three artists to grace the Finale.

He Says the Competition is Only the Beginning

In the same interview, Richie said that exposure on Idol is simply a steppingstone towards success. According to the musician, treading a thriving music career is beyond joining the said competition.

“The Top 5, the Top 10, they can make their careers happen. The platform of American Idol is just to get you exposed, ladies and gentlemen!” he said. “Because, right now, the follow-up is the most important thing.”

For Richie, artists must focus more on their sound and the image that they want to show to people.

“I mean, [look at] the Jennifer Hudsons of the world, you know? I mean, where do we go with this?” he said.

On Sunday, American Idol also revealed the upcoming guest performers in the Finale. Among those in the list are Keith Urban, Clay Aiken & Ruben Studdard, Ellie Goulding, James Blunt and Jazmine Sullivan. Richie and the rest of the judging panel – Katy Perry and Luke Bryan – will also perform.

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