It’s another exciting night of American Idol on ABC tonight with an all-new Sunday, April 26, 2020, season 18 episode 13 called “On With The Show – Top 20 Sing For Your Vote” and we have your weekly American Idol recap below. On tonight’s American Idol season 18 episode 13 as per the ABC synopsis, “For the first time ever, judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, host Ryan Seacrest, in-house mentor Bobby Bones and the Top 20 contestants participate from different locations.”
Tune in tonight at 8 PM EST! Celeb Dirty Laundry is your go-to place for all the up-to-date American Idol recaps, news, videos, spoilers, and more, right here!
The show must go on. This pandemic has changed many things. But it will not take down one of the greatest shows there is. “American Idol” is still standing. It had also found a way to continue with their latest season because they still wanted the Top 20 to perform and so they will just be doing so from home. Everyone was at home. The judges were placed all over the country and they were still shooting this season from home. Katy Perry even dressed up as a Purrell bottle, but she was doing so from home and so everyone quickly fell in line with this new version of the show. The judges were going to be handing out critiques remotely and the contestants were given the star treatment at home.
Up first was Kimmy Gabriela. She performed Ariana Grande’s “Leave Me Lonely” and it had been a great rendition. She also changed up her appearance. She’s going through an evolution of sorts because she doesn’t look anything like she did back at auditions and her voice even sounded stronger. It was clear she had been working on herself during her time away. She seemed more like a professional nowadays and the judges had all congratulated her on that. They wanted to see more of it and more of her. Kimmy was a favorite amongst the judges. She did well and it was a great start to the night.
Next was Jovin Webb. He performed “With A Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles. It was such a familiar song that Jovin took a risk when he chose it, but he was able to pull off the song so well that Lionel said he brought the BBQ sauce to the performance. He said the same of Jovin during Jovin’s audition. Jovin was a soulful singer. He had blown the judges away before and they were proud of him now because they thought he sounded amazing regardless of where he was. He was actually in a garage. He performed from his own garage and surprisingly the acoustics there had worked out really well for him.
Franklin Boone went next. His audition had been special for Luke because at the time he said he had another Alejandro moment and so Franklin had a lot to live up to. He did great during Hollywood Week. His showcase was also really good as well and so Franklin just needed to stay consistent. He performed “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears For Fears tonight. The song had been a great choice for him and the judges said so. They even enjoyed seeing his family in the background with the posters they made in Franklin’s honor. The judges had liked Franklin’s performance and it was also great that he hadn’t pushed himself too much.
Not like Olivia Ximines. She went next. She performed “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish and the song was a slight stretch for her. It was very upbeat. She had to psych herself up just to keep up with the song like this and so it was probably wasn’t the best song selection. But it wasn’t the worst either. Olivia does have a great voice. Her voice came through tonight with great clarity and the judges liked her energy. They knew how tough it must be for her to perform from home. She performed in front of her family’s fireplace and she didn’t have that much space to dance around or get a feel for the song. And so performing at home wasn’t always easy.
Louis Knight even struggled. He went next. He performed “If The World Was Ending” by JP Saxe and he looked amazing. His hair was great. He looked like a true musician on his keyboard and it also doesn’t hurt that Louis has always impressed the judges. They especially loved his British accent. They like to say he reminds them of OneDirection because of it and so it must have been strange to critique him. He had sound nasally. He was singing from his nose and Katy had to warn him about it. She told him what he needed to do for the next time if America voted for him. America has ten votes per contestant and they could give them to any contestants they liked.
Makayla Phillips was a fan favorite. She’s young and she has this surprisingly strong voice. Makayla had blown people away since her audition and so her performance tonight was a mere continuation. She performed “Greedy” by Ariana Grande. It was a great song selection. The judges had taken note of it and they told Makayla that they love her voice. She sounded like a professional when she performs. There is no higher praise than being told she sounds like a professional and so she just needed to keep that energy. Makayla has been very smart in her choices and the judges easily believe she can make it into the Top 10.
Next up was Aliana Jester. She performed “Run To You” by Whitney Houston from her garage and her rendition was so beautiful. She managed to make the song her own. She did different runs on this song and she never once tried to sound like Whitney Houston. She simply sounded like herself. Aliana did really well tonight. The judges did note some mistakes. They talked about them with Aliana because they wanted her to know where those mistakes were in her song and so Aliana learned where she needed to be stronger. She also received great encouragement from the judges as well because they loved how she wasn’t afraid to tackle such a huge song.
Faith Becnel went next. She performed “River” by Bishop Briggs and her rendition of the song became a personal favorite for Luke. He had heard the song a thousand times before. Yet, none of them have ever sounded as well as Beth’s take. Beth’s performance was a highlight for the judges. They got to see more of her personality and they liked what they saw. To them, it was like Faith had come out of her shell. She also received great advice from the judges who told her where she needed to be looking during a performance. Her eyesight was focused on the wrong thing this time and so Lionel talked to her about it.
