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American Idol Season 19 - The Top 12 Are Revealed


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Casey, Chayce, Alyssa, Graham, Beane, Madison, Grace, Willie, Alanis, Deshawn, Colin, Cassandra, Ava, Caleb, Hunter and Wyatt. Tonight, the Top 12 will be revealed, and for 4 of these idols, the journey ends. Who is it going to be? We are live and This is American Idol!

Luke Bryan announced this morning that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is resting at home. The safety of the talent and crew is paramount and we continue to follow rigorous health safety protocols. But we are delighted to welcome a guest judge joining Lionel Ritchie and Katy Perry. Please welcome back to American Idol, the one and only Paula Abdul!

So many stories, so many memories, Paula says Katy and Lionel are friends but it's kind of nostalgic, visiting my brother that we started with our other brother, Randy, and our grandfather, Grampa Simon. Paula says there has never been a more uniquely qualified and talented group. You could all be Best New Artists at the Grammy's.

Paula will be joining up with Katy and Lionel to make some tough choices at the end of the show. The first 10 idols will make it through to your Top 12 based on your vote. Then, the judges will save 2 final artists to make it an even dozen. But first, I have to tell you that finalist Wyatt Pike has had to drop out of the competition. 

Shall we do it? In no particular order, would Casey Bishop take center stage please. Casey, after the nationwide vote, as you stand there, awaiting your result, I want to tell you, that you have made it into the Top 10! Congratulations!

Singing House of the Rising Sun (The Animals), Casey Bishop goes full low-octave drama with an intense vocal and lilting voice that rises and falls with the bayou tide, climaxing with big power notes. No judges comments.

More results - after the nationwide vote, Colin Jamieson to the center of the stage. After the vote, unfortunately, you did not make it into America's Top 10 but will sing for your life with the judges. 

Singing Waves (Dean Lewish), Colin Jamieson starts off soft and casual, light acrobatics in his vocal, his voice building with breathy intensity, but just when you think he's going to blast out, he dials it back and rises all over again, this time breaking through into a happy, bouncy passionate performance. Lionel says he did what he was supposed to do - ignore what people say about you; don't take no. Stand up, believe in yourself. Katy says you can't believe all the comments. Finding identity, you have grown before our very eyes, it's always a high energy celebration when you're on stage, you found yourself. Paula says your vocal is excellent but you are also so passionate, it makes us smile. You made me smile. 

Who gets to sing another day, who has sung well enough to stay? It's time for your next result. Some of the contestants were separated by only 900 votes. Deshawn Goncalves. After the nationwide vote, America likes your growth - you have made it into the Top 12!

Singing Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder), Deshawn Goncalves hits the stage movin' and groovin', shuffling his feet and his voice, delivering a solid but not terribly imaginative vocal, just kind of ending.

Next, Cassandra Coleman. Let's we what America decided. After the nationwide vote, the game is not over for you. You ahave made it into America's Top 12. Singing Light On (Maggie Rogers), her vocal has a sense of urgency, driven by the beat, her voice building with a slight tremble, dialing it back while simultaneously increasing intensity, working the stage then throwing it into overdrive. 

Will Caleb Kennedy be celebrating or singing for his life without his hat? Tonight, he will be singing an original completed during his Idol journey, but he will be performing it in victory! He is in the Top 12! Singing Nowhere, his voice is solid and roughneck, casually working the stage, confident in his vocal,  in who he is musically, and where his journey is taking him as a singer, and as a songwriter. Lionel says the artist is coming out in you. Paula says now we see the full mullet. 

There is no voting this week, but your Top 12 will perform next Sunday live, which means the return of real-time voting during the show. And who calls in on the tablet? It's a noticeably thinner Rand Jackson Face Timing. It's like old times, Randy says to Paula. All we're missing is the STD, she retorts. What, asks Ryan? Super Talented Debonaire, Paula explains. He was just watching the show, Ryan explains.

There is still a lot of work to be done, so let's find out what you said about Madison Watkins? America voted but you did not make it into the Top 10. So singing Hotline Bling (Drake) for her life in the competition, her vocal does not reflect any disappointment or nervousness, listing off her tongue then dropping into a fluffy, up beat, soulful vocal, her voice strong and delivering some power notes for emphasis, her hair as expressive as the rest of her performance. Lionel says she was singing for her career, her life story, her personality and smile are infectious. You couldn't have done it better. Katy says she was going to shine no matter the verdict and she has brought the light all season, your good karma will pay off eventually. Paula says she's extraordinary - no is just the beginning of negotiation, your voice is so elegant.

After the nation vote, would Ava August come to the center stage. You're happy, but is the nation happy with you? They are very happy and you have made it into the Top 12! Singing Love Of My Life (Queen), this vocal-centric ballad leaves little room to hide and that's a good thing because she is divine to listen to and see perform, Her voice is soft and melodious, the lyrics floating tenderly through the air. Lionel says you make me forget 15, you are an absolute pro; you owned that song tonight. Katy says world class, like you went to Juilliard, incredible old soleness. Paula says you leave me speechless, you reach for notes that don't exist but when you reach them, everyone wants them too. You blow me away.

Five of your Top 10 are in the safety zone, 2 are in the danger zone. Ryan tries to read some texts from Luke but the phone has locked up and Meghan the producer has to come on stage and unlock it. 

