'American Idol' recap: Alyssa Raghu and Walker Burroughs cut as Top 6 determined after Adam Lambert serves as mentor
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/29/2019
American Idol eliminated Alyssa Raghu and Walker Burroughs and determined the Top 6 contestants after a night of Queen performances and duets from the movies during Sunday night's broadcast on ABC.
Alyssa, a 16-year-old high school student from Orlando, FL, and Walker, a 20-year-old college student and resident assistant from Birmingham, AL, were ousted from American Idol's seventeenth season after the Top 8 artists performed songs from Queen's repertoire and America voted for their favorites in real-time.
Katy thought Walker was authentic onstage and improved his interaction with the audience. She also thought he sounded "so good."
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"Walker, America is going to fall in love with that performance... because you sat up there being yourself... I think it's very endearing," Luke said, adding that he couldn't stop smiling watching Walker perform.
Lionel commended Walker on having fun with that performance, but he asked him to stop thinking going forward and just be "naturally present onstage."
Madison Vandenburg, a 17-year-old high school student from Cohoes, NY, took the stage with "The Show Must Go On."
Luke said Madison had "a diva moment" and she made singing look easy. He thought she sold the song and delivered her best vocal performance to date.
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Lionel called Madison's voice "impeccable" and noted she had made them feel exactly what she was feeling in that song.
Katy said Madison is stepping into her stardom but she still has a little work to do. Katy explained her voice is not connected to her body and she needs to do a foot-stomp or hair flip to match the power in her voice.
"I think you're almost there," Katy shared.
Jeremiah Lloyd Haron, a 26-year-old music teacher from Catonsville, MD, sang "Who Wants To Live Forever."
Katy said Jeremiah embodied the spirit of Freddie Mercury in that performance and he basically "froze time" and it was so beautiful.
Luke explained Jeremiah continued to spoil the judges and he took them on a complete journey that continued to build before he "took it to the next level."
Lionel said Jeremiah has the ability to draw people in with the dynamics in his voice and he took the band to the next level, which is very impressive.
"It was something very powerful... Your voice is something to be reckoned with and I'm very proud of you," Lionel told the artist.
Alejandro Aranda, a 24-year-old dishwasher from Pomona, CA, performed a brand new rendition and arrangement of "Under Pressure."
Luke loved the performance and noted how Alejandro sees a painting in his own way.
"You paint it your way every night. We've heard you be better vocally before, but it never matters because you're doing your own thing and that's so cool for me. I just love everything you do," Luke said.
Lionel reminded viewers he's an artist as well as "an amazing stylist." Lionel told him not to lose his artistry because that's the core of who he is.
Katy agreed, saying Alejandro's authenticity is his "secret sauce" but it can also be his own worst enemy. However, Katy thought he was handling the pressures of the competition very well.
Laine belted out "Fat Bottomed Girls" for a shot to make the Top 6.
Wade clearly has a character voice, but Luke heard him do some real singing this time.
Lionel found himself cheering for Wade and noted, "You've already won. You're in the Top 8 of American Idol."
Katy explained it's special how Wade shows a different side to himself every time he gets on the stage and he has what it takes to succeed long-term.
Alyssa belted out "Somebody To Love," and Lionel said she's the epitome of determination.
Katy told Alyssa that she believes in her "all the way," but Luke was still waiting to hear the power of her top register.
Laine and Laci Kaye also sang a duet of "Jackson" from the film Walk the Line.
Lionel gushed about how the pair looked "so comfortable" onstage together and Katy thought they looked connected. Katy watched Laine smile from ear to ear and suggested maybe something was going on between the two of them.
"Watch out, [Caleb Hutchinson] and [Maddie Poppe]!" Katy announced, referring to the cute couple who began dating on American Idol's sixteenth season last year.
Luke added that Laine and Laci Kaye were becoming stars right before their eyes.