'American Idol' eliminates Jay and Christian Guardino as Top 5 finalists determined
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/09/2022
American Idol eliminated Jay and Christian Guardino, which determined the Top 5 finalists of Season 20 during a two-hour performance show that aired Sunday night on ABC.
Jay, a 23-year-old medical receptionist from Salisbury, MD, and Christian, a 22-year-old kitchen staff member from Patchogue, NY, were ousted from American Idol's Season 20 competition based on viewer votes that had rolled in throughout the live broadcast.
Round 1 featured the finalists singing a favorite song they had posted on social media or a song that had gone viral on TikTok, and Round 2 afforded each singer the opportunity to perform a dedication to his or her mother in honor of Mother's Day.
Seven time Grammy-winning artist and producer, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, mentored the finalists this week.
Jay initially performed "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston, and Katy said his vocals and runs were unique, amazing and artistic. The judge said Jay had "done justice to a Whitney Houston song."
For Round 2, Jay sang "A Song For Mama" by Boyz II Men, and Katy pointed out how Jay's growth in the competition had been "phenomenal" and he finally discovered exactly who he is.
Christian first sang "Lonely" by Justin Bieber & Benny Blanco, and Lionel told the singer that he is unique on this planet and has a talent that's "been shining through like a diamond."
Christian later belted out a spirited tune, "Dear God" by Smokie Norful, and Katy said the song was "authentically you," and Luke said the music just poured out of his soul and appeared to be "second nature" to him.
As for the other contestants who will live to see another week on American Idol, two of them tested positive for COVID-19: Noah Thompson, a 20-year-old construction worker from Louisa, KY, and Fritz Hager, a 22-year-old unemployed singer from Tyler, TX.
Noah therefore performed live from his hotel room, and Fritz -- who had just tested positive the morning of the performance show -- was unable to sing. Viewers therefore watched Fritz's pre-recorded dress rehearsal for each song from the previous day.
Fritz was shown performing an original song entitled "All My Friends" for the first round, and Luke complimented Fritz on his "creativeness" and having "a rock star moment" with his electric guitar.
American Idol followed that up with more pre-taped footage of Fritz singing another original song entitled "The Ocean." Luke was surprised by the emotion Fritz had been able to convey in the song, Lionel called him "a star," and Katy said she was shocked by the performance and Fritz had blown her away.
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Noah sang "Painted Blue" by Sunday Best from his hotel room, and Luke applauded the artist on a "great" job and one of his best performances yet although Noah was clearly feeling ill.
Noah then performed "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, paying tribute to his mom.
The judges couldn't believe how good Noah sounded even though he was sick and performing from inside a hotel room, and they agreed he had "nailed it" and done his best job yet in the competition.
Leah Marlene, a 20-year-old musician from Normal, IL, initially sang "Electric Love" by Borns, and Lionel said she had done a "wonderful job" and worked the stage.
Leah followed that up with "Sanctuary" by Nashville Cast featuring Charles Esten, Lennon and Maisy.
Lionel advised Leah to continue being a storyteller in order to go on to have a fantastic career, and Katy said she sounded and looked like an angel on the stage.
Huntergirl, a 23-year-old singer and songwriter from Winchester, TN, took the stage in Round 1 with "You Broke Me First" by Tate McRae, and Katy called her a "natural" on the stage with "power poses" and a great stage presence.
"You are becoming the artist that you dream of, so congratulations -- you are there!" Katy declared.
Huntergirl then sang "Like My Mother Does" by Lauren Alaina, and Katy said, "You still deserve the Platinum Ticket today, and you've got a platinum heart as well... You deserve the world."
Nicolina Bozzo, an 18-year-old university student from Toronto, Ontario, belted out "Alone" by Heart for Round 1, and Lionel gushed about her being "a star in control."
Nicolina decided to perform "Light In the Hallway" by Pentatonix for the second round.
Lionel and Luke dubbed her vocal rendition of that song "flawless," and Katy said both of her performances that evening were A++.