American Idol returned on Sunday night (May 3), broadcasting from the homes of the cast and contestants around the country. Live to tape from 25 locations, Sunday night’s episode unveiled the Top 10. Making the most of the situation, producers shipped each contestant equipment and had them perform from home alongside the Idol band. The judges, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, as well as host, Ryan Seacrest, and in-house mentor, Bobby Bones, also appeared from their homes.
The show closed with a shocking moment when judges used a save to bring back contestant Makayla Phillips. The contestant, who Luke Bryan previously deemed “Ariana Dadgum Grande,” performed Miranda Lambert’s massive hit “The House That Built Me.”
“It just reminds me so much of my home, my family and everything that I love so much in this life,” Phillips shared of her song choice.
She also spoke with in-house mentor Bobby Bones about performing the beloved country hit, saying, “I just kind of wanted to show everyone a different side of me, a more sentimental side.”
Her emotional performance was so impressive, she received a standing ovation from the judges and her friends and family.
“So early in the audition, I heard this amazing voice out of you and I’ve been really wanting America to hear that and that’s why we fought for you and saved you and I’m so glad you came back to allow America how great of a singer you are,” Luke Bryan gushed.
“You’re a star miss 17-year-old, I just have to tell you this. Big, big applause to you, keep working hard because you’re on your way to somewhere in the stars,” Lionel Richie said.
“Makayla, I was leaning in to your performance, I was watching you on the screen and I felt like you were singing directly to me, it was an intimate performance and you took our constructive criticism from last week and you really showed growth. I’m glad that you know how to pick a song that pulls at people’s heartstrings and makes them feel warm and cozy and loved and that’s what I felt when you were singing to me,” Katy Perry expressed.
The Top 11 will be narrowed down to the Top 7 come next week. Fans who would like to vote for Makayla Phillips can vote online or by texting 6 to 21523.
American Idol returns next Sunday (May 10) at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.