‘American Idol': Makayla Phillips Is Saved, Sings Stunning Miranda Lambert Cover [WATCH]
American Idol utilized the theme of "home" (go figure) to reveal its remaining Season 18 contestants on Sunday night (May 3). The TV singing competition's second almost-live-from-quarantine episode narrowed this season's contestants by nearly half, to a Top 11.
After the show's Top 10, based on viewers' votes, were revealed, the judges -- Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie -- were able to save one contestant: 17-year-old Makayla Phillips was their pick. The teen, who'd previously wowed with vocally pop/diva-ish tunes (for example, she presented a fiery version of Ariana Grande's "Greedy" during April 26's at-home performances), was breathlessly humble at scoring the cherished save.
Phillips' reaction was not particularly surprising, but her song choice was: While Grace Leer, who also made the Top 11, has pretty much been the show's sole representative for the country genre, Phillips decided to move into that territory, too, choosing Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me" to represent the night's theme.
The surprisingly sentimental choice worked splendidly, showing that Phillips can command an audience with a less brassy approach. All three judges were wowed, with Perry expressing particular gratefulness that Phillips was safely still in the rotation.
"I think she can give some of the other contestants that are in our Top 10 a run for their money, vocally, as long as she's picking the right song," Perry noted.
Phillips had a simple explanation for her choice: "It just reminds me so much of my home and my family and everything that I love so much in this life," she explained, adding that she wasn't intimidated by choosing a song from a different genre. "I just wanted to show everyone a different side of me -- a more sentimental side," she shared.
The Season 18 contestants who were voted through in the traditional viewers' choice manner this week are Leer, Louis Knight, Julia Gargano, Jovin Webb, Jonny West, Sofia James, Arthur Gunn (who performed an interestingly boppy, reggae-tinged version of John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads"), Just Sam, Dillon James and Francisco Martin.
American Idol will continue to air new episodes each Sunday at 8PM ET.
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