On the May 10, 2020 episode of ABC’s American Idol, long-time host Ryan Seacrest announced the Top 7 contestants who had the most votes after the previous episode’s performances. Next week, the Top 5 will be announced and a winner will be crowned.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Idol comes to viewers from the homes of judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie as well as the homes of host Ryan Seacrest, mentor Bobby Bones and the remaining contestants.
The Top 7 episode featured two performances from each of the remaining contestants; the first was a song from the Disney catalog, and the second was a song that reminded the contestants of their mothers in tribute of Mother’s Day.
WARNING: Spoilers for the Top 7 Episode of American Idol follow. Don’t read on if you don’t want to know who made it through to the Top 7.
Read on below for a live recap of the results as they aired. If you’d rather just have a list of which contestants made it through and which were eliminated, scroll to the bottom for that.
‘American Idol’ 2020 Top 7 Recap
The show opened with healthcare workers and first responders saying “This is American Idol,” and then Ryan informed viewers that this week is Disney week as well as the Mother’s Day tribute. Katy dressed up as “Ms. Jumbo” from Dumbo and brought her dog, who was dressed up as Dumbo.
The first contestant in the top 7 is Arthur Gunn. For his Disney song, he chose to perform “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid. Katy told him that he looked relaxed and engaged and that she really loved the performance, Luke said it was fun watching him transition to this “truly hopefully massive recording artist,” and Lionel loved that his style is unique and that he has his own identity.
The next contestant to be announced as one of the top seven was Just Sam. She chose to sing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella. Luke told her that she was “absolutely deserving” of top seven, and Sam talked about how dreams really do come true.
Lionel told her that she was their “kid,” as they watched her walk through the audition door and have since watched her “grow up.” Katy said she wanted “a little more” from the performance and reminded Sam that Jennifer Hudson came in seventh on Idol and no matter what happens, she’s already a star.
Third into the Top 7 was Jonny West. He chose to perform “Almost There” from The Princess and The Frog for his Disney song. Lionel called him an “effortless assassin,” and Katy said he’d picked just the right song and stayed true to himself. Luke said he loved that Disney night forces people down a path they might not be used to.
Next into the top 7 was Louis Knight. Katy immediately cheered for him, of course. He performed “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King. “Niall Horan better watch out,” Katy told him immediately and then talked about his future as a star. Luke said he loved the tenderness in the performance, though he said it got a “little linear” after three-quarters of the song, and Lionel said that he needs to stay focused but he has “got the stroke.”
Filling out spot number five was Julia Gargano, and she chose to perform “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and The Beast. Luke said the song was a little bit low for her, but he said she did a great job. Lionel said that her lower register needed some more work and the performance was amazing, and Katy said she loved the arrangement though she did agree about her voice being best at higher registers.
Second-to-last to make it into the top seven was Francisco Martin who sang “You’ll be In My Heart” from Tarzan. Lionel was happy that Francisco was smiling at himself while performing and being overall much more confident than he was before. Katy said that the performance was “really amazing,” and she said “what you gave us at the end was kind of what I wanted from Louis Knight.” Luke told him he did a great job and said he was like “king of the jungle” and “King of American Idol.”
The final person to make it into the Top 7 was Dillon James. He sang “Our Town” from Cars for his Disney song. Katy thought that he took all of their constructive criticism from last week and applied it “magnificently.” Luke said “it just felt great from top to bottom,” and Lionel said that Dillon was “a true artist.”
For the performance dedicated to his mom, Arthur sang “Hey, Ma” by Bon Iver. Luke told him that the performance was done so well and that he “never has a bad performance.” Lionel said that Arthur could “sing the phone book” and people would still listen and it would “sound like Arthur Gunn.” Katy teared up at the performance, and she told him that it was a fantastic song.
Just Sam dedicated her Mother’s Day song to her grandmother. She sang “I Turn To You” by Christina Aguilera. Lionel told her she was the “angel” of the group and said he’d be “papa Lionel” for the rest of her life. Katy told her that she has an incredible story but has also shown incredible growth with her talent, and Luke said that her mid-range has always been “smooth as butter.”
The next performance came from Jonny West and was dedicated to his mom Michelle. He chose to sing his own version of “Amazing Grace,” which he changed from the original. Katy told him that he was “so original and so talented,” and that she “personally thinks” he “should win this competition” and said he’d have the biggest career. Luke said he had God-given songwriting talents, and Lionel complimented Jonny’s songwriting capabilities.
Louis Knight dedicated his mother’s day performance to his mother, Amanda. He sang “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carol King and James Taylor after saying that it was his mother’s all-time favorite song.
Katy again started crying after the performance, and Luke told Louis that he gave all the dynamics he wanted from him and said that it was his favorite performance from Louis since the quarantine performances. Lionel told him that this performance was exactly what he needed to do, and Katy said that he “gave us the wingspan that we were looking for,” and said that was one of his best performances, hands down.
Julia dedicated her song to her mom Jeanne. She sang “Sweetest Devotion” by Adele. Katy said she loved hearing Julia’s voice and that Idol was a “fantastic launching pad” for her. Luke said the performance was “bada*s” and delivered like Julia owned it, and Lionel said that Julia wasn’t “thinking about the song, you just delivered the song.”
Next, Francisco dedicated his song to his mother Fatima. He sang “River” by Leon Bridges. All the judges loved his performance and said that the songs he sang this week separated him from the pack.
“I think he beat the original record,” Luke said of Francisco’s performance. Lionel said that performance was exactly what he was talking about when he said “BBQ sauce.”
Lastly, Dillon James dedicated his song to his mother Lindy, and he chose to sing “Hang on, Hang on” by Amos Lee. Luke told him that the performance was very special. Lionel told him that there are kids out there currently struggling just like Dillon had in the past and that he’s a “fabulous” inspiration to all of them. Katy said that Dillon feels “lighter” and “freer” than he had in the audition.
‘American Idol’ 2020 Top 7 & Who Was Eliminated
Here are the 2020 Top 7 contestants on American Idol:
- Arthur Gunn
- Just Sam
- Jonny West
- Louis Knight
- Julia Gargano
- Francisco Martin
- Dillon James
Here’s who was eliminated this week:
- Grace Leer
- Jovin Webb
- Sophia James
- Makayla Phillips
Next week’s episode of American Idol is the season finale.