The competition is heating up on “American Idol,” which narrowed its top 14 down to 11 on Sunday night.
Before taking the stage in front of judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, contestants got some much-needed mentoring from none other than Gabby Barrett, the country superstar who got her start on Season 16 of “Idol,” where she finished third.
And to raise the stakes even higher, this was the first episode of the season where all voting happened during the show, which aired live coast-to-coast — meaning fans only had two hours to cast their votes before host Ryan Seacrest revealed the top 11 at the end of the episode.
So who made the cut? And what pearls of wisdom did Gabby Barrett impart on the 14 singers hoping to follow in her cowboy boots? Here’s what went down.
Jay Copeland kicked off the show with a rousing performance of “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, which he dedicated to his mother. In his session with Barrett, the country artist advised him to not sing “too much” when he gets to a high note.
“That was amazing,” Richie told the 23-year-old medical receptionist from Salisbury, Maryland. “You’re actually showing up on the stage singing songs that you should be singing. This is who you are.”
Perry said Copeland “landed in a cool spot,” and Bryan said Barrett gave him great tips that helped him deliver a “great performance.”