American Idol 2019 Recap: Top 14 Performances

Tonight, the American Idol 2019 Top 14 sing for YOUR votes for the FIRST TIME this season

TONIGHT the Top 14 sing for your VOTES! 🎤

Voting is open NOW until 9a ET — you can vote 10 times per contestant per method:

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Laine Hardy delivers a STYLISH "That's All Right" by Elvis Presley during the American Idol 2019 Top 14 round in front of a live audience and judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

That’s Alright Mama by Elvis Presley with guitar – Oh. So all that fan chatter about Laine going Hollywood since his humble roots last season reached TPTB. The singer’s package stresses his Louisiana roots. Laine promises that he’s the same old dude who loves to hunt and fish on the Bayou. It’s another solid performance from Laine. But I feel like I’ve seen this before? He’s really transformed into a compelling performer. But if he really hasn’t gone Hollywood? Maybe picking a popular Elvis song isn’t the way to illustrate. STILL. Laine is the one to beat at this point. “You know your strengths and you’re playing them well,” says Katy. She calls him a “good looking boy.” Luke wanted him to let go like Elvis does. “Your voice has come so far from last year.” TRUE! Lionel suggests that he keep doing what he’s doing. 

Alyssa Raghu STUNS with "She Used to Be Mine" by Sara Bareilles during the American Idol 2019 Top 14 round in front of a live audience and judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

He was a chubby kid in middle school. He was depressed. When he reveals that–he begins giggling. After he lost 60 pounds, he felt he could do anything. He’s channeling Elton with round yellow jackets and a flamboyant jacket. His voice cracks on a few of the notes. This isn’t an easy song to pull off.

Haley Reinhart managed back in season 10 because she stylized the hell out of it. Trying to imitate Elton is not a great idea. Bye bye Eddie. We hardly knew ye. “I thought it was really good,” says Katy. She feels overwhelmed by the energy. “Don’t forget that you’re such a magnificent singer.” Luke says, “You are here because you make us smile. Vocally, make sure you stay on top of that.” Lionel is impressed that he stays true to himself. 

Evelyn admits appearing on 90 Day Fiance. “I want to be known for my music,” she says (And not the b**ch on a reality show? Heh.). She performs in a family band with her siblings. Evelyn is proud of her “odd” voice. Well good for her. The electric guitars kick right in. I was expecting a ballad flip. Hm. This is sort of weird. Her voice is so whispery and strange. It’s not suited to pop punk. She’s barely moving and sounds out of breath.

BAD BAD BAD SONG CHOICE. She should have re-arranged it at the very least. Luke comment on her “Van Halen leg kick…We like to see a whole nother element.” Lionel says, “That’s what show business is all about.” Katy calls it a “great song choice” and a “crowd pleaser.” Katy relates. She loves to be a chameleon. “Thanks for taking a chance. Judges be honest. C’mon. Performing second? She’s done unless the judges choose her.

He was a chubby kid in middle school. He was depressed. When he reveals that–he begins giggling. After he lost 60 pounds, he felt he could do anything. He’s channeling Elton with round yellow jackets and a flamboyant jacket. His voice cracks on a few of the notes. This isn’t an easy song to pull off.

Haley Reinhart managed back in season 10 because she stylized the hell out of it. Trying to imitate Elton is not a great idea. Bye bye Eddie. We hardly knew ye. “I thought it was really good,” says Katy. She feels overwhelmed by the energy. “Don’t forget that you’re such a magnificent singer.” Luke says, “You are here because you make us smile. Vocally, make sure you stay on top of that.” Lionel is impressed that he stays true to himself. 

Back home, her cheer team surprised her. But little sister is her biggest fan. This song was the end of Kelly Pickler back in season 6. It’s a fun performance. But on such a crucial night? The performance is a throwaway. Advice: Wait a couple of years, then audition for The Voice. “How does it feel becoming a star?” asks Luke. He compliments her on hitting the high note. “This has been the attack of the 16 year,” says Lionel. “You are crushing it.” Katy believes she keeps growing to the next level. Katy noted the hair flip. It’s true, she know how to work the stage. She needs to keep working on those vocals. Ryan invites little sister to join Riley on stage. 

Wade Cota performs Trouble by Ray LaMontagne with guitar during the  American Idol 2019 Top 14 performance in front of a live audience and judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry.

 Wade has gotten tons of fan mail from people who relate to his domestic violence story. He began singing heavy metal. Maybe that’s how he developed that heavy, heavy rasp. The song choice suits his style. He does have an unusual instrument, but he makes the most of it. His phrasing is surprisingly subtle at times. One of his best performances, right there. Lionel calls him “Wade the hammer…you dropped the hammer.” CALM DOWN LIONEL. “You picked the right song,” says Katy. “I believe in your voice so much.” Luke notes that he uses his whole body to sing. “It fires us up.” 

