(LOS ANGELES) — Monday’s episode of American Idol was the season’s most dramatic yet, as we learned which six of the 14 finalists had been voted through to the top 10 by America, and which of the remaining contestants had to sing for their lives in hopes of being chosen by the judges. In the end, we had our top 10:
Catie Turner — Chosen by America
Dennis Lorenzo — Judges’ pick
Michael J. Woodard — Chosen by America
Jurnee — Judges’ pick
Gabby Barrett — Chosen by America
Ada Vox — Judges’ pick
Maddie Poppe — Chosen by America
Michelle Sussett — Judges’ pick
Cade Foehner — Chosen by America
Caleb Lee Hutchinson — Chosen by America
Here’s how it went down:
There were two sets of chairs onstage: the Victory Zone and the Danger Zone. Over two hours, Ryan Seacrest revealed whether or not each contestant had been voted into the top 10 by America. Those who were voted through got to sing a song without being judged, and then take a seat in the Victory Zone. Those who weren’t had to “sing for their lives,” and their fates were revealed at the end of the show.
Michelle Sussett, the first contestants in the “Danger Zone,” sang an original song called “I’m a Dreamer,” with lyrics in both English and Spanish, which made a powerful statement about the immigrant experience. “This is my home and I love this country and I’m grateful to be here,” said the Venezuelan singer. Judge Katy Perry was thrilled that Michelle sang in Spanish, and she was the one who announced that she’d been chosen for the top 10.
Marcio Donaldson sang “Jealous” by Nick Jonas and it wasn’t his best performance. You could tell from the judges’ comments that there was no way they were putting him through.
Garrett Jacobs sang “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and though Katy said it was the best he’d ever sounded, he wasn’t chosen.
Dennis Lorenzo sang Maxwell’s version of the Kate Bush song “This Woman’s Work.” Katy called the performance “brilliant” and “dynamic” and said she’d fight for him; Lionel Richie said he didn’t know what America was thinking by not putting him through. Luke Bryan was the one who announced he’d been chosen for the top 10.
Jonny Brenns sang a compelling version of “Demons” by Imagine Dragons that got him a standing “O” from the judges; Katy praised him for looking like a rock star, but criticized him for not having enough stage presence. In the end, he failed to be put through.
Mara Justine sang “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna, which made Luke say that he was “in shock” that she wasn’t voted through by America. But Katy told the young teen that sometimes, it’s just about timing, which was a big giveaway that she wasn’t going to be chosen. And she wasn’t.
Jurnee sang “Never Enough,” from The Greatest Showman, which made Katy utter a quote that she probably also said on November 9, 2016: “Never have I ever seen a woman more qualified for the job and still not get the job.” Lionel simply said, “I love you.” It was Lionel who announced that they’d picked her for the top 10.
Ada Vox was the last contestant to sing for their lives, and she sang — what else? — “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” so memorably delivered by American Idol alumna Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls.
To say she brought the house down is an understatement; after the performance, Katy took off her earrings and announced that she, Lionel and Luke were making an executive decision: They ordered her to go to the Victory Zone immediately.
After Ada was chosen, the remaining seven contestants had to wait to hear which three would be staying. After Jurnee, Dennis and Michelle were declared the lucky ones, the rest of the pack were told by Katy, “Over 10 million people are watching this. So what are you gonna do with that information? You’re going to launch off on your own.”
On Sunday, the top 10 will perform Disney’s greatest hits, and there will be the first-ever, coast-to-coast, live vote, with the results coming at the end of the show.
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