Francisco Martin and Nick Merico battle from opposite ends of confidence issues, while Jonny West struggles to carry on without girlfriend Margie Mays in the competition.
After assuring everyone this was filmed back in January before the episode even started -- to avoid people crying foul and going crazy on social media -- Ryan Seacrest kicked off the final judgment on "American Idol."
The Top 40 contestants were shipped off to Hawaii for the working vacation of a lifetime, knowing that only half of them would survive the trip and stay in the Top 20 that moves onto the live shows ... whenever those happen.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact television production, "Idol" isn't yet sure what to do about those live shows. They bought themselve a week by bumping Monday night's broadcast to next weekend, but by then decisions will have to be made.
Will contestants perform from home? Will they be safe to travel to somewhere they can sequester and compete? And it's not just "Idol" facing this, as "The Voice" has live episodes upcoming as well, though they've got a little more time to see how things progress.
All of that, though, is a problem for another day. Another day very soon, perhaps, but another day nonetheless. For now, it's time to cut 40 to 20 and see how many favorites break our hearts by either dropping the ball or just getting dropped.
And that's just what happened, as the first ten contestants advanced into that Top 20. There were some fan-favorites that got through, but a few heartbreaks. We even ranked some people heading home higher than a few who advanced. In other words, we're already starting to disagree with the judges -- just imagine when America's vote gest thrown in the mix.
("More Hearts Than Mine," Ingrid Andress - 17, Wellington, KS) Oh no, what went wrong with this performance? We can appreciate Makayla trying to make this her own song, but she didn't sound good or quit in tune or even connected to it. We're not sure if there were erves, but her performance was just so subdued and small even when she got to the chorus. The crowd wasn't into it, the judges weren't into it, the crowd wasn't into it and neither were we. This was her worst performance by a mile. Result: Out
("Tell Me You Love Me," Demi Lovato - 23, Sonora, CA) Something was off with Devon. This was not great, and even when he finally built up to the heartfelt part, it still felt weak vocally. Nerves? Overwhelmed? It's hard to say, but it just didn't work. Result: Out
("Finesse," Bruno Mars - 27, Los Angeles, CA) We can't say all the upbeat moments worked, but enough of them did -- and her slower start was phenomenal -- that we're willing to put this in the win category. She has a very unique attitude when she hits the stage that makes her memorable and likable at the same time. Her stage presence is phenomenal, too so she really just needs to work on better vocal control on uptempo numbers. Result: Out
("Break Every Chain," Tasha Cobbs Leonard - 16, Acworth, GA) Camryn took a huge risk singing what's basically a worship song for her final showcase on a pop music show, but it still showed the strength and power of her voice, while maintaining a tender pureness. She did have a few pitch problems, but there was no denying her passion and we felt that she felt every word. The problem is that this isn't showing she can stretch into the secular world, but rather retreating into her comfort. It feels like her heart is in Christian music, so that's what she should pursue. Result: Out
("When I Was Your Man, Bruno Mars - 24, Woodland Hills, CA) Cocky to the point of arrogance, Nick's attitude has been his biggest issue in connecting genuinely with the judges and audiences. We again felt some of that disconnect as he didn't quite live up to Bruno's range on this song, or the emotional resonance. He has a good quality to his voice and he's very pretty, but we're not sure he gets it fully even yet. That said, he is on the right path. Result: In
("Good Kisser," Lake Street Drive, - 23, Coeur d.Alene, ID) After a shaky start, Amber really seemed to pull it together by the time she belted her way into that big chorus opening line. She was inconsistent, though, throughout the number, which can be hugely problematic in that she's kind of been this way all along. She needs to find her comfort and confidence consistently so she can hold onto it through a whole performance. She has the tools necessary to do this, when she does. Result: Out
("Castle on the Hill," Ed Sheeran - 19, Philadelphia, PA) We've already compared Louis to Ed, so this almost seemed like an inevitable (and smart) song choice. After a rough rehearsal he still struggled to really wail into the heart of the song. It was there, but so much more subdued than the song wants and what we know Louis can deliver. He has such a special voice, still, that we want to watch him grow and continue. Result: In
("Ain't Nobody," Rufus & Chaka Khan - 20, Destrehan, LA) Faith has so much confidence when she hits the stage, and even though this is a difficult song to really nail, she did a great job of wrangling those vocals and giving herself the best chance to shine. A truly distinctive artist, Faith is like no one else in the competition and she feels very current and raw when she's up there performing. There's a nice grit and strength to her voice on top of all that, too. Result: In
("Redbone," Childish Gambino - 26, Scottsdale, AZ) We love that Jordan took Katy's note and just sang this song. It has such a cool rhythm to it already, he didn't need to turn it into crazy runs and vocal somersaults. He did take a line or two to find his own rhythm, but once he did we were along for the ride. There's a rich texture to his voice that feels like old-school R&B and modern soul at the same time. We'd call that a little "stank" on there. Result: Out
DeWayne Crocker Jr.
("Old Town Road," Lil Nas X - 23, Pensacola, FL) One of the most overplayed songs of the past year and DeWayne made it fresh and hip and cool all over again, without destroying the original arrangement. Even better, he found places to shine throughout so he could show off his vocal range and grit while still staying in the pocket of the groove. This was a big win from start to finish. Result: In
("The Times They Are a-Changin'," Bob Dylan - 26, Bakersfield, CA) Dillon came to fight for his spot and he did it by putting inflection and power and grace into a song that is challenging to use in a competition like this. But Dillon has that ability to make you feel the message of the song and the emotions he's projecting. He's a true artist on the stage and a contender to be reckoned with as this moves forward, even if Katy wasn't feeling it quite as much. Result: To be evealed next week, but he's in ... right?
("Como la Flor," Selena - 21, Harlem, NY) Come on, now, Sam is a professional by this stage. She hit that stage and performed a song in a language she does not speak fluently and she had an audience who also does not speak it in the palm of her hand. It is the power of music, but also the power of her voice and her ability to command a stage and a crowd just with her presence. Sam is well on her way to becoming a favorite to go very, very far in this competition as her confidence continues to soar. Result: In
("You Are the Best Thing," Ray LaMontagne - 29, Gonzales, LA) Jovin is such a natural and has that signature sound you want in an artist. He is effortlessly cool in his vocals, his style and his stage presence. He's someone who's lived enough he knows who he is and he's got just the right amount of confidence to not feel the need to overdo his incredible voice. He owned that stage even as he reigned his own instrument to tell this story. Result: In
("Falling," Harry Styles - 19, San Francisco, CA) Is Francisco finding his voice and his confidence on this journey? This is easily the strongest performance he's given, and he looked like he was really present on that stage. He connected with the song and gave a stunningly beautiful vocal filled with strength and heart. That's how you advance. Result: In
("You Found Me," The Fray - 23, Murietta, CA) For the first time standing fully on his own, Jonny blossomed into a stronger artist and performer than even his first audition. With Margie Mays rooting him on, he's suddenly decided this competition is for him to enjoy and experience, and with that he gave his everything and it was emotional and so very beautiful. We love how unassuming he is and yet he can deliver this kind of vocal with seemingly no effort at all. Result: In
"American Idol" continues next Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and then... we'll have to let you know.