American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan narrowed down the auditioners to "the best of the best," a total of 40 hopefuls, through the Solo Round during Monday night's two-hour episode on ABC.

The American Idol broadcast began where Sunday night's episode had left off, with Nate Walker's group called "Ain't Goin' Home" trying to rehearse for the Group Round while he was in the hospital for a headache and stomach ache.


Nate, an 18-year-old singer from Pittsburgh, PA, however, soon returned without much of a voice and did his best during the group performance.

In the end, Nate's entire group went through to the next round, which also included Logan Johnson, a 20-year-old golf shop attendant from Boise, ID; Gazzie White, a 24-year-old lab assistant from Statesboro, GA; and Ruthie Craft, a 22-year-old waitress from Fox Island, WA.

The Solo Round then commenced, with Katy telling the 70 remaining hopefuls 30 of them would be going home by the end of this round of solo performances.

"No one is going to hold your hand. The show must go on; the show will go on. Because that's going to be the deciding factor of whether you're going to be a singer or a star," Lionel explained.

For the Solo Round, each contestant only had a few hours to perfect a song and was able to sing with the Idol band to get a taste of what performances will be like during the live shows.

No one, however, would receive immediate feedback and must wait in one of three rooms at the very end of the day to learn his or her fate.

Of the 175 contestants who came to Hollywood Week, only 40 would survive and continue to the next round.


Walker Burroughs, a 20-year-old college student and resident assistant from Birmingham, AL, kicked off the day with a performance of "Your Song" by Elton John.

Katy, Luke and Lionel all gave Walker a standing ovation, so it would be a surprise if he got eliminated.
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The Group Round tested Juan Pablo's "cool exterior," according to host Ryan Seacrest, so the 26-year-old ride share driver from North Hollywood, CA, needed to impress with his solo.

Juan Pablo serenaded the judges with "Million Reasons" by Lady Gaga to show a different, less-"caliente" side of himself.

Katy noted Juan Pablo's presentation was "cool" but his vocals were "not great."

Ryan Hammond, a 25-year-old medication technician from Modesto, CA, sang "All I Ask" by Adele and received a standing ovation by the whole judging panel.

Luke said Ryan "showed up" and Katy noted he has a lot of potential.

Kai the singer, a 19-year-old factory worker from Kingstree, SC, belted out "Lost Without You" by Freya Ridings for the Solo Round.

Katy could sense Kai's nerves and said she needed to build confidence.

Riley Thompson, a 16-year-old high school student from Mabank, TX, sang "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash, although Katy initially advised the remaining hopefuls to sing a song that pulls at the heartstrings and would connect with the judges.

But Luke and Lionel agreed Riley had "knocked it out of the park."


Raquel Trinidad, a 20-year-old server from Tampa, FL, performed "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack, and Evelyn Cormier, a 19-year-old teacher from Claremont, NH, impressed with "Wonderwall" by Oasis.

"She just took her spot," Katy said to the other judges of Evelyn.

Eddie Island, a 25-year-old rideshare driver from Nashville, TN, made a risky choice by singing an original song called "1974."

"He's got a great voice actually, but that was a really bad song," Katy admitted, before Lionel said he was wondering why Eddie was still here.

Alejandro Aranda, a 24-year-old dishwasher from Pomona, CA, also sang an original song called "Ten Years," but the judges loved this one and gave him a standing ovation.

Margie Mays, a 25-year-old dog walker from Wilmington, DE, took the stage with a difficult song called "Never Enough" by Loren Allred for the Solo Round.

Luke told the other judges Margie still didn't understand how good she really is.

Wade Cota, a 27-year-old musician from Phoenix, AZ, forgot his words during Group Round, but he performed an original song featuring his own lyrics the judges unfortunately didn't "get."

Nate then belted out "Always On My Mind" by Elvis Presley after battling a sickness. Katy said his singing was "all over the place," and Lionel agreed it was "rough."

And the pressure was getting to Tyler Mitchell, a 26-year-old oil field mechanic from Florien, LA, who missed his wife and called himself "dead on my feet."

Tyler performed "Broken Halos" by Chris Stapleton, but he unfortunately forgot his words and the judges didn't say much afterwards.


Drake McCain, a 17-year-old high school student from Spring City, TN, sang "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson and the judges looked very happy and impressed.

Lionel noted he loves the "texture" to Drake's voice.

Bumbly, a 27-year-old subway singer from New York, NY, belted out "God Is A Woman" by Ariana Grande, and Lionel said he was very proud of her.

Nick Townsend, a 26-year-old production assistant from Tekamah, NE, performed "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes, and the judges seemed pleased.

And then Gaba, a 19-year-old college student from Los Angeles, CA, serenaded with "Jealous" by Labrinth.

Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, a 26-year-old music teacher from Catonsville, MD, sang "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack and earned a standing ovation from all three judges.

Kate Barnette, a 23-year-old nanny from Kennesaw, GA, performed "Daughters" by John Mayer, and Lionel said her "voice is strong as heck."

Myra Tran, a 19-year-old high school student from Federal Way, WA, belted out "I Put a Spell on You," and then Shayy, a 17-year-old high school student from Midlothian, VA, followed that up with a performance of "Cry Pretty" by former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood.

Laci Kaye Booth, a 23-year-old college student from Livingston, TX, sweetly sang "Stars" by Grace Potter. All three judges stood up and clapped for her, and Lionel yelled out, "It was so good!"

Uche, a 24-year-old wedding singer from Sugar Land, TX, performed "Scars To Your Beautiful" by Alessia Cara and received a standing ovation from the judges.

"He just blew up," Lionel proudly noted.

Madison Vandenburg, a 17-year-old high school student from Cohoes, NY, wanted to sing an original song, but her vocal coach talked her out of it.

Madison therefore performed "All I Ask" by Adele, and it was a last-minute change. The song, however, showed off her vocal range.

Madison earned a standing ovation from the judges, and Katy looked astonished by her talent.

Austin Michael Robinson, a 15-year-old high school student from Van Alstyne, TX, then took the stage with "Speechless" by Dan + Shay.

The judges looked happy, but Katy admitted it was his "worst performance," and Austin later admitted the song wasn't his "cup of tea."

Solos kept on rolling for Shawn Robinson, a 22-year-old hardware store associate from Atlanta, GA; Alyssa Raghu, a 16-year-old high school student from Orlando, FL; and Johanna Jones, a 23-year-old fast food burger chef from Las Vegas, NV.

After Johanna performed, her boyfriend proposed marriage to her on the stage, and everyone melted at the sight. She said "yes!"

The contestants were then divided into three rooms, awaiting their fate in the competition. And tensions were at an all-time high.

It was "the toughest part" for the judges, according to Lionel.

Among those waiting in Room 1 were Evelyn, Uche, Johanna, Laci Kaye, Alejandro, Nick, Walker, Margie, Shay, Drake, Jeremiah, and Laine Hardy, an 18-year-old musician from Livingston, LA.

Room 2 included the following vocalists: Austin; Ruthie; Gaba; Juan Pablo; Katie Belle, a 19-year-old model and musician from Atlanta, GA; and Moriah Formica, an 18-year-old musician from Latham, NY.

And Room 3 included artists such as Tyler, Wade, Bumbly, Alyssa, Riley, Myra, and Dimitrius Graham, a 27-year-old retail associate from Baltimore, MD.

The judges soon announced Room 1 and Room 3 would advance.

The remaining 40 artists will get to sing for their lives in Hawaii during the "Final Judgment" round. Only 20 will make it through the final round, determining American Idol's Top 20 contestants for Season 17.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.