Let's get to some more results. Beane, center stage. So, after the nationwide vote, Beane, America did not put you in the Top 10 so you are singing for your life right now. Singing Grow As We Go (Ben Platt), his vocal is moody and contemplative, his voice emotionally honest, with lots of dynamic movement, a solid performance that brings a smile to Katy's face. At the end, he kind of shrugs, as if to say I did my best. Lionel says he's so proud of you, you were so relaxed, calm, you grew into your artistry, you enjoyed being in that rhythm and it was a stellar performance. Katy says there's only one Beane, I'm a card carrying Beanie Baby fan, you're only going forward from here, beautiful control. Paula says everything about you is special and unique, the spotlight follows you wherever you go, you're being is mesmerizing, like a storyteller. 

We roll on with Chayce Beckham. The nation has spoken, they watched, listened, and loved what they heard. You are performing as part of America's Top 10. Singing What Brings Life Also Kills (Kolton Moore & The Clever Few), his gravelly voice delivers a strong and loud spoken performance, a masculine vocal never swaying too far from center, conveying emotion without expressing emotion. Luke texts that he's still not as cool as Chayce. 

Breaking news. On Sunday next week, we'll hear our Top 12 perform for your votes, but on Monday, we're inviting back 10 idols who did not get the opportunity to perform on the big stage last year to finally realize their dream. And you get to vote one of them into this year's competition. You have the power, you get to do it.

Let's get to more results right now. After the nationwide vote, Alyssa Wray, come on down. America voted and you are in America's Top 10! Singing Greatest Love Of All (Whitney Houston), she rises to the vocal challenge of this vocal powerhouse classic, making it her own while preserving everything that makes the song special, including hitting that singular power note with gusto. Poetry in a voice. Paula says you're magnetic on stage and brave to take on that song and you had some defining moments. 

Alanis Sophina, please join us at the center of the stage. After the nationwide vote, you are not in America's top 10 but can go for a save. Singing Heart Attack (Demi Lovato), she attacks the vocal head on, solid and confident, vocal attitude, confidence and pop-rock power. She walks from one end of the stage to the other, delivers a few dance steps in her platform shoes, and delivers the message loud and clear - she doesn't want to go nowhere. Lionel says how could you be dealt that blow then deliver that performance. In this kind of situation, don't think on it - don't judge yourself, don't worry about the notes. Katy says don't worry, take the fear and let it burn into a great performance and artist, I wouldn't bet against you. Paula says you have a tenacity, a fire at a young age. Sometimes performances go great and sometimes they are not as great as you want; the greatest gift is simply being present. 

Reality is setting in, 4 idols left and only 3 spots remain in the Victory Zone. The pieces of the puzzle are falling into place. Willie Spence, come on and let's chat. He says he's having a good time though his face shows his nerves. The judges loved his performance and so did America, he's in the top 10! Singing Diamond (Rihanna), he opens with a strong, powerful vocal, dramatic and emotion-filled, then pounds his way through the vocal performance, complete with vocal echo effects, hand gestures, bringing down the house. We don't need to say anything, Ryan says. Katy says you came in as the diamond in the rough and now you are shining brilliantly, young, fresh, with an old soul vibe.

It's come down to Grace, Hunter and Graham. Find out who takes the Victory lap and who sings for their life. 

Here we go, one more result. Good luck to all of you. The next person to come down to the center of the stage is Grace Kinstler. America is really happy you're here - you've made it into the Top 12. Singing Dangerous Woman (Ariana Grande), her vocal is focused, insistent, full and dramatic as she slinks across the stage, then slips into a more comfortable power vocal and begins whaling, full of vim and womantude. But it felt like she was thinking her way through the performance. Lionel says you have an on-stage attitude that is amazing, you deliver the goods end-to-end. 

It comes down to Hunter Metts and Graham DeFranco. One will singing in victory, the other singing for the judges' pick. Hunter, come down to the stage. He and Graham are tight. Only one is guaranteed a spot in America's Top 12. After the nationwide vote, it's you, brother, congratulations! Singing I Can't Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt), his voice is crystal clear, light yet pleading, it's just him standing in front of the microphone, his vocal front and center, without distraction, raw and emotionally honest. Paula says his vocals are so distinct and present, beautiful tonal quality, what did all of your mothers breastfeed you? You're all incredible.

And now Graham DeFranko, the last in the Danger Zone, hopes to be one of the judges' two saves. Singing Cover Me Up (Jason Isbell), his vocal is soft and cuddly, emotional and sincere, his voice makes the lyrics pop, the laid back temp and melody providing a solid foundation to a performance that keeps growing and getting bigger. At the end, he lets slip a grateful smile. You went for it, Ryan says. Lionel says center stage, American Idol, do you understand what you've done? You are punching your way into your future, it's about what you do going forward in your life. America saw you and you got a shot in this business, so take it and run with it. Katy says you probably got really close [to the top 10], you are a pilot and your flying yourself. Paula says I can exhale when I hear you sing, you're comforting, dripping butter, so smooth.

There you have it, America. Casey, Deshawn, Cassandra, Caleb, Ava, Chayce, Alyssa, Willie, Grace and Hunter were voted into the Top 12 by your votes. Facing the Judges' Save is Colin, Madison, Beane, Alanis and Graham. Who would you put through and who didn't make your cut?

The fake of the remaining talented artists is in the hands of Paula, Katy and Lionel. Paula tells them all to be proud of themselves, you are all inspiring greatness. Dim the lights and here we go. The judges have made their final decision.

Lionel says it has been a tough evening and this is a tough glass. Based only on your performance tonight, Madison, you are our Judges' Pick to continue.

One spot remains in the Top 12. Four singers want to fill it. Katy, who takes that final spot? Based on this evening's performance, we all three said the same two contestants - no ifs, ands or buts about it. Mr. Beane, you will sing!

That means we say goodbye to Alanis, Colin and Graham whose idol journeys come to an end. Next week will be songs from the Oscars! Rest and recover well, Luke Bryan! Thank you, and goodnight!

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