‘American Idol’ Recap: The Top 3 Finalists Are Revealed After Shocking Eliminations

The top 5 went down to the top 3 after sensational performances during the May 15 episode of 'American Idol.' Unfortunately, two contestants were eliminated by the end of the night.

Leah Marlene
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The top 5 are being mentored by American Idol’s own Carrie Underwood, the winner of season 4. They will each have a mentor session with Carrie before their performances during the May 15 episode. Leah Marlene, Fritz Hager, Nicolina, HunterGirl, and Noah Thompson will be performing songs from Carrie’s incredible catalog.

HunterGirl kicks off a night of Carrie with a sassy performance of “Undo It.” Katy Perry raves that this was HunterGirl’s “best performance” yet. Luke Bryan loves how “inspired” HunterGirl was by Carrie.

American Idol
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan during the top 5 performances. (ABC)

‘American Idol’ Top 5 Performances

Leah is over the moon about speaking with Carrie. Leah admits that she wanted to be Carrie when she was younger. She performs a stunning rendition of Carrie’s “I’ll Stand By You” cover. Luke calls the performance “beautiful on all levels” and says she never looks like she’s not in control. Lionel Richie tells Leah that she “took that song and turned it into your song.”

Fritz takes on “I Wanna Remember,” Carrie’s song with NEEDTOBREATHE. Luke commends Fritz for his “great interpretation” of the song. Lionel can’t get over how much effortless stage presence Fritz has. Katy says Fritz’s performance was “captivating” and appreciates how he “stayed true” to who he is as an artist.

Noah was still on the mend from having COVID-19 so he was unable to go to Las Vegas for an in-person meeting with Carrie. His performance of “So Small” is his first time back in the studio. He brings the country charm to the stage, and the judges point out that “people are obsessed” with him.

Nicolina ends Carrie’s portion of the show with a dynamic performance of “Blown Away.” Katy tells Nicolina that she’s “so proud” of her growth. Lionel stresses that Nicolina needs to stay in this lane of performing because it’s working for her.

Leah Marlene
Leah Marlene during the top 5 performances. (ABC)

Leah starts out the second half of the night with a show-stopping rendition of Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). Luke jokes, “Y’all are going after each other now.” He is nearly speechless over the performance. Katy points out that Leah reintroduced this classic song to a new generation.

HunterGirl totally owns her performance of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush.” Lionel raves that HunterGirl’s “sound was crystal clear.” Katy admits that she’s got a girl crush on HunterGirl and her nieces are voting for her. “You’re totally in star mode right now,” Luke says.

Fritz knocks it out of the park with his rendition of 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Youngblood” — without his guitar, too! Katy is nearly speechless. “That was so cool!” she raves. Luke admits that he’s going to need Idol to remove any record of him turning down Fritz during his audition.

Fritz Hager
Fritz Hager during his one of his top 5 performances. (ABC)

Nicolina brings her A-game for her terrific performance of “All I Ask” by Adele. After her final note, she bursts into tears. “That was an American Idol treasured moment,” Lionel declares. Katy sees that Nicolina came to play and tells Nicolina, “Way to bring it out.”

‘American Idol’ Top 3 Revealed

The final performance of the night comes from Noah. He goes for a simple but powerful performance of “Working Man” by Larry Fleet with his guitar. “You just aced that test,” Katy tells Noah. Luke admits that Noah with just a guitar and a stool is enough to hold the room.

Now it’s time to reveal the top 3. The first contestant to be announced is HunterGirl. The next to make the top 3 is Noah Thompson. It’s down to Leah Marlene, Fritz Hager, and Nicolina. The final person joining the top 3 is… Leah Marlene!

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