On tonight’s episode of American Idol, the 2018 contestants will be narrowed down to the top 24, but several websites have already spoiled which singers are moving forward in the competition. Tonight, the contestants carry out solo performances in front of a live crowd, along with the judges, for what’s known as the Showcase Round. Following the performances and a deliberation, the judges deliver the news of which contestants have become top 24 finalists.
The next episode of American Idol will air on Sunday and it will feature performances from each of the top 24 contestants, along with celebrity performers as well. According to MJs Big Blog, some of the stars who are going to be performing duets with individual contestants include, but are not limited to, Rachel Platten, Lea Michele, Colbie Caillat, Aloe Blacc, Andy Grammer, and Luis Fonsi.
Read on for the spoilers on which contestants are moving forward as part of the top 24, their top 24 performances and background info on each singer below.
Raghu comes from a home of divorce and she was raised mainly by her father. She said her dad has been her biggest cheerleader and her best friend, while her mom left them. Raghu really hopes to make her dad proud by being on American Idol and having a successful career. Currently, she is a sophomore in high school, but she has a mature voice and can also play the guitar.
Amelia Hammer Harris
When Harris first auditioned for the show, judge Katy Perry called her “Top 10 material.” On the show, Harris revealed that her father was Jack Hammer, a songwriter known for the 1957 classic hit “Great Balls of Fire.” In an interview with Good Housekeeping, Harris said that she and her father had an estranged relationship for years, but grew closer when Harris was a teen. Harris said she is a lot like her father, but she also told Good Housekeeping that, “I tend to try and stay away from my father’s legacy, just because I’m trying to make my own. Love the guy, but will probably stay away from performing any of his songs.”
Dominique Posey hails from Birmingham and he told Alabama.com that, “I’m a really passionate singer, really good at putting myself into the song and making it mine.” Posey grew up singing in church and was also a member of the Atlanta Boy Choir. For his top 24 celebrity duet, MJs Big Blog reported that he will be performing with Aloe Blacc to sing the song “Wake Me Up.”
Layla Spring performed The Jackson 5’s “Who’s Loving You” for her audition and her performance was extra adorable, because she brought her little sister, Dixie, to sing in front of the judges as well. Judge Lionel Richie called her “cute as a button” and the judges were smitten with the sisterly duo. After singing for the judges, both girls received golden tickets, but Dixie isn’t allowed to use her until she meets the age requirement for the show. Katy Perry joked that Dixie’s golden ticket is valid in 2026.
Spring said that she sings a lot for her family and the judges felt that she would gain a lot of experience by going to Hollywood for the show. And now she’s made it to the top 24. Richie did warn Spring about the mental game that comes along with the competition, saying that she is “going into the fire”.
Catie Turner is a little off-color, but that’s what makes her a great contestant to watch. She was actually the first contestant, who America saw 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. All three judges fell in love with Turner’s “brilliance” and all granted her a “yes”. Upon hearing the news that she was going to Hollywood, Turner burst into tears, so being a part of the top 24 must really be overwhelming for her. Recently, Turner got with the social media program for her Idol experience and wrote on Twitter, “My name’s Catie and I’m here to be America’s next best friend or potentially Idol or both whatever its up to you – tune in to watch my journey!” Turner reportedly gets to perform with Andy Grammer for her top 24 duet.
Lorenzo said he grew up in a rough area and that his father was murdered when he was only 5 years old. He said that he started going down the wrong path, but when his grandparents bought him a guitar at age 16, it changed his life. 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.
Michelle Sussett sings Selena’s “Techno Cumbia” and gets the judges to dance a bit too. 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. Susset enjoys getting people out of their seats to dance. All three judges dance and Katy Perry famously falls down on the floor, exposing herself to everyone in the room with her short dress. 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 24. Quite impressive.
Woodard is a man with an amazing voice and a huge personality. For his 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. Prior to getting on Idol, he was working as a bowling alley attendant.
Garrett Jacobs is a 17-year-old boy from Louisiana and he’s about 6’4″ in his boots. His grandma is his biggest fan and he told the judges that they call her Honey because she’s so sweet. For his first audition on the show, Jacobs played the guitar and performed the song “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”.
Maddie Poppe had a romantic way about her in her audition, singing the song “Rainbow Connection”. Lionel Richie described Poppe’s vocals as a “storyteller’s voice.” Poppe was quick to receive a Hollywood golden ticket. When Poppe performs her top 24 celebrity duet, she will be reportedly paired with Colbie Caillat for a performance of Caillat’s song “Bubbly.”
Siani has a ton of personality and a very cute look. She’s 18 years old and hails from Denver Colorado, but she’s been singing since she was just 2 years old. Siani also started songwriting when she was only 7. Siani came out to her family, who she has said has been very understanding and she met her wife Ashley at a party. She 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. For her top 24 duet, MJs Big Blog has reported that Siani gets to perform with Jessie J.
