The first round of the top 20 performed with some of the best singers in business for the celebrity duets edition of ‘American Idol’ on April 7. The first 7 contestants to make up the top 14 were announced, which meant 3 singers were eliminated.
The first round of American Idol contestants from the top 20 are performing in hopes of nabbing a spot in the top 14. Ten contestants are performing on night one of celebrity duets and three will be going home. The next 10 contestants from the top 20 will perform on April 8. The first celebrity duet of the night is Walker Burroughs and Jason Mraz. They team up for a fun rendition of Jason’s song “Have It All.” After the performance is over, Jason raves that Walker “has it all.” The judges all loved Walker and Jason’s duet, with Katy Perry calls it “so cool and composed.”
Next up is Kate Barnette, who is performing with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo. They perform a sensational rendition of Pat’s hit “Heartbreaker.” Kate holds her own alongside the legend and rocks out with her guitar alongside Neil. She’s only been playing the electric guitar for one year and she kills it. Lionel Richie advises Kate to take everything she’s learned from Pat and Neil and use it for the rest of her career.
In her first-ever duet, Riley Thompson is singing “Like I Loved You” with Brett Young. The 16-year-old starts out the duet on her own and showcases her amazing vocals. When she sings with Brett, they have a lot of musical chemistry together. Right after the duet is over, Luke Bryan whispers to the judges, “Our job just got tougher.” Brett calls Riley “incredible” after their duet. Lionel raves that Riley is handling the pressure of the competition so well for a 16-year-old. Katy admits that “our jaws were all on the floor” after Riley reveals a different side of her voice. Luke says the performance was Riley’s best yet.
Uche and Shaggy team up for the next celebrity duet. They perform “I Need Your Love” and Uche is a total natural alongside Shaggy. Uche has such a great stage presence. The judges note that he had a few vocal issues during the duet, but he has such amazing energy when he’s on stage. Madison Vandenburg sings “We Belong” with Pat and Neil for her celebrity duet. Luke commends the 17-year-old for going toe-to-toe with Pat. “You don’t know how to hit a wrong note,” Luke says. Lionel says that Madison “took it to the next level” with her performance.
Shawn Robinson and Elle King sing their own unique version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary.” At first, Shawn was scared of the song choice because it’s way out of his comfort zone. Elle decides to put a different spin on the performance instead of going with the usual Tina Turner rendition. The slower rendition allows Shawn to showcase his vocals a lot more. Shawn sang a little too early at one point, but Lionel praises Shawn for how he recovered from the flub.
Ashley Hess decides to reinvent Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” for their duet. She starts out on the piano for a slowed down version at the beginning of the song. Ashley and Jason are effortless together. Her voice sounds incredible. Katy calls the opening “so fresh.” The judges really love her vibe. Shaggy hits the stage for his second duet with Bumbly. They perform an infectious rendition of his hit “Angel.” Luke gushes that Bumbly had a “really, really great vocal” with Shaggy. Lionel adds, “I love what you did.”
Laci Kaye Booth and Brett Young perform an incredible version of his hit song “Mercy.” The judges are blown away. “That was an incredible performance,” Lionel says, before noting that Laci and Brett had amazing chemistry. Katy says that she doesn’t want to play favorites, but it’s clear that Laci is her favorite at the moment. The last celebrity duet is Laine Hardy and Elle King’s performance of “The Weight” by The Band. All three judges are on their feet after the terrific performance. Katy notes that Laine looks and sounds like a total rock star. “You have really, really stepped up,” Lionel says. Laine’s brother makes an epic surprise appearance to support his brother.
Only 7 contestants are moving on to the top 14. The judges have chosen Laci Kaye Booth, Ashley Hess, Walker Burroughs, Madison Vandenburg, Uche, Riley Thompson, and Laine Hardy to move on to the top 14. That means Shawn Robinson, Bumbly, and Kate Barnette have been eliminated. The next 7 contestants to make the top 14 will be revealed during the April 8 episode.