Hollywood Week continues like never before on the March 22 episode of American Idol. The remaining contestants think they’re going to the dreaded group round next, but the judges have a curveball in store. This season, the singers will partake in DUETS instead. Everyone will get to pick their duet partner, and the results will be different for each pairing — both singers could move on, only one could move on, or both could be eliminated!
Louis Knight and Francisco Martin are the first pair. They sing “Breakeven” by The Script, but before the performance, Francisco begins freaking out and forgetting some of the lyrics. He struggles a bit through the song, but gets encouragement from the judges and help with the words from Louis while onstage. Luckily, it doesn’t affect his chances, as Katy Perry announces that both guys are moving onto the next round.
Hannah Prestridge and Grace Leer are another duet pair, and they sing “Mama’s Broken Heart” by Miranda Lambert. Grace is announced as safe, but unfortunately, it’s the end of the road for Hannah. Next, Jimmy Levy and Nick Merico go head-to-head with a performance of “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi, and the judges decide that they’re both moving on. Isa Pena and Olivia Ximines are up next. They perform a powerful rendition of Pink’s “Try,” which brings the judges to their feet. Unsurprisingly, they both move onto the next round.
Up next is Madison Paige and Peyton Aldridge. The night before the performance, Madison can’t find Peyton anywhere, and she enlists Bobby Bones’ help to find him. They eventually find him eating chicken wings in his hotel room, and Madison is a good sport, but there’s clearly not much chemistry between them. Peyton makes a last minute change to the performance, and the pair’s stress levels are even higher. Then, Peyton forgets the words onstage. Afterward, he apologizes to Madison in front of everyone and asks the judges to give her another chance, and they agree to let BOTH singers move on.
Zack Dobbins and Courtney Timmons are quite different, and they struggle to pick a song to sing. With just hours to go, they change their song choice to the very difficult “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. It’s definitely out of Zach’s wheelhouse. The performance is pretty much a mess, and the judges send both Zack and Courtney home.
Travis Finlay and returning contestant, Genavieve Linkowski, are up next. Genavieve performed during Hollywood Week two seasons ago. Since then, her sister passed away, and she struggles with the loss during this part of the competition. She and Travis sing “The Prayer,” and their rendition is beautiful. The judges warn Genavieve that she still has some growing to do, but they send both singers through to the next round.
Real life couple, Kat Lopez and Alex Garrido, perform their duet of “You Say” next. Unfortunately, Alex is eliminated, but Kat is going through, so moving forward, these two will be separated. Another couple, Margie Mays (who made it to the top 40 last season) and Jonny West, also perform together. Margie helps Johnny fight through his nerves, but there’s a lot of anxiety and stress going into their performance of “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” Katy admits that both Margie and Jonny are better than what they showed with this song, but reveals that they’re both moving on — “barely.”
Another duet performance is from Cyniah Elise and Makayla Phillips. They have a lot of work to do, as Makayla doesn’t know the lyrics to their song, “The Prayer.” However, they pull it together — the judges love it, and they’re both moving on. Lauren Spencer-Smith and Makayla Brownlee are also both confirmed to move on after their stunning performance.
Robert Taylor and Tito Rey work into the early hours of the morning while preparing their performance. The judges admit that it wasn’t either singer’s “greatest” performance, so they’re using past performances to make their decision, too. Tito is eliminated, while Robert is moving on.
The last duet of the night is from Just Sam and Sheniel Masionet. They get emotional while struggling to get through the stress of rehearsals, and as the performance nears, Just Sam has a major panic attack and has to be tended to by a medic. The girls pull it together for their rendition of Shawn Mendes’ “Mercy,” though,” and they both get picked to go onto the next round.