'American Idol' eliminates Ava August, Madison Watkins and Beane as Top 9 contestants are revealed
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/19/2021
American Idol eliminated Ava August, Madison Watkins and Beane during Sunday night's episode on ABC, determining Season 19's Top 9 finalists.
Ava, a 15-year-old high school student from Laguna Niguel, CA; Madison, a 26-year-old hair model from Fayetteville, AR; and Beane, a 23-year-old wedding singer from Brighton, MA, were eliminated from the Season 19 competition after receiving the fewest home viewer votes.
Idol's Top 9 contestants who will perform again next week are Chance Beckham, a 24-year-old heavy machinery operator from Apple Valley, CA; Casey Bishop, a 16-year-old high school student from Estero, FL; Cassandra Coleman, a 24-year-old coffee shop manager from Columbia, TN; Deshawn Goncalves, a 20-year-old college student from Cleveland, OH; Caleb Kennedy, a 16-year-old high school student from Roebuck, SC; Grace Kinstler, a 20-year-old college student from Lakewood, IL; Hunter Metts, a 22-year-old software developer from Franklin, TN; Willie Spence, a 21-year-old caretaker from Douglas, GA; and Alyssa Wray, a 19-year-old college student from Perryville, KY.
Madison and Beane were both invited to join the Top 12 last week after each receiving a Judges' Save. Unlike Ava, the pair were not automatically voted into the Top 12 by home viewers.
On Sunday night's episode, Ava performed "City of Stars" from La La Land. Lionel had given her a standing ovation and Luke gushed about the singer having an incredible "moment" on the stage.
The judges agreed Ava is beyond her years when it comes to her talent, but Katy admitted she'd like to see the singer act like she's 15 years old onstage.
Madison took the stage with "Run To You" from The Bodyguard, and Katy got up on her feet for the singer.
Lionel said Madison had stepped up to the plate and "knocked it out of the park," and Katy gushed about the contestant delivering "an A-Level performance."
And Beane serenaded the audience with "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" from Dirty Dancing.
"It's in your blood, Beane!" Katy shouted, adding that the singer had shown America a new side of him. "I think you are ready for the stage and to go on tour, and I hope America thinks that as well."
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Last year's American Idol contestants were restricted to performing in their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine and social-distancing regulations that were put into place.
After the Season 18 group of finalists sing live for home viewers, America will "get to vote one of them into this season's competition," according to Ryan, which will make for "the most unique Top 10" Idol has ever had.
It's therefore possible a finalist from Season 18 of American Idol in 2020 could come back and win it all.
Last year's Idol Top 11 included Julia Gargano, a 21-year-old college student from Staten Island, NY; Arthur Gunn, a 21-year-old musician from Wichita, KS; Dillon James, a 26-year-old construction worker from Bakersfield, CA; Louis Knight, a 19-year-old pizza delivery guy from Philadelphia, PA; Grace Leer, a 28-year-old in technology sales from Nashville, TN; and Francisco Martin, a 19-year-old college student from San Francisco, CA.
The other Top 11 finalists last season were Makayla Phillips, a 17-year-old high school student from Temecula, CA; Just Sam, a 21-year-old subway singer from Harlem, NY; Sophia Wackerman, a 20-year-old college student from Long Beach, CA, who decided to call herself Sophia James during the season; Jovin Webb, a 29-year-old musician from Gonzales, LA; and Jonny West, a 23-year-old piano teacher from Murietta, CA.