On tonight’s episode of American Idol, the 2018 top 24 contestants continue to perform duets with celebrity partners on the show. Soon the contestants will be narrowed down to the top 14, and several websites have already posted the spoilers on which singers are moving forward in the competition.
The next episode of American Idol will air on Sunday, April 21, 2018, and it will feature performances from each of the top 14 contestants. Those 14 will then be quickly narrowed down to the top 10 on the episode airing the next night, on Monday, April 22, 2018. This is the night that the live episodes begin for the season. Read on for the spoilers on which contestants are moving forward as part of the top 14, their best performances and background info on each singer below.
Gabby Barrett’s initial audition wasn’t perfect, but the judges ultimately decided she had earned a spot in Hollywood. Fortunately, Barrett has proven that she can hold her own and Gold Derby has reported that she has made it into the top 14. Barrett started singing when she was just 9 years old and said that she was a daddy’s girl. For Barrett’s celebrity duet in the top 24, she got to perform the song “Stay” by Sugarland, with the actual band, Sugarland.
Barrett’s father, Blase Barrett, who is her inspiration, recently gushed to Trib Live about his daughter’s performance with Sugarland, saying that, “Jennifer (of Sugarland) has a powerful voice for country music and that has always been a dream of Gabby’s — to bring power like Whitney Houston over to country music. Gabby writes country music and she loves the country story. Her voice is so strong. She wants to bring a new sound to country. All three judges were completely blown away tonight after her performance.” The judges decided that Barrett had the chops to move on in the competition, after seeing her big performance.
Lorenzo said on the show that he grew up in a rough area and that his father was murdered when he was just 5 years old. He said that he started going down the wrong path in life, but when his grandparents bought him a guitar at age 16, it changed his world. He has been singing and playing the guitar ever since. Lorenzo bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, in hopes of making something of himself and, today, he has a girlfriend, with a cute baby daughter. Luke Bryan said that Lorenzo’s journey is the reason he signed up to be a judge. When performing in the top 24, for his celebrity duet, he sang with Allen Stone.
Donaldson brought his baby boy into his first audition with him and the judges couldn’t get over the cuteness. Growing up, Donaldson was surrounded by crime, violence and poverty in Compton, but he chose to better himself. He and his sister ended up being placed in the foster care system, but Donaldson decided he wanted to strive for a bright future. One day, his sister lost custody of her baby, because of drugs, so Donaldson stepped up to the plate and is now the guardian of his nephew, little Rashad. Donaldson took in Rashad when he was just one week old and today, he calls him his son. Opening up about how Rashad has given him purpose, Donaldson said on the show, “I didn’t want him to go through what I went through. I had no idea what I was doing, but actually he’s a real gift. And it was the right decision, I know. He’s changed my life.”
For Donaldson’s top 24 celebrity duet, he performed with Allen Stone, singing Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” according to Gold Derby. After recently delivering a “world class performance” on the show, as reported by People, Donaldson received a hug from all three judges. Judge Luke Bryan gushed over Donaldson, saying that, “To see Lionel so fired up, and when you’re singing to hear what he’s whispering to us is so inspiring. I got one word, man, you’re a survivor. You keep surviving this competition and you just — you just delivered us a world-class performance. I mean world-class.”
Caleb Lee Hutchinson
Caleb Lee Hutchinson is a country singer, who’s been playing music all of his life, but music isn’t in his blood. He’s just 19 years old, but judge Lionel Richie told him that his voice is beyond his age. Katy Perry loved Hutchinson’s fast vibrato in his voice during his first audition on the show and she enjoyed the comfort Hutchinson appears to have in his performing. For Hutchinson’s top 24 celebrity duet, he took the stage with Bebe Rexha on “Meant To Be” by Rexha & Florida Georgia Line.
Hutchinson actually has a musical connection to a previous American Idol winner. He previously opened for season 4 runner-up Bo Bice in 2012.
Mara Justine’s reaction to seeing the judges for the first time was genuinely starstruck and goofy. She is just 15 years old and performed Rihanna’s “Love On The Brain” for her first audition on the show. Justine said that growing up, it was her dream to audition for American Idol, so earning a unanimous “yes” from the judges was truly a dream come true. Justine broke down in tears upon hearing the great news and told judge Lionel Richie that he is her idol.
For Justine’s top 24 celebrity duet, she performed “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, with Platten. But, this is not the performance that has blown viewers away. When Justine performed her top 24 solo, singing Whitney Houston’s song “Run to You.” Being able to sing a Whitney Houston song well is quite the feat, so it’s no wonder that she blew away the judges with her powerful rendition of the song, according to NJ.com. Judge Luke Bryan’s reaction to the performance was, “We’re obviously spellbound here. Because you have shown us this edgy, rambunctious, rocking side and you just delivered us that. You just showed us another whole side … of what you can do.” Lionel Richie also tweeted along as the episode aired, writing a sweet message on Twitter that gushed, “You went above and beyond…@marajustine1. It was so natural for the crowd to come to you. Never underestimate the power of standing still and being in that moment.”
Maddie Poppe has had a romantic way about her and judge Lionel Richie has described Poppe’s vocals as a “storyteller’s voice.” Poppe was quick to receive a Hollywood golden ticket when she auditioned on the show and for her top 24 celebrity duet, she was paired with Colbie Caillat for a performance of Caillat’s song “Bubbly.”
According to Poppe’s professional website, she already has recorder her own music and plays multiple instruments. Poppe not only is a talented singer, she can also play the guitar, ukulele and keyboard. The 20-year-old hails from Iowa and the Daily Mail has reported she is in the top 14 for 2018.
