‘American Idol’ Judges Challenge Lady K To Get ‘More Dirty’ After Carrie Underwood Cover

ABC’s American Idol returned on Monday evening with performances from the Top 24, who were vying for America’s vote for…


Nicole Palsa

| Posted on

April 12, 2022


11:58 am

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Lady K; Photo by ABC, American Idol

ABC’s American Idol returned on Monday evening with performances from the Top 24, who were vying for America’s vote for the first time ever. Lady K (Kezia Istonia) took to the outdoor stage at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, for a performance of an Idol alum hit.

Ahead of her performance, Lady K met with guest mentor and “Meant to Be” singer Bebe Rexha to help her decide between Fantasia’s “Collard Greens & Cornbread” and Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”


After hearing Lady K rehearse a sample of “Collard Greens & Cornbread,” Rexha said “I felt like I was seeing that Alabama girl.” But after hearing her tease “Before He Cheats,” Rexha revealed that she could imagine how it would sound with a full band.

Lady K ultimately decided to perform “Before He Cheats,” delivering a gritty version of the smash hit and working the entire stage.

YouTube video

When host Ryan Seacrest asked why she landed on the Underwood song as her choice, Lady K replied, “You didn’t see that? That was electric!”

The judges agreed with her self-assessment.

“Great job on song choice,” said Luke Bryan. “It has attitude. It has angst. You could feel the crowd moving. I think going forward, I wanna hear even more of that angst out of you. We just wanted it to get even dirtier, even nastier.”

Lady K; Photo by ABC, American Idol
Lady K; Photo by ABC, American Idol

Katy Perry agreed, adding, “I know you can get a little bit more dirty. I know you can get a little more nasty. We heard it towards the end… Now is a time to, you know, pull out every single ace, every single time you sing. I’m just so proud of you.”

Lionel Richie also reflected on Lady K’s inspirational journey, adding, “This is homeless to Hawaii.”

To vote for Lady K, visit AmericanIdol.com/Vote or Text 16 to 21523.

The results will be revealed next Sunday, April 17 at 8/7c EST on ABC during a special three-hour Top 20 show.

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Nicole Palsa

Written by

Nicole Palsa

Nicole Palsa is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2012, she has written about the newcomers, superstars, and legends of country music for publications including Music Mayhem, Country Now, and Country Music Tattle Tale. Palsa has served as a volunteer guide with Musicians On Call since 2016 and is a Troubadour member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and her Bachelor of Arts degree in French. In addition to being a devoted country music fan, Nicole is a family historian and genealogist who can often be found in stacks of research. She is also an avid traveler with a passion for wildlife and nature photography.