Makayla Phillips Knows the Pressure’s on After Being Saved by ‘American Idol’ Judges
On Sunday night (May 3), American Idol judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie turned Season 18's Top 10 into a Top 11, saving Makayla Phillips to give her another shot at the TV singing competition's crown.
The 17-year-old admits that validation from the three superstars comes with some baggage, though.
"It's definitely a lot of pressure because it's freakin' Katy Perry and Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie," Phillips told media members via conference call after the show, "[and] I didn't even technically make it into the Top 10."
Moments after staving off elimination thanks to the judges, Phillips performed a stirring, unique rendition of Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me." She knew in that moment, she recalls, that she needed to prove herself, both to fans and the judges.
"Throughout this whole competition, Katy's main thing with me has been: Pick songs that are meaningful, and pick songs that you can lean into be sentimental," Phillips shares, "and so I really wanted to do that this round."
Phillips' performance wowed all three judges: "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.
The next episode of American Idol is Sunday (May 10) at 8PM ET on ABC. The night will focus on Disney songs.
See Which Contestants Remain on Season 18 of American Idol