Luke Bryan regrets raunchy comment about Katy Perry
Katy Perry booed on ‘American Idol’ for the first time: ‘Woohoo!’
“American Idol” continued with top 26 performances, a surprise addition and judge Katy Perry experiencing something for her first time on the show.
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“American Idol” is no longer just pitting contestants against each other − on Monday night, the judges also went head-to-head.
The latest episode of the ABC reality singing competition returned with the judges’ song contest, in which judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie picked songs for each of the top 10 contestants. Each singer had to choose one of the three choices to perform, and the judge who had the most songs get picked won.
During the episode, which aired live coast-to-coast, a young contestant confessed she’s in love, a singer delivered a chilling Whitney Houston cover and Bryan accidentally made a risque comment he immediately regretted. Here’s what went down.
Zachariah Smith kicked off the show with “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi. The grill cook got the crowd moving and grooving with the high-powered rock anthem.
“I have not heard this crowd scream that loud for anyone else besides Iam (Tongi), so I think they like it,” Perry exclaimed, referencing a moment from Sunday night when her feedback was drowned out by the crowd cheering on a contestant.
Smith guessed incorrectly Bryan picked the song. It actually came from Richie.
“The attitude was perfect,” Richie said. “Exactly what I imagined.”
When presented with her options, Haven Madison immediately went with “The Only Exception” by Paramore. After all, it’s a song the 17-year-old high schooler said she can relate to, coyly admitting to the cameras she has a love in her life, though she declined to reveal who.
“I’m gonna plead the fifth,” Madison said, giving a nervous laugh, when asked who her “only exception” is.
More: ‘American Idol’: Katy Perry drowned out by Iam Tongi fans, ‘threatened’ by Haven Madison’s talent
After her heartfelt performance, which had her dad holding back tears in the audience, Madison guessed the song choice came from Perry − but the judge wanted some tea before revealing if Madison was correct.
“Well, if I tell you, will you tell me?” she said, smirking. “It’s fine, just backstage. You are correct.”
Perry continued: “I thought this song would be perfect for you, because it’s both delicate and beautiful and has room to soar… You can be vulnerable and strong, and they’re both equally as valuable. You’re amazing.”
Wé Ani proved she’s a superstar with a stunning, haunting rendition of Houston’s “I Have Nothing.”
The performance was a clear highlight of the season. Ani thought the song choice came from Richie, but it really came from Bryan, who jumped into a victory dance.
“I am so proud of you,” he said. “That was one of the most elegant things I’ve ever seen. It was pure beauty, elegance. It was just breathtaking. I’ve never had chills like that.”
Richie said Ani “owned” and “slayed” the song.
“I was wrong. You picked the right song,” Perry added. “The greatest thing about this is true stars, they exceed people’s expectations.”
Oliver Steele soared vocally while playing the guitar on “High and Dry” by Radiohead, starting soft and then going for it with his gritty voice. He earned a standing ovation from all three judges.
Not only did Steele correctly guess Perry picked the song, but he also picked which songs Richie and Bryan chose.
“Even though they could have all been good … you interpreted this Radiohead song as your own, and it was really your own,” Perry said. “It was like nothing you’ve done before… It was chef’s kiss.”
Warren Peay put his gravelly, country voice to use on “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band. When he guessed if Bryan picked the song, the judge made a comment with an unintentional innuendo he seemed to regret.
“I will not be tying up Katy right now,” he said, referring to the score in the judges’ song contest. “That didn’t sound great.”
Bryan turned red and cracked up with laughter, covering his face.
“Should we go to therapy?” Perry said. “Of all the Freudian slips. It could go either way, either love or hate.”
More: ‘American Idol’: Katy Perry booed for first time, eliminated singer rejoins show in shocking twist
Bryan replied: “I’m just thinking about how my meeting with HR right after the show is going to go. I enjoyed this run on ‘American Idol.’ “
He also addressed Perry’s partner, Orlando Bloom, saying, “Orlando, I’ll be scared of you too.”
In between the banter, Bryan also praised Peay: “Always lean on that grit that you’ve got, ’cause it’s really that shining thing that you do.”
Accompanying himself on the ukulele, Iam Tongi gave a chills-inducing performance of “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
The song choice came from Bryan.
“When I was going through these song choices, and I saw that one, I prayed you would do that for us, and I’m so glad you did,” Bryan said. “That song just felt like the right time, right moment, and you knocked it out of the park.”
Perry predicted the 18-year-old high schooler from Hawaii may just win the whole show.
“It is a wonderful world, because you’re in it,” she said.
Marybeth Byrd gave a heartfelt performance of “Wasted on You” by Morgan Wallen, almost breaking down in tears by the end of the song. “That was really, really hard for me,” she said.
She guessed Bryan picked the song, but it was actually Richie.
“You needed to fight,” Richie said, explaining his choice. “I was so happy that you delivered the way you did.”
Perry said Byrd blossomed into a “butterfly,” and Bryan called the performance her “standout moment.”
“That was what we needed to see from you, that emotion, that pain,” Bryan continued. “It was your best performance thus far.”
Tyson Venegas, a 17-year-old high schooler from Canada, followed with another emotional performance, singing “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi.
Venegas correctly guessed the song, his most vulnerable on the show, came courtesy of Perry.
“It was exactly what I wanted to see from him. Tyson, in my own way you have graduated to butterfly status. You have evolved on this stage,” Perry said. “You have heart. You have soul. You have passion. You have spirit. You’re the whole package to me now.”
Megan Danielle’s song choice of “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill hit close to home. The 21-year-old server sang the song at her grandfather’s funeral.
After the soaring performance, which seemed like a spiritual experience, Bryan revealed he picked it for her.
“You’re never scared to tell anybody your faith,” he told the Christian singer. “That song’s meant a lot to me… You were perfect.”
More: ‘American Idol’: Luke Bryan shocked ‘one of the biggest voices’ Olivia Soli didn’t make top 12
“A lot of people can sing, but you have the amazing ability to touch,” Richie said.
Perry added that Bryan didn’t really choose the song.
“Your grandpa chose that song, and I think he’s trying to tell you that you are exactly where you’re meant to be right now, and you deserve this moment,” she said. “I don’t believe in any coincidences… That was heaven-sent.”
The episode came to a close with Colin Stough rocking out to “It’s Been Awhile” by Staind. His performance also had high stakes for the judges, who were all tied going into the final performance.
Stough correctly guessed Perry picked the song, meaning she won the judges’ song contest.
“I’m not happy because I won. I’m happy because you’re a star,” she said. “You listened to your intuition.”
“We’re throwing a lot of new things at you,” Bryan said, adding Stough is knocking his time on “Idol” “out of the park.”
More: ‘American Idol’ standout Elijah McCormick eliminated in top 20 reveal: ‘Your faves aren’t safe’
Who went home?
Host Ryan Seacrest returned after the final commercial break to reveal that just under 23 million votes had been cast. He announced Steele, Byrd and Venegas didn’t make the top 7.
As the winner of the judges’ song contest, Perry, however, got to save one of them. After briefly conferring with her fellow judges, she sent Steele to the top 8.
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