Did Warren Peay Make The Top 5 On ‘American Idol’?

The South Carolina native was previously compared to Chris Stapleton.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 7, 2023


9:35 pm

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Warren Peay; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Warren Peay returned to the American Idol stage for his Top 8 performance on Sunday evening singing an Alanis Morissette song in front of the iconic artist herself. 

Morissette and Ed Sheeran were on hand as guest judges and the contestants were asked to perform songs from Morissette’s catalog.  

Peay, a 24-year-old from Bamberg, South Carolina, performed “All I Really Want” from her career-defining album, Jagged Little Pill.   

Warren Peay; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Warren Peay; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

“Singing an Alanis song, I was nervous because she is an iconic singer,” Peay said ahead of his performance. 

The former appliance repair man decided to perform sans his guitar in an effort to showcase his storytelling and performance skills. 

“I’ve had some moments that I did not expect to go super well. I think it was putting my guitar down for a performance and I’m going to have to work the stage. I’m going to have to do something,” he admitted. 


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After making his decision to put “the guitar down,” Peay said, “I feel like I’d like to focus mainly on stage presence and the storytelling aspect.” 

Morissette offered Peay a few words of advice before he took the stage. 

“Let’s maybe investigate starting smaller and letting it build. I’m wondering what the tinier version of you might sound like,” she told him during their mentoring session. 

She complimented his “very strong” vocal tone as well. 

Warren Peay; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Warren Peay; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

“If Warren takes some of the revelations from today and he creates this range for himself there’s no holds barred for him,” she added. 

The Judges Were Impressed

Donning a brown cowboy and jacket, Peay worked the stage allowing his stage presence to shine. His performance garnered support from Idol judge, Luke Bryan, as well as the guest judges. 

“Warren, I love what you applied based on what we talked about. The gorgeousness of the dynamics building and starting small and big and medium and halfway and all of it and you really just brought that home,” Morissette explained. “This is a version I’ve never imagined ever hearing in my whole career. So thank you for adding to it and blossoming it in a way that I have never heard. It’s beautiful.”


Sheeran was equally impressed. He told Peay, “I thought you really, really shined without the guitar man. I’m someone who always has the guitar and always uses it as a like a barrier between me and the audience and I always feel very naked without it and I think you really shined with a lot of confidence there. It was really good.” 

Bryan then reflected on Peay’s Idol journey so far. 

“I keep wanting to tell them you should’ve seen him two months ago… You should’ve seen,” he urged. 

The country star later added, “To watch you get away from your comfort zone and to explore the stage. I mean, you’re hitting cat walks and runways. He had skateboarding shoes on a couple weeks ago, but it’s fun watching you grow and I’m going to try to not speak much because I want to hear them talk. Anyways I’ll get longwinded. Great performance.”

Peay expressed gratitude following his performance, telling Morissette, “There’s a million things running through my head right now, but the biggest thing is just having fun with it and just do it and it was an honor to get to do that song. Thank you so much for that and for all your kinds word.” 

See The Duet

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Later in the show, Warren Peay joined We Ani for a duet of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.” 

Did He Make The Top 5?

Unfortunately, Peay’s American Idol journey came to an end as he did not receive enough votes to secure a spot in the top 5. 

Guest Judges

Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morissette are temporarily replacing Katy Perry and Lionel Richie while they are in England performing as part of the Coronation Celebration for King Charles III. 

“I can’t wait to guide you through this stage of the competition and career and yeah this is the first time I’ve done this on American Idol, I can’t wait to take the iconic American Idol stage,” Sheeran previously shared. “Mostly, I’m just looking forward to meeting all of you and talking through life and music and I hope you’re having a great time and I’ll see you very, very soon. Lots of love.”

“I am so excited to be mentoring and hearing your interpretations of my songs. I can’t wait to hear them and surprise I’m going to be guest judging with Luke as well. So I can’t wait to see you,” Morissette previously added.

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Perry and Richie made a brief appearance during Idol with a video from Windsor Castle. 

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.