'American Idol' reveals Season 21's Top 10 finalists as Lucy Love and Nutsa are eliminated
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/01/2023
American Idol determined its Top 10 finalists and eliminated Lucy Love and Nutsa during the Season 21 performance episode that aired Sunday night on ABC.
While American Idol's Top 12 contestants took the stage one by one and performed "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" songs, home viewers voted live -- for the first time this season -- from coast to coast.
After more than 22 million votes poured in, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest announced Lucy, a 28-year-old mother from Holly Grove, AR, and Nutsa, a 25-year-old performer from Tbilisi, GA, as the lowest vote-getters of the night.
The Top 12 contestants were mentored by Queen frontman Adam Lambert, who had finished as the runner-up on American Idol's eighth season.
For Lucy's Rock and Roll classic, she sang "All Night Long (All Night)" by Lionel Richie.
Luke said he was "so glad" the judges had brought her back because she showed "so much character" in her vocal movements that design her artistry and are unique to her.
Katy thought Lucy's performance was "so natural" and she should trust in herself, and Lionel thought Lucy made the song her own, which was "crazy good."
Nutsa belted out "The Show Must Go On" by Queen, and Lionel and Luke gave her a standing ovation.
Katy asked Nutsa not to change at all because she's able to control a room no matter how much energy she brings.
Luke said he admired the fight in Nutsa and how she had given the performance her "all," and Lionel called her "a star" and said she's already made it.
American Idol's Season 21 Top 10 contestants include Colin Stough, an 18-year-old Hvac technician from Amory, MS; Haven Madison, a 16-year-old high school student from Clarksville, TN; Iam Tongi, an 18-year-old high school student from Kahuku, HI; Marybeth Byrd, a 21-year-old radio host from Armorel, AR; and Megan Danielle, a 20-year-old server from Douglasville, GA.
The rest of the Top 10 are Oliver Steele, a 25-year-old musician from Mount Juliet, TN; Tyson Venegas, a 17-year-old high school student from Vancouver, BC; Warren Peay, a 24-year-old appliance repair technician from Bamberg, SC; We Ani, a 23-year-old performer from Harlem, NY; and Zachariah Smith, a 19-year-old grill cook from Amory, MS.
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Marybeth was the final American Idol Season 21 Top 10 finalist to be announced by Ryan and was still on stage with Lucy and Nutsa when their eliminations were revealed.
Among the 10 contestants moving on to next week's show, Colin Stough performed "Midnight Rider" by The Allman Brothers Band.
Katy wished Colin had attacked the song with "a little more feeling," but she said he sounded great. Luke advised Colin to make his hair and body move more, and Lionel agreed the singer needs to "get nasty" and let it go onstage.
Haven Madison took the stage with "Livin' On a Prayer" by Bon Jovi.
Katy gushed, "You've been trading in your Flintstones vitamins for some Confidence vitamins!"
"I don't know who you are, but I am nervous and I have sweaty palms," she continued. "I'm excited, I'm threatened -- and those are all great things. You are the next big pop star, as far as this performance!"
And Lionel said a star was written all over Haven.
Iam Tongi sang "Bring It On Home To Me" by Sam Cooke.
The crowd cheered loudly and chanted Iam's name, and Katy told the artist, "You are magic. You are The One!"
Luke pointed out how people love Iam and that's "special," and Lionel said the audience spoke for him and how he felt about the performance.
Marybeth Byrd took the stage with "Dancing Queen" by Abba.
Luke said Marybeth made the song her own, Lionel pointed out how Marybeth had "delivered the goods" and he loved it, and Katy congratulated the singer on pushing herself and for looking "all glam."
"You landed that song like a real queen," Katy noted.
Megan Danielle performed "Angel from Montgomery" by Bonnie Raitt.
Luke put his hand over his heart and got emotional over Megan's vocals. He said her performance "will stand up anywhere," even at an award show, and that she needs to believe how good she is.
"You are the reason American Idol works. That was absolutely incredible," Luke praised the artist.
Lionel agreed it was a "stellar" and "killer" performance, and Katy said she 100 percent believes in Megan.
Oliver Steele sang "Georgia On My Mind" by Ray Charles.
Lionel said he loved Oliver's interpretation of the song, and Katy gushed about how she couldn't get enough of his "loose" and "unbridled" voice. Katy, however, wanted to see a little more of what makes Oliver who he is.
Tyson Venegas sang "For Once In My Life."
Luke said he looked "so comfortable" onstage and "the magic happened" once he got out from behind the piano and interacted with the audience. Lionel added how he was "on fire."
"I think it was so authentic and cool... Just be you," Katy told Tyson.
Warren Peay performed "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals.
The judges agreed Warren started out the song a little low for his register but he pulled it out in the end. Katy said Warren had a bottle of grit inside of him, and Lionel and Luke said they loved Warren's performance overall.
We Ani performed "Something's Got a Hold On Me" by Etta James.
Lionel got on his feet and needed to "get a grip on this situation," adding, "That is how you bring nasty to the table! That was a breakout performance right there."
Katy said We Ani did not come to the show to play and she had turned American Idol into a real competition. Luke added how We's performance was "mesmerizing."
Zachariah Smith belted out "Don't Bring Me Down" by Electric Light Orchestra.
Zachariah "brought the party to the stage," according to Lionel.
The judge continued, "Let me tell you what I love about you: your attitude is brilliant... You're entertaining... You can sing a phonebook tonight and make it work!"
Katy told Zachariah to just be himself because there's no one else like him, and Luke added how the singer is "killing it" in the competition.