Woodard is a man with an amazing voice and a huge personality. For his initial audition on the show, Woodard performed the song “Make It Rain” by Ed Sheeran. During Hollywood Week, Woodard did a rendition of “Maybe This Time” from “Cabaret” and it was so good that Katy Perry couldn’t help but to throw her chair in excitement. For his top 24 performance, Woodard got to team up with Pat Monahan of Train, for the band’s song “Angel In Blue Jeans”.
Prior to getting on Idol, he was working as a bowling alley attendant. It’s hard to believe such a talent hasn’t been able to make a steady living in entertainment yet.
Brenns is 19 years old and he got to perform the song “Back Home” with Andy Grammer for his top 24 celebrity duet. During his initial audition for the show, Brenns said that his parents were not aware that he was auditioning for American Idol and the judges took the opportunity to surprise Brenns’ mom. When Brenns put his mother on the phone with Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, she couldn’t believe it.
According to the Baxter Bulletin, Brenns was attending the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts pursuing a degree in International Business, when he decided to jump on a bus to make his way to the American Idol auditions. Recently, Brenns’ sister Amy Caster dished to Baxter Bulletin that her family was a little thrown by Brenns’ desire to pursue music and the family believes that an education should come first. Caster also said that, “The family just didn’t know how serious he was about music … We’re thrilled for him. And I am praying that it turns out good for him, either way.”
Siani has a ton of personality and a very cute look. When she first auditioned for the show, the judges were delightfully surprised that Jurnee was actually her real name and not a stage name. Siani is 18 years old and hails from Denver Colorado, but she’s been singing since she was just 2 years old. She also began songwriting when she was only 7.
When Siani came out to her family, she said that they were very understanding. She went on to meet her wife Ashley at a party and said that she and her wife basically started dating the day that they met. Ashley is in the Army and was set to be deployed soon after Siani’s Idol audition, so she is currently overseas, but she did get to see Siani perform “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman during the Showcase rounds of American Idol, as reported by Hollywood Life. Though Siani is just 18 years old, she seems to know just what she wants in life. For her top 24 duet, MJs Big Blog reported that Siani got to perform the song “Run to You” with Lea Michele, who many remember from the show Glee.
Michelle Sussett had a unique audition when she performed Selena’s “Techno Cumbia” and got the judges up out of their chairs to dance a bit. Then, when she performed with Luis Fonsi in the top 24, she blew away the crowd. Her vocals and her chemistry with Fonsi were truly powerful as the two performed Bonnie Raitt’s song “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Sussett is originally from Venezuela and now she lives in Miami, Florida. She says that she considers herself a show-woman and wants to make people happy through entertainment.
Unfortunately for Sussett, she caught a case of the flu during her journey on the show, but she still managed to make it to the top 14, according to American Idol Net. Quite impressive.
Singer Cade Foehner has a pretty big following already and now he’s one of the performers included in the top 14, as reported by the Daily Mail. He actually auditioned for The Voice a few years ago, but failed to make the cut, according to Idol Chatter, but it looks like American Idol had a different opinion. Auditioning for The Voice, Foehner revealed that, “I learned so much about myself as an artist and who I am as a singer. It was an amazing thing, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Foehner is a classic southern rocker from Texas and he is also skilled on the guitar.
When performing a celebrity duet, as part of the top 24 contestants, Foehner teamed up with Bishop Briggs on “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS. Foehner’s rocker hair and vocals have noticeably had an effect on judge Katy Perry, who has gushed over his sex appeal on the show. For Foehner’s top 24 solo performance, he sang “Watchtower” by Bob Dylan.
Garrett Jacobs is a 17-year-old boy from Louisiana and he’s about 6’4″ when he’s standing in his boots. His grandmother is his biggest fan and he told the judges that they call her Honey because she’s so sweet. For Jacobs’ top 24 celebrity duet on the show, he took the stage with Colbie Caillat to perform “Lucky” by Jason Mraz & Caillat.
When Catie Turner performed with Andy Grammer, singing “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)”, Turner looked like a natural and the duo’s performance was so in-sync. Turner is a little off-color and quirky, but that’s what makes her such a joy to watch. She was actually the first contestant, who America saw audition on the reboot, and she impressed the judges with an original song, titled “21st Century Machine.” Turner said that her song was about how the media affected her as a child and her bitterness towards it.
According to Hollywood Life, Turner has easily become a fan-favorite on the show and her personality is infectious. But, unlike many of her fellow competitors, music is relatively a new passion of hers. In an interview with Metro, Turner explained that, “Everybody has that story where they’ve been singing since they were two. That didn’t happen for me … It happened pretty late. [I was like], ‘ I can’t play sports, I can’t act, I can’t draw — I need a talent. What is something I haven’t tried? Music! Wait — I’m actually kind of good at music — I think I’ll work with this.” Turner’s main inspirations in music are Joni Mitchell and Ed Sheeran.
Adam Sanders A.K.A. Ada Vox
Ada Vox was the final contestant shown during the auditions on the show this season. Vox’s real name is Adam Sanders and his drag name is “Ada Vox”. He actually auditioned for the show during season 12, but he didn’t make it passed the top 50. For this year’s audition, he showed up as his drag persona and the judges couldn’t believe it was the same person when they looked up his first audition on their phones.
Vox said that his sexuality and appearance were hit hard by haters on social media after his first appearance on the show. He said that some people told him he should kill himself. Vox then became depressed. Fortunately, he was able to build himself up, despite the negativity. Vox said that during the day, he works at a seafood restaurant and that he is a drag performer at night. For Ada Vox’s top 24 celebrity duet, he gets to sing with former Glee star Lea Michele.