Jelly Roll And Lainey Wilson Perform Powerful Rendition Of ‘Save Me’ On ‘American Idol’ Finale

The pair first debuted their duet on the ACM Awards earlier this month.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

May 21, 2023


9:52 pm

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Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Lainey Wilson and Jelly Roll, two of country music’s biggest rising stars, have joined forces on stage once again to perform the duet version of Jelly Roll’s “Save Me” in the midst of the American Idol finale.

The singer/songwriters took to the stage on Sunday, May 21 to deliver a powerful rendition of the heartbreaking ballad. Donning a fashionable patchwork jacket, Jelly Roll opened the song on his own before Wilson graced the stage in her blue bell bottoms to finish off the first verse. 

Jelly Roll; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Jelly Roll; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Lainey Wilson; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Lainey Wilson; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

Their harmonies then joined together in a stunning delivery of the chorus that finds them singing, “All of this drinkin’ and smokin’ is hopeless / But feel like it’s all that I need / Somethin’ inside of me’s broken / I hold on to anything that sets me free.”

Once the “Heart Like A Truck” singer exited the stage, Jelly Roll remained to perform a duet of his fan-favorite track, “Need A Favor,” with Top 12 contestant Oliver Steele. 

“Save Me” finds Jelly Roll pouring his heart out through the lyrics that uncover a deep revelation of feeling hopeless and “damaged beyond repair.” 

YouTube video

He performed the breakout hit for the first time on television during the 58th ACM Awards, which aired on Amazon on May 11. Jelly Roll’s soaring talent induced a roar of excitement from the crowd that was only elevated when Wilson joined the stage in a surprise duet to showcase the revamped track. Following this performance, and his independent release of the RIAA Platinum-certified song, the new, duet version officially became available to stream. 

Jelly Roll’s memorable Idol appearance came ahead of the release of his debut country album, WHITSITT CHAPEL, as well as the unveiling of his upcoming Hulu documentary, Jelly Roll: Save Me. The documentary chronicling Jelly Roll’s rise to fame was produced by ABC News Studios and will premiere on Hulu May 30.

Jelly Roll -- Whitsitt Chapel
Jelly Roll — Whitsitt Chapel

Arriving on June 2, the singer’s upcoming album is named after the church the Antioch native grew up attending and will feature 13 tracks.

“This album is about growth and gratitude happening in my life. I wanted to create a project that felt hopeful. I believe the worst feeling a person can have is feeling hopeless or worthless. This is therapeutic music. Real music for real people with real problems,” Jelly Roll shared in a statement.

The hitmaker will then take his new music on the road for his recently-announced 44-date headlining arena tour, Backroad Baptism Tour.

Jelly Roll; Photo by Patrick Tohill
Jelly Roll; Photo by Patrick Tohill

Hosted by Josh Adam Meyers, the Backroad Baptism Tour kicks off on Friday, July 28 at Bank Plus Amphitheater in Southhaven, Mississippi and run through Saturday, October 14, where the trek will wrap up in Tampa, Florida at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Ashley McBryde, Caitlynne Curtis, Chase Rice, Elle King, Merkules, Struggle Jennings, Three 6 Mafia, Yelawolf will serve as support on select dates of the tour.

Live from Hollywood, the three-hour Season 21 finale of American Idol also featured performances from the Idol judges, Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as the top 3 finalists: Megan Danielle, Colin Stough, and Iam Tongi. 

Additionally, Ellie Goulding, Jelly Roll, Pitbull, TLC, Lil Jon, James Blunt, Jazmine Sullivan, REO Speedwagon’s Kevin Cronin, Kylie Minogue, Lainey Wilson and Lauren Daigle also performed throughout the broadcast. 

American Idol alums Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken also returned to the show. 

Country superstar Keith Urban, who served as an American Idol judge during seasons 12 to 15, was on hand to mentor to the top 3.  

Keith Urban; Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless

“To be able to come in as a mentor, and play as well, is incredible,” he told PEOPLE. “That was home for me for several seasons, and the mentoring part is probably one of the things I always enjoyed the most, getting to work with the artist one-on-one.”

During the show, several other fan-favorite contestants returned to the American Idol stage, including Haven Madison, Olive Steele, Wé Ani, Zachariah Smith, Warren Peay, and more. 

Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the American Idol season 21 finale aired on Sunday, May 21 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.