“American Idol” narrowed down the competition to its top 24. But which singers made the judges’ final cut to move on and sing for America’s vote?
One singer who left it all on the stage during the Showstopper’s Round was Lady K. In her audition episode, the 35-year-old musician from Tuskegee, Alabama opened up about her past hardships, including a period of homelessness.
“Growing up in poverty has definitely been a challenge,” Lady K said on Monday’s episode. “I mean, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been carless, I’ve been jobless, all at once, so I’m used to the good, the bad and the ugly.
She added: “I’m at that breaking point where hopefully this changes everything, and it makes all the struggle worth it.”
The singer gave a stirring rendition of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind” for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan and a live audience of fans. It brought all three judges to their feet — but did it convince them to give her a spot in the top 24?
“After we get to a certain point, the real competition is not in whether you can sing, but if you can handle the competition,” Richie told the singer. “We’re at that point right now, where we’ve got to make some hard, hard cuts.”
But Lady K won’t be one of those cuts. She made it into the top 24.
“I feel like I’m at a rapid turning point in my life,” she told the cameras, after hearing the judges’ decision. “I don’t think that this is going to be the only moment like this in my life. This is just the start of many moments like this in my life.”
Ava Maybee, Yoli Mayor and Dan Marshall, Dakota Hayden duke it out in surprise sing-offs
But not every singer could make it through — and some had to fight for their spot even after they took their bow for their Showstopper’s Performance.
Two of those singers were Ava Maybee and Yoli Mayor, who had the judges torn on whom to send forward and whom to eliminate. Maybee, a 20-year-old college student from Los Angeles, and Mayor, a 26-year-old musician from Miami, gave their own unique takes on “Falling” by Harry Styles and “Human” by rum.gold respectively.
“You guys both have some similar vibes,” Perry told the talented vocalists. “We came up with an idea to satisfy all three of our needs. We’d like to do a little sing-off on the spot.”
Then and there in the deliberations room, Maybee sang “Roxanne” by The Police, followed by Mayor who sang “Honey” by Kehlani.
Ultimately, it was Maybee who won out.
“This was one of my favorite experiences of my life,” Mayor said, after congratulating her competitor. “It’s a family. All I want is their success, because, man, that’s a beautiful group of humans.”
That wasn’t the only on-the-spot sing-off. The judges also pitted cowboy country crooners Dakota Hayden, 17, and Dan Marshall, 24, against each other.
After the performances, it seemed like a toss-up.
“Dan is more developed, but I like Dakota’s attitude,” Perry said. “Dakota feels hopeful and young and like he just needs some really good steering.”
But in the end, Marshall’s experience won out.
“Dakota, everything you’re giving us at 17-years-old telegraphs big star on the rise,” said Bryan. “But at 17, you’re still a little young. You’re not gonna make it to our top 24.”
So who else made it through? Kenedi Anderson, Huntergirl, more in top 24
Lady K, Maybee, and Marshall certainly have their work cut out for them in the top 24.
The competition in the next round is sure to be steep, with all three platinum ticket winners (Kenedi Anderson, Jay Copeland and Huntergirl) making it through, along with other impressive standouts.
These singers include Leah Marlene, Nicolina, Emyrson Flora, Katyrah Love, Fritz Hager, Sir Blayke, Mike Parker, Ellie Rowe, Tristen Gressett, Christian Guardino, Cadence Baker, Scarlet, Noah Thompson, Sage, Danielle Finn, Cameron Whitcomb, Jacob Moran and Allegra Miles.