Adam Sanders A.K.A. Ada Vox
Ada Vox was the final contestant shown in the auditions on the show. Vox is actually 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 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. After performing “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals for the Idol judges, they couldn’t get over Vox’s vocal range and his overall talent. For Ada Vox’s top 24 duet, he gets to sing with former Glee star Lea Michele.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson is a country singer, who’s been playing music all his life, but he doesn’t come from a very musical family. The song he chose to perform for his big Idol audition was “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” by The SteelDrivers. He’s just 19 years old and judge Richie said that his voice is beyond his age. Katy Perry loved Hutchinson’s fast vibrato in his voice and enjoyed the comfort Hutchinson appears to have in his performing. Years ago, Hutchinson actually had a musical connection to an American Idol winner, after he opened for season 4 runner-up Bo Bice in 2012.
Passero is an assistant property manager and she hopes to build somewhat of an empire. She performed an original song for her audition and played the piano along with the performance. The singer hails from Modesto, California and hopes to become a success in music. After her first audition, all three judges gave her a standing ovation.
Passero actually grew up singing opera and didn’t start songwriting until she was older. Judge Lionel Richie called Passero a “secret weapon”.
Donaldson brought his baby boy into his audition with him and the judges couldn’t get over the cuteness. Growing up, Donaldson was surrounded by crime, violence and poverty in Compton. He and his sister were eventually placed in the foster care system. One day, his sister had a baby, but because of drugs, she couldn’t keep him. Donaldson stepped up and is now the guardian of his nephew, little Rashad, who he got when he was just one week old.
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”. Justine said that growing up, it was her dream to audition for the show. Her audition was soulful and passionate, earning her a unanimous “yes” from the judges. Justine broke down in tears upon hearing the great news and told judge Lionel Richie that he’s her idol.
Shannon O’Hara performed Adele’s “When We Were Young” for her first audition on the show and she played the piano along with her vocals. The young singer hails from North Carolina and has a powerful voice. O’Hara has mainly been singing at church and in her youth group, since she’s still in high school. In an interview with Statesville Record & Landmark, O’Hara revealed that she previously had auditioned for America’s Got Talent and The Voice, but Idol was “the dream”.
Bultongez was raised for half of his life in the Congo of Africa. At 10 years old, he and his family escaped from the Congo, for America. He claimed that his father was very abusive and when Bultongez would voice his upset, it caused a separation between himself and his father. Today, Bultongez has his own son and he says that the cycle ends with him. For his audition on Idol, Bultongez performed the song “Let It Go” by James Bay.
When McBane first auditioned for American Idol, he performed the song “Colder Weather” by the Zac Brown Band. McBane hails from Oklahoma and he said that his 81-year-old “nan” is his biggest fan and best friend.
Lionel Richie told McBane that he loves the growl in his voice, while judge Luke Bryan told McBane that he is “as raw as we’ve seen.” Both judges felt that his audition wasn’t perfect, but it was filled with “real notes”. Katy Perry said that McBane looked like a cool musician and McBane did reveal that he does write his own music. In an interview with McAlister News, McBane told the newspaper that he first started taking singing seriously when he was a junior in high school. His first performance in public was at the First Baptist Church of Savanna, Oklahoma. McBane went on to become a part of a band called Consider the Raven.
Brenns is 18 years old and he’s of Dutch descent. He said that his parents were not aware that he was auditioning for American Idol and they hold education on a higher level. Brenns comes from a very tall family and he stands at 6’5″. Right off the bat, judge Luke Bryan was surprised by the style and tone of Brenns’ singing voice. For his audition, Brenns performed an original song called “Blue Jeans”. When Brenns put his mother on the phone with Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, she couldn’t believe it. During the top 24 duet performances, Brenns gets to perform with singer Colbie Caillat.
Kay Kay Alexis
Kay Kay Alexis gushed to WMUR that she couldn’t believe how far she has made it on the show. She waited 12 hours for her first audition on the show and now she makes it to the top 24. Alexis told WMUR that, “Like some people got there and they went home the very next day. I’m just really glad that Katy saw my face or Lionel saw my face or Luke heard my voice. It’s just crazy.”
Brandon Diaz performed Allen Stone’s “Unaware” for his first audition on the show and he currently resides in Boston. His father, who was born in Cuba, is a vocalist and Diaz has been inspired by his dad. Diaz is a talented guitar player, as well as a singer. When talking about the evolution of American Idol over the years, to today, Diaz told WTOP that, “It’s a lot more of a talent show than a reality show … You know how American Idol used to have those people who were there more for the TV [hype] in the early weeks? I didn’t see a lot of that.”
Gabby Barrett’s audition wasn’t perfect, but the judges ultimately decided she had earned a spot in Hollywood. Barrett started singing when she was just 9 years old and said that she was a daddy’s girl. Her father accompanied her to her audition and ended up getting pranked by the judges. Barrett said that her dad is her rock and that he wants to give her everything he possibly can in life. Barrett becomes emotional when talking about her father, who calls her his “whole life”. She said that her father has sacrificed so much for her and she wants to create a successful future for her family.
Singer Cade Foehner has a pretty big following already and now he’s one of the performers included in the top 24. 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’s a great guitar player as well.