The top 10 “American Idol” contestants chosen by viewers and the show’s judges were revealed Monday night, the first live results show of the season.
The most dramatic moment of the show came when, in an emotional moment, Lionel Richie unexpectedly revealed his pick: Uché.
Ryan Seacrest called the contestants up one by one and told them whether or not America had voted them into the Victory Zone — the top 10 — or the Danger Zone. Those in the Victory Zone sang “victory songs,” while those in the Danger Zone sang for their lives, hoping to convince the judges to choose them.
The seven contestants America chose were, in the order they were revealed: Madison VanDenburg, Walker Burroughs, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Wade Cota, Laci Kaye Booth, Laine Hardy and Alejandro Aranda.
That left Uché, Alyssa Raghu, Dimitrius Graham, Ashley Hess, Riley Thompson, Eddie Island and Evelyn Cormier in the Danger Zone, praying that they’d convinced the judges to give them another chance and allow them to join the top 10.
Uché was the last to perform, belting out “Diamonds” by Rihanna. When Seacrest asked Richie what he thought of the performance, he got up, walked onstage, embraced an emotional Uché and declared, “We are not in the singing business! We are in the entertainment business! … A lot of people can sing but very few can sing and perform. You are an entertainer and where an entertainer belongs is … follow me, young man!”
He then took Uché by the hand and led him over to the Victory Zone as the crowd went wild.
“He’s taking him to the top 10!” yelled Seacrest as Katy Perry and Luke Bryan looked shocked.
Following that moment, Bryan said he chose Dimitrius who sang “when the party’s over” by Billie Eilish — purely based on “the emotion” Bryan he said he felt hearing him perform. As for Perry, she chose Alyssa Raghu, who, coincidentally, sang her own hit, “The One that Got Away.”
Bryan told ABC News backstage, “I can’t imagine getting told America didn’t vote you in, and then having to win my spot. And the person I voted for did that very thing. And I just got wrapped up in the emotion of it. I am so happy with my judgment on that.”
Here’s a list of the songs the top 10 performed:
- Alejandro Aranda — Original song, “Cholo Love”
- Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon — Original song, “Almost Heaven”
- Walker Burroughs — “Lovebug,” by Jonas Brothers
- Laine Hardy — “Hurricane,” by The Band of Heathens
- Uché — “Diamonds,” by Rihanna
- Laci Kaye Booth — “As Long as You Follow,” by Fleetwood Mac
- Wade Cota — “Simple Man”, by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Dimitrius Graham — “when the party’s over,” by Billie Eilish
- Alyssa Raghu — “The One That Got Away,” by Katy Perry
- Madison VanDenburg — “You and I,” by Lady Gaga
“American Idol “continues Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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