American Idol is switching things up in a big way for Hollywood Week. Katy Perry declares it’s “time to rewrite the rules” this season. The contestants get to choose one area where they want to see improvement. The categories are confidence, songwriting, and stage presence.
The Platinum Ticket winners Cam Amen, Tyson Venegas, and Kaylin Hedges get to watch the first round of performances. There’s also a fourth Platinum Ticket winner who was voted for by America: Elijah McCormick.
Season 21 has brought back Idol alums to help with Hollywood Week. Phillip Phillips and Catie Turner are the songwriting mentors. Clay Aiken and David Archuleta are the confidence mentors. Jordin Sparks and Justin Guarini are stage presence mentors.
The first singer up is Nutsa, who performs a show-stopping rendition of “I Surrender.” Her stage presence is incredible. Katy goes right ahead and says, “This is the best season.” Nutsa must wait until her entire line is finished performing before she finds out if she’s made the next round.
Colin Stough has never performed on stage before, so it’s no wonder he chose to get some mentoring in confidence. You’d never know he’s not a seasoned performer because his rendition of “Stone” by Whiskey Myers is incredible.
Sara Beth also gets some confidence mentoring from Clay. She performs a solid rendition of “Roxanne” by The Police. After her performance, Sara reveals that this is her last performance. “My heart’s at home, so I’m going to get home.” The judges are shocked. They decide to bring her out and try to convince her to stay.
Katy asks Sara not to leave the competition. Sara feels like she’s not going to win, so she should just go home. All of the performers in this line make it through, including Sara. Katy implores Sara not to give up, but Sara has made up her mind. She’s going home.
Mary Beth Byrd wows with her performance of “Something In The Orange” by Zach Bryan. “Mary Beth Byrd for the win,” Katy says. Zachariah Smith rocks out to “Cold As Ice” By Foreigner, and Hannah Nicolaisen stuns with an original song. All 3 performers are moving on.
Wé Ani impresses the judges and the crowd with her original song. She’s certainly got stage presence. Olivia Soli, Malik Heard, and Kaeyra also deliver memorable performances. Lyric Medeiros thinks she’s taking a risk by performing a Smash song, but it’s not what the judges are looking for right now. Olivia, Malik, and Kaeyra are moving on, but not Lyric.
The younger performers Paige Anne, Maddie Grace, Haven Madison, McKayla Stacey take the stage next. Jordin is her mentor, and she babysat McKayla as a child. Phil Stacey from Idol season 6 shows up and has a reunion with Jordin.
Haven performs an original song “Still Need You” that was inspired by her brother who has battled depression. She gets a standing ovation. Luke Bryan calls Haven a “massive star.” For Maddie and McKayla, it’s the end of the line. Paige and Haven are headed to the next round.
Matt Wilson works with Jordin on stage presence, while Oliver Steele speaks with songwriting with Phillip. Oliver delivers a powerful performance of “Broken Halos” by Chris Stapleton. Everyone in Matt and Oliver’s group is moving on.
Fire tries to step up her game once again with only one chance to showcase her talent. She continues to reveal her potential with her performance. Lucy Love’s stage presence is out of this world. Katy calls her performance of “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele “spectacular.” Fire and Lucy are going to the next round.
Brayden Phillips is nervous on stage, but he has a solid performance. Season 20 winner Noah Thompson shows up to talk to Mariah Faith about stage presence. When Mariah’s on stage, she comes alive. Even though this is Trey Louis’ first time on a stage like this, he wows the judges with his confidence. Mariah and Trey are moving forward.
Emma Busse is trying to step out of her Broadway comfort zone for American Idol. “You were spectacular,” Katy says before telling her that she’s moving on.
Unfortunately, nerves get the best of Ashley Tankard and Kamron Lawson. Megan Danielle shines in her first performance. “Your career is waiting for you,” Lionel Richie says to Megan. She’s moving on!
Dawson Wayne dazzles with his original song “Sour Skies.” Kya Monee’s performance “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” is a showstopper. The final performance of the night comes from Iam Tongi. Everyone gives him a round of applause for his gorgeous performance of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Luke says that Iam is “top 10 no doubt.” Iam, Dawson, and Kya are headed to the next round, which is none other than the Duets round of Hollywood Week.