‘American Idol’s Top 26 Revealed In Final Judgment Twist: Recap – Hollywood Life

‘American Idol’ Recap: The Judges Make A Game-Changing Twist With The Top 26

The 'American Idol' judges decided to change things up by adding two additional singers to make up the show's first top 26!

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The April 10 episode of American Idol picks up with Paige Anne and Megan Danielle’s sing-off. After Paige performs, Megan sings a gorgeous rendition of Adele’s “Easy On Me.” The judges deliberate and choose to send Megan to the top 24. Luke Bryan calls her “spectacular.”

Mary Beth Byrd gets a similar talk from the judges. She performs Carrie Underwood’s “Flat On The Floor” for Showstoppers and makes the top 24. “I have been waiting for a moment like this my whole life,” she says.

Oliver Steele
Oliver Steele during the Final Judgment. (ABC)

Oliver Steele puts his own spin on “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears. He gives off a major John Mayer vibe. Katy Perry points out that Oliver is “so talented,” but his “head can get in the way.” The judges want Oliver to believe in himself more and want to see his confidence grow in the top 24.

Emma Busse dazzles with her rendition of Adele’s “Chasing Pavements.” Katy tells Luke and Lionel Richie that Emma’s performance is “top 10 material.” The judges send her to the top 24. “She’s kind of an artist,” an impressed Luke says.

Preston Duffee looks to get back on track after a rough duets round. He performs “Crazy Town” by Jason Aldean for Showstoppers. Luke breaks the news that Preston’s “not altogether ready” right now vocally. Preston’s not in the top 24, but the judges encourage him to get back on stage and keep writing. America’s Platinum Ticket winner Elijah McCormick sings a powerful rendition of “Believe For It” by CeCe Winans. He’s headed to the top 24!

Elise Kristine and Olivia Soli are brought in together for their Final Judgment. Katy tells Elise that she sang some notes during her rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” that she’s “never even heard before.” Olivia performs Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” for Showstoppers. Katy says that Olivia is her “favorite red-headed Ariana Grande.” The judges are definitely not sending one of these talented ladies home — they’re both headed to the top 24!

Elise Kristine Olivia Soli
Elise Kristine and Olivia Soli are headed to the top 24. (ABC)

Dawson Wayne has made it to the top 24, and Platinum Ticket winner Cam Amen awaits his fate. He recently found out that his girlfriend is pregnant. Lionel tells Cam that he’s retreated more into his head ever since he got the Platinum Ticket. He doesn’t make the top 24 this time around. “I do feel like I gave everything in my last performance,” Cam says. Lionel says that the judges “would love to see” him return to American Idol in the future.

Mikenley Brown, Caroline Kole, and Kya Monee do not make the top 24. After so many rejections, Mariah Faith is nervous about her fate. She admits to the judges that she could have “probably performed better vocally” during Showstoppers. Despite her doubts, Mariah is headed to the top 24.

Former volleyball player Hannah Nicolaisen is joining Mariaha in the top 24. Astrologer Nailyah Serenity performs a stunning rendition of “Superstar” by Luther Vandross. Luke bows down to her after the performance. “What you showed us for Showstoppers was incredible. It was divine,” Katy says. Nailyah is going to the top 24!

Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson, Iam Tongi, and Colin Stough on ‘American Idol.’ (ABC)

Trey Louis comes out during Showstoppers with so much swagger. He performs “Waiting For The Thunder” by Blackberry Smoke. Luke points out that Trey had a “pretty big bump” in the road during Showstoppers.  Trey acknowledges that it was vocally not his best. Trey isn’t moving on to the top 24, but he vows that this is “not the last you’re going to see of Trey Louis.”

Iam Tongi, Colin Stough, and Matt Wilson are the final contestants to receive their Final Judgment. Turns out, they’re all friends after auditioning in New Orleans. They each shine in their own way during Showstoppers, particularly Iam with his rendition of “The Sound of Silence.” Katy calls Iam’s decision a “brilliant pick.” The judges tell Iam that he’s in the top 24, and it seems like Colin and Matt are going home.

Plot twist: they’re all going forward! The judges have decided to change things up with a TOP 26! All the contestants are headed to Hawaii for the next round. Iam sings “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” to celebrate the end of Final Judgment. Hawaii awaits!