Up next was Nick Merico. He was considered a cutout heartthrob because he reminded the judges and the audience so much of a 90s heartthrob that its what he’s known for now. Nick also had a great voice. He performed “Hey, There Delilah” by Plain White T’s. He did his own spin of the song in which he stripped him down to just him and the piano and so his voice got to stand out. It reminded the judges of how talented he was even as they still felt the need to tell him where he went wrong. The judges also said his voice could have given more. They felt he could have packed a real punch if he had just pushed himself and so that’s something for him to remember for next time.
Lauren Spencer-Smith went next. She performed “Mamma Knows Best” by Jessie J and what really made the song work was her location. Lauren performed in front of the jaw-dropping view of the mountains. Those mountains were so beautiful. They were also matched by Lauren’s voice. Her voice has grown some since her audition and the judges had noticed it. They told her they were proud of her for what she’s been doing. Her voice was coming into her own now and the judges always applauded people who’ve grown up in front of their eyes. Lauren just a teenager and yet the teenagers have been doing really well this season.
Another amazing teenager was Cyniah Elise. She went next. She performed Demi Lovato’s “Warrior” and her voice blew everyone away. Cyniah chose the perfect song. She also worked that microphone like she was truly on stage and so little things like that set her performance apart from everyone else. Her makeup was also on point. Whoever did it deserved recognition because her eyebrows were drawn on so beautifully that it looked her face was alight with joy. Cyniah was a favorite of the judges. They encouraged her to keep doing what she’s doing because they love her just the way she is.
Francisco Martin went next. He took the biggest gamble there is. He chose to perform a Katy Perry song. He performed “Teenage Dream” tonight and it started off so well. He added a sultry tone to it that even had Katy enjoying it. Only he eventually went up to a high note and he never came down. The judges would have liked to have seen more range from him. They told him that his start to the song had really been what sold the performance. It was rather unfortunate that he didn’t keep that same energy.
Sophia James went next. The name might sound unfamiliar because the artist used to go by her father’s last name of Wackerman and so she was Sophia Wackerman until she dropped the name. She now goes by James. There was obviously a story there and the judges couldn’t wait to ask about it. They literally jumped on that the second her performance over. They couldn’t wait to bring it up and it was only afterward that they mentioned her performance. She had performed “Burning” by Maggie Rogers. She did a great job vocally and her runs definitely stood out. And so this Sophia James was a great addition to the season/
Up next was Dewayne Crocker Jr. He performed “I Got You” By James Brown and he himself had great runs on the song. Each judge had commentated on his runs. They also told him that he should have put more soul into the song. He should have sung it a little dirtier and there was just no grovel to his voice. He performed James Brown’s song without the soul attached. Dewayne made several mistakes with his performance and it might cost him. He’s going to have to depend on the fans to keep him around.
The Cowboy went next. Dillion James was known as the Cowboy because he’s usually wearing the hat and carrying the swagger, but neither of these things were on display tonight with his latest performance. He performed Ray LaMontagne’s “Let It Be Me”. He performed in front of this little shack and it acted as a great backdrop to him. He was still a cowboy even without the usual. The judges also saw great promise in him. They thought he could still be a country musician even if he doesn’t win and they named a few people who did go on to do really well from the show. They figured Dillion could easily make it with or without “American Idol”.
Arthur Gunn went next. He was a favorite with both the judges and the audience. His voice was unique. It stood out amongst the rest and so everyone expected Arthur to pull out another great song for tonight. Which he did. He chose the song “Lovin Machine” by Wyonie Harris and the only downside to the song was his shyness. Arthur was a shy person. He sang with his eyes closed and he really needed to work on that. He was also so shy that he couldn’t look directly in the camera even as the judges were talking to him. Its like he went out of his way to avoid the cameras and so he needed to work on that if he truly dreams of winning this season.
Next up was Julia Gargano. She performed “Human” by Christina Perri and the judges enjoyed the nuances. It was the first thing Luke mentioned. He said he loved her voice and Lionel later added how Julia has something special. She has style. She created a style for her voice and she stayed within it throughout her performance. Lionel said there were plenty of singers, but the stylists were the ones that make careers and he believes that Julia is one of them. She did well tonight. She kept her composure and that was no small thing for someone so young.
Grace Leer went next. She performed “Cry” by Faith Hill. She made it through to the Top 20 thanks to the fans and this time she let her voice take over. She has an amazing voice. She knows how to perform country music like a true artist. She hit some huge notes during the middle of her song and she impressed the judges with it. Grace did really well. It would be great if the fans came back out for her and fought for her to stay. The contestants needed America to vote them into the Top 10. They all needed that extra boost.
Even Just Sam needed it as well. She chose to stay on in Los Angeles after everyone was sent home. Just Sam is still having her adventure out there and she’s not slowing down any time soon. She may not be singing from home, but Just Sam chose the song “I Believe” by Fantasia for her performance tonight and she still rocked it out. She had been great to watch. The judges enjoyed her performance and they wanted more people like her. Just Sam’s story is so inspiring that they couldn’t stop themselves from bringing it up every time they saw her. And so everyone knows what Just Sam has been through just to get to this point.
And the final contestant of the night was Johnny West. He performed “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and the judges heard so many things in his voice. They heard other musicians as well as soundtracks in his voice. So, there are plenty of avenues Johnny can go with his music. He chose this song to remind everyone of what’s waiting for them after this pandemic and that’s what people needed to remember in all of this.