Dimitrius Graham shows a NEW SIDE with "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran during the American Idol 2019 Top 14 round in front of a live audience and judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

He grew up in a rough Baltimore neighborhood. But his mother got him into music education where he studied opera. He visits his old neighborhood for the first time a few years. His mother freaks out! So sweet. Demetrius takes “Perfect” to a whole new level, beginning delicitaly, before hitting an impassioned crescendo. That was very good. I love his style. So unique. “You’ve really developed into an artist,” says Katy. “Use that emotion,” she says. Bring that every single time. “Remember to work that microphone,” says Luke. Lionel notes his “explosive” quality. Give us that for the rest of your career, he says. Dimitrius shares that he tried to add a “little r&b mix” to the song. 

Madison VanDenburg gets on the piano for "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys during the American Idol 2019 Top 14 round in front of a live audience and judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan.

 Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon Sings We All Fall in Love Sometimes during the American Idol season 17 top 14 in front of a live audience and judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie tonight

Here’s the moment where Jeremiah’s narrative turns to redemption. His religious parents didn’t accept him when he came out. But recently he attended his sister’s wedding. He and his parents are working toward a new understanding. Jeremiah sits behind an electric piano to deliver another beautiful performance. His range is so impressive. And he delivers it all with so much passion. That performance was transcendent. “You Jeremiah ed the whole thing. “You went to a Z flat to Pluto or Mars. That was Amazing. You’re career is going to be amazing. “I’m a mess” cries Katy. “I’m so proud. You’re such a gift. Your talent supersedes all.” Luke says, “I’m not worthy to be sitting here watching.”  Ryan claims he’s never seen so many back to back incredible performances.

 Lionel changing his vote after Uche’s audition set a fire under him. He move to the US from Nigeria, and he was an outcast in school. He realizes he’s not the best singer in the competition, but he’ll “leave everything on stage.” Uche goes all out with the hip rolls and sexy moves. He’s got stage moves, but he’s not overdoing it. Until a break, where he throws in some fancy stuff. This is the perfect balance of dancing and vocals. For once, he wasn’t out of breath at the end. Finally, some control from Uche. Katy faints on the table, while Luke does CPR. “Are we allowed to show that performance on television?” ask Katy. “You’ve come so far, it’s miraculous.” Luke compares it to opening an awards show. “You are wonderful,” shouts Lionel. “You are the show stopper!”

Alejandro’s social media stats exploded after his audition. He mentions receiving a compliment from Stevie Nicks, and it blew his mind. Alejandro explains that he will mix his love for electronic music with keyboards. Indeed, he performs and plays from behind a DJ setup. If Idol’s first every electronic musician season six’s Blake Lewis is watching this, he’s gotta be hella jealous. He couldn’t even play an instrument back then. “In my eyes you can do know wrong,” says Luke. “Now you are DJ Alejandro,” says Lionel. “You are so versatile!” Katy calls it “incredibly smooth…you’re are real true artist…don’t forget to grow,” she says. That performance was intriguing. A REAL first for singing shows. However, it didn’t highlight his vocals at all. It was a bit too chill for the first night of voting. 

Ashley is dating James VIII from the Season 15. He’s been really supportive and helpful. This song is overdone on singing shows, I wish she had switched up the arrangement. Still, she delivers a lovely performance, that hilights her beautiful phrasing. Lionel says, “Everyone is ruling tonight.” Katy says, “You look like Diana Krall, and you sound like Carole King.” Luke likes that she chose a song that embodies her talent. 

After her audition, she headed home to work her family’s crawfish restaurant. She’s been dreaming of competing on American Idol nearly her entire life. Once again, she transforms an indie rock song into a ballad. She’s getting away from her country roots here. But I don’t care? This is an exquisite performance. Her lovely, quavering tone is front and center and it’s pretty perfect. If Riley makes the Top 10, it’s probably smart to show versatility. Katy says, “You sing timelessly. You are the definition of Idol,” she says. “I’m your number one fan.” Lacy has called herself out for a bad spray tan during her video package. Luke loves that. Lionel is very much a proud papa. 

Walker misses his friends and family back home. He tears up thinking about them. Natty in a bow tie. It’s an interesting arrangement. He’s got some pitchy moments, though. This song is too big for him, I think. He should have scaled the arrangement WAY WAY back. Maybe an acoustic version behind a piano would have worked. This performance had it’s moments, but it was uneven. Luke calls the performance, “interesting.” I’ll agree with that. ” Lionel says, “You have grown so much.” Lionel repeats himself, A LOT. “There were notes that we never heard from you,” says Katy. “This is your purpose.” 

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