In a surprising turn of events, “American Idol” contestant Elijah McCormick, who had previously impressed judges with his powerful vocals and inspiring story of surviving a 2019 car accident, was eliminated from the competition during the top 20 reveal. McCormick’s departure, along with that of five other contestants, left judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan stunned.
Perry reminded viewers of the importance of voting for their favorite contestants, warning that “your faves aren’t safe” and urging fans to use their voices to support their preferred singers.
During the episode, teen singer Iam Tongi won over the judges with an acoustic rendition of ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All,” prompting Perry to call Tongi’s voice “timeless” and likening his rise to stardom to a “Disney movie.” Tongi followed up with a stripped-down cover of Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart,” which drew praise from Richie for the singer’s hard work and talent.
Earlier in the competition, Perry had advised another contestant, Nutsa, to tone down her performances, leading to booing from the studio audience. However, Perry clarified her comments, saying that she had only meant to encourage Nutsa to deliver a sophisticated and powerful performance, which Nutsa had done in subsequent appearances.
Overall, the top 20 reveal episode of “American Idol” delivered both surprising eliminations and impressive performances, leaving viewers and judges alike on the edge of their seats.