The Top 5 has been set on “American Idol.” The May 7 episode, which saw Katy Perry and Lionel Richie temporarily replaced by Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morrisette as they were performing at the Coronation of Charles III, whittled down the remaining eight by three. That left five singers who all began their journey at the auditions that began when the season premiered on February 19.
Before the live voting results were revealed, the contestants performed a pair of songs, one from Morissette’s collection and the other a duet of a Sheeran song. Iam Tongi, Wé Ani, Megan Danielle, Colin Stough, and Zachariah Smith were all voted on to advance. They will head to Disneyland to take part in the Disney-theme night on May 14.
Zachariah Smith is Told to ‘Burn the Apron’ at Audition
In the season 21 premiere, Zachariah Smith earned a standing ovation from Perry, Richie, and Luke Bryan. The latter advised him to “Go back to Amory [Mississippi], get your damn apron, get a little lighter fluid, burn the apron.” Perry interjected, “You’re not flipping no burgers.”
Before he stepped up to sing John Mellencamp “Hurts So Good,” the video introduction package had shown Smith as a grill cook at a local joint in his hometown of Amory called Bill’s Hamburgers. The judges were quick to let him know that a music career is out there for him following his audition.
“You have a rasp, you have a growl,” Richie said in his feedback. “And on top of that, you’re having fun with this.”
The judges all voted “yes” to send him to Hollywood.
Megan Danielle Gets Surprised by Lauren Daigle at Her Audition
The typical process sees each contestant hoping by the end of their audition that they receive their ticket to the next round. In the case of Megan Danielle, she got that as well as a surprise visit from Lauren Daigle. Danielle had selected one of her songs to tryout with in “You Say.”
The Douglasville, Georgia waitress was in the middle of performing when Daigle snuck in and began duetting with her to close out the song.
“You’ve got that grit in your voice, it’s so authentic,” Perry said after the audition.
Bryan said he’s excited to watch her grow in the competition while Richie said all we’re going to do is “push, push, push” her throughout the season to get her confidence to match her vocal artistry. Danielle picked up a “yes” from each judge, including an “Amen, yes” from Perry.
Colin Stough is No Longer Just a ‘Simple Man’ After His Audition
The Mississippi native said during his introduction video package that the reason for coming on the show was “because there ain’t really nothing coming from around here” in referencing his hometown. Colin Stough stepped before the judges where he delivered his take on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.”
Relating to his country background and his tone, Bryan was impressed with his audition, “That is what American Idol is about.” Perry said that he has the “magic” and some “stardust” in him. The judges asked for him to bring out his Mom, who he said had been the one who signed him up for the show.
“We are so thankful that you signed this human being up,” Bryan said while hugging her.
Bryan said that Stough, who has also won over Perry, is “exactly what we hope and dream for” on the show as all three judges gave him a “yes.”
Wé Ani Has a Voice That Captivates The Judges at Her Audition
What made Wé Ani stand out to the judges the moment she walked in was her speaking voice. Before she begun to sing, Bryan asked if she does voiceovers, to which she said no but that she “wish she did.”
She eventually broke out into Demi Lovato’s “Anyone” which instantly piqued their interest as they noticed the baritone voice she possessed. All three gave her a standing ovation with Richie calling her “amazing” afterward. Perry complimented her for “throwing a curveball.” Bryan said that he didn’t want to get into “the science” of how her voice is possible before passing it back to Richie to begin the voting.
She received a “yes” from all of the judges to earn her way to Hollywood Week.
Iam Tongi Brings Tears to the Judges in Most Viewed Audition to Date
William “Iam” Tongi accomplished quite a bit during his audition when he tackled James Blunt’s “Monsters” in dedication to his late father. He took a moment to compose himself before hitting the first chord and beginning his journey.
The judges were hit with emotions in his performance as Richie put it best afterward, “I was not worried if you were going to make it through the song, I was worried about whether we were going to make it through the song. Your Daddy is very proud.”
Perry praised him for his song choice and for “making these grown men cry.” Bryan was the most emotional as he eventually told him that “I just want to see you have fun in this whole thing, man.”
His audition has more than 15.2 million views on the show’s official YouTube page as of May 8. That’s the most views of any video on the channel. The second most was Catie Turner’s audition on March 11, 2018 which has 6.2 million views as of May 8.