'American Idol' reveals Huntergirl, Leah Marlene and Noah Thompson as Top 3 finalists after ousting Fritz Hager and Nicolina Bozzo
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/16/2022
American Idol eliminated Fritz Hager and Nicolina Bozzo, which determined the Top 3 finalists who will compete on the upcoming Season 20 finale during the two-hour performance show that aired Sunday night on ABC.
Fritz, a 22-year-old unemployed singer from Tyler, TX, and Nicolina, an 18-year-old university student from Toronto, Ontario, were ousted from American Idol's Season 20 competition based on viewer votes that had rolled in throughout the live broadcast.
For the first round of competition, the contestants were mentored by former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood and took on iconic songs from the country star's celebrated catalog.
And for Round 2, the Top 5 finalists chose songs which could essentially close their show one day -- an epic encore that could hopefully take them to next week's finale.
Fritz, who just got over coronavirus, initially took the stage with "I Wanna Remember" by NeedToBreathe featuring Carrie.
Lionel told Fritz he has stage presence, which can't be taught, and has the ability to change gears from song to song from crooner to rocker, and Katy agreed the performance was "captivating" and "effortlessly cool."
"You're consistently amazing for me," Katy said.
Fritz later performed "Young Blood" by 5 Seconds of Summer.
Katy yelled about how Fritz looked and sounded "so cool," and Luke admitted he wanted American Idol to remove the clip of him saying "no" to Fritz during the initial round of auditions.
Nicolina sang "Blown Away" by Carrie for Round 1 and made the song her own.
Katy shared how she could see the whole package in Nicolina, and Luke noted how the singer had "delivered." Lionel also applauded Nicolina's attitude on the stage and insisted, "This is your lane."
Nicolina followed up the Carrie tune with "All I Ask" by Adele.
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And Katy said Nicolina came "to play" and she really brought out her talent.
As for the remaining Top 5 finalists, Huntergirl, a 23-year-old singer and songwriter from Winchester, TN, sang "Undo It" for Round 1.
Lionel said Huntergirl owned the stage, and Katy said she sounded like a star and engaged the audience.
"That was hands down the best performance you've ever done. You are a superstar!" Katy gushed.
For the second round of competition, Huntergirl performed "Girl Crush" by Little Big Town.
Lionel gushed about how her sound was crystal clear, and Katy joked about how she has a "girl crush" on Huntergirl. Luke pointed out how she was "flipping into star mode" at this stage in the game and it looked good on her.
Leah Marlene, a 20-year-old musician from Normal, IL, performed "I'll Stand By You" by the Pretenders.
Katy said Leah's reinvention of the song into a "drama ballad" was "amazing," and Luke noted the performance was beautiful on all levels and she always appears to be in control when she sings.
For Round 2, Leah belted out "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" by Journey.
"What a dynamic performance. Great job," Luke said. "I can't figure out how to process where you started to where you are right now. It's so refreshing and fun."
Lionel told Leah that she was "in the zone" and should stay there, and Katy said she loved it.
Noah Thompson, a 20-year-old construction worker from Louisa, KY, performed "So Small" by Carrie for the first round of competition.
Noah, who stepped onstage after battling COVID-19, was complimented for his storytelling ability, and Katy pointed out how people are "obsessed" with him and "want to touch" him.
"I thought emergency medical technicians were going to have to save those [girls in the audience]," Luke joked.
Noah ultimately closed out the show with "Working Man" by Larry Fleet.
Katy said Noah had just "aced that test," and Luke said Noah on a stool with his guitar is enough to hold any world that he's in.