The show opened with judge Lionel Richie performing his Oscar-winning song “Say You Say Me” and the judges being introduced by Seacrest.
WARNING: Spoilers for the Top 12 Live Reveal Episode of “American Idol” follow. Don’t read on if you don’t want to know who made it through to the Top 12.
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’ 2021 Top 9 Live Recap
Grace Kinstler kicked off the show with Pharell’s “Happy,” and the judges seemed to enjoy her performance. Before she took the stage, she spoke with in-house mentor Bobby Bones about the response she’s had from people so far.
The judges told Kinstler that her voice was “stellar” but they wanted to know more about who she was going to be as an artist.
Next up was 15-year-old Ava August singing the song “City of Stars” from the Oscar-nominated movie “La La Land.”
Caleb Kennedy was the next person to take the stage, and he chose to sing “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson. The young artist said that he chose the song because he likes Nelson’s voice and his storytelling. The judges adored his performance of the song and told him if he kept singing as well as he was, he would be “on the road” performing forever.
The next performer to take the stage was Hunter Metts, singing “Falling Slowly” from “Once.” He told Bobby Bones that he really wanted to showcase his voice and be a little softer. Metts forgot some words near the end of his performance, which brought the nervous contestant to tears. The judges reassured and comforted him following the emotional end to his performance.
The next performance came from the judge’s save from last week, Madison Watkins. She chose to sing “Run to You” by Whitney Houston, and her performance was followed by Chayce Beckham with “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams.
The other save from the judges last week went to Beane, and he was up next in this round. He chose to sing “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” from “Dirty Dancing.” The arrangement was a bit strange at first, but it picked up and the performer showed off some stage presence in the latter half of the performance.
Alyssa Wray took the stage next to perform “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” and the judges loved both her performance and her sparkly dress.
Deshawn GonCalves took the stage next singing “The Way We Were” for his ballad, a song from the Oscar-nominated film “The Way We Were.” The next contestant, 16-year-old Casey Bishop, who usually sings rock songs, chose to perform “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” originally performed by Judy Garland in the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”
Cassandra Coleman chose to sing a song from one of the James Bond films for her performance. The song was “Writings on the Wall” by Sam Smith, which she chose because of the lyrics.
The final performance of the night was by Willie Spence with the song “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo, and the judges were very impressed with his performance, which came just before voting ended for the night.
Up next, the results were announced quickly, as there were only a few minutes of showtime left. Seacrest announced that the top nine contestants were: Grace Kinstler, Casey Bishop, Willie Spence, Alyssa Wray, Caleb Kennedy, Deshawn Goncalves, Chayce Beckham, Cassandra Coleman and Hunter Metts.
The three contestants sent home were Ava August, Madison Watkins and Beane.
‘American Idol’ Top 9 & Who Was Eliminated
Here’s who is moving forward in the competition:
- Grace Kinstler
- Casey Bishop
- Willie Spence
- Alyssa Wray
- Caleb Kennedy
- Deshawn Goncalves
- Chayce Beckham
- Cassandra Coleman
- Hunter Metts
That means the following contestants were eliminated:
- Ava August
- Madison Watkins
“American Idol” live shows air at 8 p.m. / 7 p.m. Central coast-to-coast on Sundays and Mondays.