‘American Idol’ Slashes Half The Singers In Brutal Final Judgement. See Who Made It Through.

Jill O'Rourke
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American Idol Top 40 HawaiiKaren Neal/ABC

Last week, American Idol narrowed its crop of contestants down to the Top 40 in Hollywood. This week, the show moved things to Hawaii, for a three-hour episode at Disney’s Aulani Resort.

In the midst of beach party fun and hangouts with Mickey Mouse, the singers performed on an outdoor stage in front of a cheering audience. The next day, they faced the Final Judgment to learn whether or not they made it to the Top 20.

There were some tears and tough decisions, but only half of the contestants made it out of this episode with a spot in the competition. To make things interesting (and maybe in anticipation of April Fools’ Day), the judges tried faking out the contestants several times when telling them good news.

Alyssa Raghu

After being eliminated last season, Alyssa returned to the show this year determined to do better. The judges saw improvement in her performance of “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor, with Katy Perry suggesting she had practiced her dance moves. Katy then let her know that they “don’t see a Top 20 with you not in it.” She’s moving on.

Madison VanDenburg

Madison has been a frontrunner in the competition since the judges compared her to former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. For her Top 40 performance, she chose to sing “Who’s Lovin’ You” by the Jackson 5. During her judgment, Lionel Richie sneaked up on her with the news that she’s going to be in the Top 20.

Myra Tran

Even Madison admitted that Myra might be her biggest competition. Both singers were compared to Kelly Clarkson, and Myra’s powerhouse voice already won The X Factor in Vietnam. Despite her viral popularity, her performance of “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana wasn’t as strong as previous weeks, and the judges chose to eliminate her.

Logan Johnson

Logan took a risk by singing “Sorry” by Justin Bieber with half the lyrics in Spanish. The crowd went wild for it — so wild, in fact, that he almost got pulled into the audience when he reached out his hand. It was all worth it, as the judges chose to send him to the Top 20.

Nate Walker

Hollywood Week was tough for Nate, as he lost his voice and had to be taken to the hospital. He pushed forward and made it to Hawaii, where he chose to perform “Still” by Lionel Richie’s band The Commodores. It wasn’t enough for the judges to send him forward, as Lionel told him he was “in his head.” Nate said he would use their advice.

Dimitrius Graham

After an emotional moment performing for his mom before her surgery during Hollywood Week, Dimitrius took the stage in Hawaii. He chose to perform “Latch” by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith. The show initially left us in suspense as to whether he was moving forward, but there was nothing to worry about. Dimitrius is going to the Top 20.

Ashley Hess

This week, Ashley decided to perform without the piano, which she calls her “safety net.” Her performance of “Gone Away” by H.E.R. wasn’t the judges’ favorite, and she agreed that she was better by herself behind the piano. However, the judges chose to give her another chance in the Top 20.

Drake McCain

This hard-working teen performed “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5. Although Katy said she was proud of his “growth” and energetic interaction with the audience, she felt that he was “straining” to hit the notes. Unfortunately, Drake didn’t move forward to the next stage of the competition.

Kai the Singer

Kai said she wants to be an “inspiration” to people. She chose to perform “Wild Things” by Alessia Cara. Katy said she was “coming out of her shell” by pumping up the audience. However, the judges chose not to send her to the Top 20. As Luke Bryan said, there were “little things” in each of her performances that held her back.

Laci Kaye Booth

This longtime Idol fan performed “Georgia on My Mind” by Ray Charles. Luke said she was “special” and Katy called her a “diamond in the rough.” During her judgment, Laci got one step closer to her dream, as the judges sent her through to the Top 20.

Nick Townsend

Nick said he was thinking of his two late brothers as he sang “Hold Back the River” by James Bay. The judges were touched by his story, and said they were “honored” to get to know him. However, they said this wasn’t his best performance. Nick won’t be in the Top 20, but Lionel emphasized that he has helped many people by appearing on the show.

Walker Burroughs

Walker joked about wearing SPF 100 to protect his pale skin in Hawaii. Luckily, his performance of “Youngblood” by 5 Seconds of Summer happened at night. He said he believed this was his “weakest” solo performance. However, it was good enough for the judges to send him to the Top 20.


Ryan Hammond

This singer chose to perform a song chosen by his boyfriend Chris, who couldn’t be with him in Hawaii. His performance of “A Song for You” by Donny Hathaway impressed the judges. “You listened, and you applied what we said,” Katy told him during his judgment. Ryan made it to the Top 20.


Evelyn Cormier & Kate Barnette

Both Evelyn and Kate gave great performances in Hawaii. Kate performed a unique rendition of “Royals” by Lorde, and Evelyn sang “No Roots” by Alice Merton. The judges were wowed by them, and chose to send both contestants through to the Top 20.


Emma Kleinberg

Emma performed “Is This Love” by Bob Marley. Although Katy said the judges “love your sound” and her “grit,” she was looking for more “stage presence” and “sparkle.” Unfortunately, Emma did not earn a spot in the Top 20.


This singer has plenty of personality, which he showed off in his dramatic performance of “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry. He dressed in a fur vest and showed off some major dance moves, bringing the judges to their feet. Lionel said he “killed it,” and let him know that he’ll be back for the Top 20.

Alejandro Aranda

Fan favorite Alejandro chose to sing “Yellow” by Coldplay, earning a standing ovation from the judges. “He makes me wanna make out with someone!” Katy declared. The judges encouraged him to keep taking risks, and sent him to the Top 20.

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon

Jeremiah left his job as a janitor at his father’s church and moved out after not being accepting for coming out as gay. He performed Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” dedicating the performance to his mom and dad. Katy said it was “really bold” of him not to sing at the piano like he usually does. It paid off, as Jeremiah is going to the Top 20.


Blind singer Shayy shared her appreciation for how supportive her fellow contestants have been during her time on the show. In fact, she brought some of her friends to tears during her rehearsal. She chose to sing “All I Ask” by Adele. Lionel said the judges are inspired by her, but chose not to send her to the Top 20.

Riley Thompson

The youngest contestant in the competition performed “Mama’s Broken Heart” by Miranda Lambert. Luke called this 16-year-old “America’s sweetheart,” and said the judges chose to “roll the dice” on her. She’s headed to the Top 20.

Wade Cota

Wade was worried about a lot of things before he took the stage at Aulani, from flying to Hawaii to the caliber of talent in the competition. However, he pulled out a great performance of “Work Song” by Hozier. The judges praised his “instantly recognizable” voice and sent him to the Top 20.

Margie Mays & Eddie Island

Both of these singers have quirky personalities and great voices. Margie performed a jazzy version of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass,” but worried that it wasn’t her best. Eddie sang “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia, and had the judges on their feet. Margie and Eddie were judged together. The judges eliminated Margie and sent Eddie to the Top 20, encouraging him to take things seriously.

Laine Hardy & Tyler Mitchell

Last year, Laine Hardy was cut at this point in the competition. The show left him and Tyler Mitchell as the last two contestants in the Top 40, with only one spot left in the Top 20. Tyler sang “Suitcase” by Steve Moakler, and dedicated it to his wife. Laine wore a suit to perform “Come Together” by the Beatles, and the judges hardly recognized him. They ultimately chose to send Laine to the Top 20, with Tyler going home.

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