‘American Idol’ Recap: HunterGirl Ditches Her Guitar & Gets The Crowd Going For Top 24 Performance

The first half of the top 24 took the stage for performances during the April 10 episode of 'American Idol,' and some of the contestants totally blew the judges away!

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The April 10 episode of American Idol features performance from 12 of the top 24 contestants of season 20. The performance were pre-taped in Hawaii, but America will get to vote on their favorites to determine which artists move on in the competition. Up first is Jay Copeland, the winner of the platinum ticket during Austin auditions. Jay sings “Want You Back” by the Jackson 5, and Lionel Richie says his singing is “off the charts.” The judges aren’t thrilled with the song choice, though, as they don’t think it highlighted Jay’s best abilities.

Next up is Elli Rowe. Elli performs Fleetwood Mac’s “Everywhere” for her set in Hawaii. With some guidance from mentor Jimmie Allen, Elli’s performance is captivating. Katy Perry notices that Elli had some nerves during the performance, but still thought it was “beautiful and angelic.” Elli is also praised for her song choice.

‘American Idol’ Top 24 Performances Begin

tristen gressett
Tristen Gressett performing on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

Tristen Gressett is the next performer. He takes the stage to sing “With A Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles and gets a standing ovation from the judges. “You go out and you leave it on the stage every single time!” Luke Bryan gushes. In addition to Tristan’s voice, the judges are also impressed with his stage presences and energy.

The next performance is from Scarlet. She performs Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” for the top 24, and  Katy is immediately on her feet dancing. Lionel applauds Scarlet’s ability to get the crowd going and bring the entertainment factor. Meanwhile, Katy and Luke admit that the performance started out slow, but are impressed with where Scarlet took things by the end.

Sage takes the stage next, singing the Dolly Parton classic “Jolene.” Sage makes the song her own by putting a unique spin on it. Katy urges Sage to continue showing off her “individual quirks and strengths,” but says Sage is someone she definitely sees making the top 5.

After a performance from mentor, Jimmie Allen, it’s time to get back to the top 24, and Danielle Finn is next to take the stage. Danielle got some criticism during her last performance, so a lot is riding on his. She shows off her artistry with a performance of Elton John’s “Your Song.” Luke and Katy agree that Danielle isn’t quite “100 percent” there, and urge her to work on her stage presence.

danielle finn
Danielle Finn on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

Mike Parker is up next, and gets some advice from one of his heroes, Jimmie, before the performance. He even sings one of Jimmie’s songs, “Best Shot,” for his performance. Mike gets a standing ovation from the judges after he sings the song. They tell him that it was a “great” performance, and praise him for taking their past advice and putting it to work with this performance

This season’s youngest contestant, Emyrson Flora, is the next artist to take the stage. She performs “Angels Like You” by Miley Cyrus. Luke says Emyrson gave one of the “favorite performances” that he’s seen, and Katy says there’s a good chance that Emyrson could be the next American Idol.

Up next, Dan Marshall sings Bryan Adams’ “Heaven.” He takes Jimmie’s advice to not use his guitar onstage, and it pays off. Lionel urges him to continue not using the guitar, and gives him advice for future performances. The judges do notice Dan’s nerves, and Luke admits it wasn’t his “best performance,” but overall, they have words of encouragement for him.

Jacob Moran takes on Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood” next. The song holds special meaning to Jacob, who previously auditioned for Idol and never gave up on the dream. Lionel tells Jacob that it was one of the “greatest performances” he’s given on the show so far.

HunterGirl Slays The ‘American Idol’ Top 24

HunterGirl performing on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

Another platinum ticket winner, HunterGirl, is up next. For her top 24 performance, she sings “Banjo” by the Rascal Flatts. Hunter does the performance without the “safety blanket” of her guitar. Katy points out that there were a few pitch issues, but assures Hunter that she’s “not worried” about her. Luke gushes over the song choice, and praises Hunter for ditching the guitar and get the crowd going.

The final performance of the night is from Nicolina. This time, she makes an emotional connection with the audience by performing “Elastic Heart” by Sia. The stunning performance earns Nicolina a standing ovation, and Luke even says she’s “one of the best singers” in the competition.