'American Idol' eliminates Tristan Gressett over Lady K and determines Top 10 finalists for Season 20
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/26/2022
American Idol eliminated Tristan Gressett and determined its Top 10 finalists during the Season 20 performance show that aired Monday night on ABC.
Tristan, a 17-year-old high school student from Pell City, AL, was ousted from the American Idol competition after he fell into the bottom two with Lady K, a 25-year-old musician from Tuskegee, AL, based on viewer voting that took place throughout the live two-hour broadcast.
Once Tristan and Lady K landed in the bottom two contestants, judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan were afforded the opportunity to save one of the hopefuls, and so they decided to send Tristan home and keep Lady K on the show.
Fellow American Idol judge Lionel Richie did not have a say in the final decision regarding the night's eliminee because he had lost a competition amongst the judges earlier in the evening.
For the judges' competition, each of the Top 11 finalists was given three songs to choose from, one pick from each judge. The finalists didn't know which judge chose which song.
By the end of the night, Luke and Katy had their songs chosen four times each, and Lionel was right on their heels with three song selections.
Prior to his American Idol departure, Tristan sang "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones, a song that had been picked by Lionel.
"You gave me Mick Jagger on steroids, baby!" Lionel gushed.
And Lady K performed "Traitor" by Olivia Rodrigo, which was another tune selected for the singer by Lionel, who said the song took Lady K out of her wheelhouse and made her try something new.
In addition to Lady K, the rest of the Top 10 finalists for American Idol's 20th season include Christian Guardino, a 22-year-old kitchen staff member from Patchogue, NY; Emyrson Flora, a 16-year-old high school student from Cleveland, OH; Fritz Hager, a 22-year-old unemployed singer from Tyler, TX; and Huntergirl, a 23-year-old singer and songwriter from Winchester, TN.
The rest of the Top 10 finalists are Jay, a 23-year-old medical receptionist from Salisbury, MD; Leah Marlene, a 20-year-old musician from Normal, IL; Mike Parker, a 27-year-old carpenter from Warrenton, VA; Nicolina Bozzo, an 18-year-old university student from Toronto, Ontario; and Noah Thompson, a 20-year-old construction worker from Louisa, KY.
Arguably the standout vocalists of the night were Jay, Fritz Hager and Leah Marlene.
Jay sang "Lilac Wine" by Jeffrey Buckley, which had been picked for Jay to sing by Katy.
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"That was your best performance yet, in my opinion, and of the whole show... Everyone was so zoned into you and you did it!" Katy gushed.
And Lionel went as far as to say it was one of "the greatest performances" he's "ever seen" in his life.
Fritz Hager took the stage with "Wonderwall" by Oasis, which had been selected by Luke.
Luke said Fritz did "a great, great, great job," and Lionel called Fritz's delivery "perfect." Katy also said the performance overall was brilliant.
And Leah Marlene performed "Make You Feel My Love" by Bob Dylan, which had been picked by Katy.
Katy called Leah's vocals a "Picasso" on a canvas. The judge said she loved the tremors in Leah's voice and thought she sounded "angelic."
The other Top 10 finalists were also highly praised for their performances on Monday night.
Emyrson Flora sang "Lovely" by Billie Eilish and Khalid, which had been selected by Katy. The judges agreed she's a professional and it was a beautiful rendition of the song.
Noah Thompson performed "Heartbreak Warfare" by John Mayer, which had been picked by Luke, who complimented Noah on challenging himself this week.
Huntergirl took the stage with a fun performance of "9 to 5" by Dolly Parton, which had been picked for the singer by Luke. The judges agreed it was amazing and she certainly embodied Dolly on the stage.
Mike Parker sang "Chasin You" by Morgan Wallen, which had been picked by Luke. Luke said Mike "did his own thing with it" and it was soulful, although Mike didn't hit some of the notes in falsetto.
Christian Guardino impressed with "I'm Not the Only One" by Sam Smith, which had been picked by Katy.
Katy said Christian commanded the song and "went ham" in the end, and Lionel called the singer "so special."
And Nicolina Bozzo belted out "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson, which had been picked for her by Lionel, who said Nicolina lit up the stage and really owned the song.