Watch What Happened on American Idol Celebrity Duets and Solo Night!

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Ryan Tedder, Cassandra Coleman
(ABC/Eric McCandless)

American Idol continues its search for the next singing sensation with a special night of solo performances and duets with the most music the show has ever had in one night. Tonight, 12 of the Top 24 performed their individual songs and then dueted with top-name celebrity guests, including Ryan Tedder, Joss Stone, Katharine McPhee, Ben Rector, Jimmie Allen and Brian McKnight, for a chance to make it to the live shows.

For the first time in more than a year, American Idol returned to its regular studio with judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan socially distanced and passing the torch to America for voting, and had a limited but live studio audience, seated in pods by households, as well as a brand-new lounge from which the Idol performers can watch their competition.

The second group of 12 will perform on Monday night for America’s vote and the results will be announced on Sunday, April 11 when the Top 16 are revealed.

Alanais Sofia

Solo song: “Alive” by Sofia

Duet with Jimmie Allen: “Shallow” by Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper

“I really enjoyed your solo performance,” Katy told her. “I thought that was really controlled and beautiful and you came out with that power, I’m in control, I’m in the driver’s seat.”

Cassandra Coleman

Solo song: “Find Me” by Sigma feat. Birdy

Duet with Ryan Tedder: “Apologize” by OneRepublic

“From where you started, I love the fact that you tried to concentrate while you were singing,” Lionel commented. “Don’t concentrate because it shows on your face. Fake it out here (he said indicating his face). But I will say to you, it was a wonderful performance.”

Alyssa Wray

Solo song: “Something in the Water” by Carrie Underwood

Duet with Katharine McPhee: “I’m Your Baby Tonight” by Whitney Houston

“Watching you perform is like watching someone trying to keep a cap on a volcano,” Lionel told her. “Together, the two of you made it look like you’d been doing it for 100 years.”

“I think you’re the first singer who held her own on the stage with the other star,” Katy said. “One thing to think about, especially when you’re singing your solo is don’t think about the feeling that you should have, just be the feeling. Because it can get a little polished, perfect. Don’t be afraid to get dirty with it.”

Wyatt Pike

Solo song: “rubberband” by Tate McRae

Duet with Ben Rector

“It looks like you rolled out of bed and instead of getting slick and polished, you took all that time and rehearsed and stepped into your stardom,” Katy said. “You are an authentic star who could go on tour today and fit in right now.”

“Watching you perform was emotional for me because this season things are clicking on all cylinders for this show and then watching you up there with Ben, I was just emotional the whole time,” Luke told him. “Just be you.”

Related: Watch the Showstopper Videos of All the American Idol Contestants Who Made The Top 24 

Alana

Solo song: “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” by Dua Lipa

Duet with Brian McKnight: “Back at One” by Brian McKnight

“Great energy on your solo performance,” Luke complimented. “Way to bring the energy, especially with Bryan McKnight up there. Especially at the end, you started coming into your own and hitting notes, but I really loved the stuff you did at the end of ‘Back at One.’”

“Let me just say you have the stage energy and presence to be a star, now you need the attitude,” Lionel said. “Give us more attitude. That’s the secret to your success, my dear.”

Annilee List

Solo song: “My Future’ by Billie Eilish

Duet with Joss Stone: “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus and Chaka Khan

“That was an example of you running into someone who was so comfortable on stage,” Lionel said. “Joss just made it like no big deal. What you have to realize now is use her as the perfect example of relaxation with concentration. You were in your element, but you were thinking. You don’t need to do that. Just flow with that. She drove you to the next level. Feel good about that.”

DeShawn Goncalves

Solo Song: “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan

Duet with “I Lived” by One Republic

“I think you have one of the most unique Top 3 voices in this competition,” Katy told him. “It is so instant identity. Now, I just want you to have your body not be so stiff, because then I really know you’re having fun.”

“Your voice does take us to a nice place, man,” Luke added. “You’ve got such nice tone and maneuvers. Just shake this thing out and be the star, baby.”

Graham DeFranco

Solo Song: “Raye” by John Splithoff

Duet with Ben Rector: “Love Like This” by Ben Rector

“Your voice is so listenable,” Luke said. “You are able to turn songs into your style. That is why you are on this stage.”

“Singing is singing and moving people to evoke an emotion is everything,” Lionel said. “When we can sit out here and almost hear a whisper, not a booming voice, not a screaming voice, just a great storytelling voice, you moved us. It was a great, great job.”

Andrea Valles

Solo Song: “Lo Vas a Olvidar” by Billie Eilish & Rosalía

Duet with Brian McKnight: “Careless Whisper” by George Michael

“I am just amazed because you were just in a duet with one of the smoothest voices in the business and you are absolutely clear in your messaging of what you do with your voice,” Lionel said. “To do that duet with him and stand on your own, is a massive, massive compliment.”

“You sang incredibly in Spanish and you picked a song that was so cool, I just love that you have so many tricks up your sleeve,” Katy said. “You can do anything.”

Cecil Ray

Solo Song: “Paint Me a Birmingham”

Duet with Jimmie Allen: “Freedom Was a Highway” by Jimmie Allen & Brad Paisley

“You are the underdog here,” Katy said, “You’ve got to take that turn at one point. You were really in your head for the solo, but then for the duet, you were a lot more natural. You brought limbs; you’ve got to use them. I think everybody wants to root for you, but you’ve got to give it a little more.”

“You got swallowed up a bit,” Luke pointed out. “There were some pitch problems that I haven’t heard from you and I don’t know if it is because of the crazy room and the band and lights, camera and action. If America gets you through, just understand, it gets harder every round.”

Willie Spence

Solo song: “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

Duet with Katharine McPhee: The Prayer by Céline Dion & Andrea Bocelli

“You do no wrong in my eyes,” Luke said. “Part of being a star is making people fall in love with you and I am in love with you. I am in love with the way you go about being on stage and the way you go about singing, and the place it comes from.”

“Willie Pavarotti,” Lionel joked. “In our business, you don’t want to be a singer, you want to be a stylist. You have your own lane. It’s just mesmerizing to watch you come with another song, I say, ‘He can’t sing that song.’ You not only make that song, you make it your own song, and that’s the quality of a superstar.”

Grace Kinstler

Solo Song: “Queen” by Jessie J

Duet with Joss Stone: ‘Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pipps

“Wow! Your voice quality and who you are with that voice and your confidence, it’s a winning package. I just love the way you navigate around the stage,” Lionel said.

“That duet was timeless,” Katy added. “You were soaring on a different level. If you get to sing again, just think of those timeless, classic songs, because that’s what your gift is, is that upper echelon of songs.”

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Next, See Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Every American Idol Winners’ First Auditions

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