ABC’s American Idol returned on Sunday evening (April 4) with an exciting round of celebrity duets, featuring a number of superstar artists including Brian McKnight, Ryan Tedder and Jewel.
Country hitmaker Jimmie Allen also guest starred on the show, which marked a full-circle moment for the “Freedom Was A Highway” singer, who previously appeared on the talent competition in 2011.
Allen shared the stage with Top 24 contestant Alanis Sophia. The pair joined forces for a powerful duet of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” from the film A Star Is Born, following Sophia solo performance of Sia’s “Alive.”
Allen and Sophia’s vocals blended together flawlessly during their performance of the Emmy-award winning track. Their rendition of “Shallow” earned them a standing ovation from Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.
“Wow, I really enjoyed your solo performance. I thought that was very controlled and beautiful,” Perry gushed. “You came out with that kind of power like, I’m in control. I’m in the drivers seat. I thought with that duet, here’s a megastar and here’s a star rising and I wanted to see two stars but I felt like maybe you were overwhelmed just a little bit by his presence which is what a star does.”
“I think just get in that headspace knowing you own the stage, your voice amazing, now you got to build on that character and owning the stage,” Bryan added.
“I agree, it’s one of those things where it’s welcome to the experience, the more you do this, the more you understand,” Richie said. “You just do what you do, the point is if you think about it, it’s raw. All you have to do is relax, enjoy your performance and that’s what I think you were trying to do but the nerves were getting to you a little bit but your sound was incredible.”
Bryan later tweeted, “truly, a star was born up there,” in reference to Sophia’s performance.
The 19-year-old singer previously impressed the Idol judges with performances of Demi Lovato’s “Anyone,” Alanis Morissette’s 1998 hit “Uninvited” and more.
Fans can vote for Alanis Sophia by using the official American Idol app, visiting AmericanIdol.com/vote or by texting 1 to 21523. Please note, fans can vote 10 times, per contestant, per voting method.
Click above to watch Allen and Sophia’s full performance of “Shallow.”