American Idol Recap: America Can Vote Grace Leer or Lauren Mascitti into Top 20

Who has your vote?

Written by Tammy Ragusa
American Idol Recap: America Can Vote Grace Leer or Lauren Mascitti into Top 20
AMERICAN IDOL - "310 (Hawaii Showcase and Final Judgment Part #2)" - "American Idol'''s previously recorded Hawaii Showcase concludes the Final Judgment round at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai'i, SUNDAY, APRIL 5 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. The remaining top 40 contestants perform in a concert showcasing their artistry before awaiting their final judgment for a spot in the coveted top 20. Tune in to watch as the remaining top 40 leave the judges with difficult, heartbreaking decisions and a shocking first-ever twist in the show's history for two contestants that no one saw coming. (ABC/Karen Neal) GRACE LEER

Season 18 of ABC’s American Idol wrapped its final pre-recorded week at the Aulani Resort in Ko Olina, Hawaii. With host Ryan Seacrest managing the flow and mentor Bobby Bones dispensing advise, coaches Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie took their chairs on the stage and on the judges platform to make the tough decisions. In the end, those choices resulted in sometimes good and sometimes heartbreaking news, and also narrowed down the field of contestants to get the Top 20 who would continue onto the live rounds of competition, sort of.

Unfortunately, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, no one knows when the live rounds will resume. That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t ample excitement to be had including last week’s cliffhanger that left fans wondering about the fate of Dillon James.

DILLON JAMES (26) – Bakersfield, California

  • Sang “The Times They Are a-Changing” by Bob Dylan

KATY: “Maybe in the beginning, you thought you knew, and you steered hard. But you have surrendered to not knowing and that is paying off for you because you’re putting the trust back into something bigger than you and you’re letting that steer.”

  • TOP 20

GENAVIEVE LINKOWSKI (21) – Goodrich, Michigan

  • Sang “You Say” by Lauren Daigle

LUKE: “We’ve seen you grow tremendously. You have had tragedies and challenges within your family. I know that’s been very, very tough on you and you have really stepped up and grown a lot from the girl we saw in season one. You had magic things about your voice that really, really stood out and you came back this year and we can tell that you worked and those things were even better…Last night, for some reason, was the first time I didn’t feel a big connection.”


FRANKLIN BOONE (27) – Durham, North Carolina

  • Sang “Daughters” by John Mayer

KATY: “You’ve played this modest game as Mr. Music Teacher and inspiring your students, but how can you inspire them if you’re not practicing what you preach? Have you truly gone after your dreams, just like swinging? And we have to let some good people go. Fortunately, you’re not one of them.”

  • TOP 20

JULIA GARGANO (21) – Staten Island, New York

  • Sang “Glitter in the Air” by Pink

LUKE: “It was really great seeing you step away from the piano. Like, all we need to do is, this girl needs a hit song and she’ll be on the Grammys…I think you need to remember that you’re a great singer, sing it a couple of times, be confident knowing that you’re going to deliver a great performance. We still feel like you can go a long, long way. Maybe all the way.”

  • TOP 20

ALIANA JESTER (19) – Tampa, Florida

  • Sang “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman

LIONEL: “We’ve been mumbling behind the scenes as to who we think might be there and who’s going to go here, and then we cross our fingers to see if that person is going to live up to who we think they are. Sadly enough, they fail. That did not happen in your case.”

  • TOP 20

SOPHIA WACKERMAN (20) – Long Beach, California

  • Sang “Levels” by Nick Jonas

KATY: “OK, let’s just cut to the truth. I think that what you gave last night is another level of you that we haven’t seen. To see you move your head and dial in your stage presence a little bit more, it was really cool to see that come out and for you to trust that…I think that it was exciting and the closer you get to touching stardom, you really want to figure the whole thing out and you are getting closer because you are going to the Top 20.”

  • TOP 20

ROBERT TAYLOR (27) – Donaldsonville, Louisiana

  • Sang “Take Me to the Pilot” – Elton John

LUKE: “Last night was a little bit all over the map. You don’t have to do all of that every time. You perform and you just let it flow through you, but you still have to control some of that at moments to really be at your best. You are immensely talented and we have enjoyed watching you, but it is my unfortunate job to let you know that you are not going to make our Top 20. Keep chasing those dreams.”


KIMMY GABRIELA (17) – Lakeland, Florida

  • Sang “You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore” by Demi Lovato

KATY: “I’m gonna tell it to you straight because I’m a straight shooter. I think that when you first came in, what are you, 17? Crazy. You sounded like a seasoned pro, you sound like you’ve been doing this a thousand lifetimes.…I don’t remember every single time you’ve been on that stage. And how is that? You have one of the best voices in the competition. It’s not enough just to be a good singer. It’s not. Now is the time to get into the whole package…you’ve got to figure that out, especially going to the Top 20.”

  • TOP 20

SHANNON GIBBONS (20) – Long Island, New York

  • Sang “Send My Love” by Adele

KATY: “We thought you did well as well. You’ve got a cool voice, it’s got a lot of grit to it. I think you can figure out who you are even more as an artist because you can’t just lean on the texture of your voice. There’s a lot of great singers out there. So, we’re getting to a place where it’s really hard and sometimes it doesn’t make sense. We see your potential, unfortunately, this is going to be the end the American Idol journey for you. Your voice is really unique but you seem to sometimes you blend in a bit.”


CYNIAH ELISE (18) – Atlanta, Georgia

  • Sang “Lady Marmalade” by Patti Labelle

LUKE: “I”m not sure it knocked me and Lionel and Katy completely out of the park. And from one Georgia person to another, I have been fighting for you and fighting for you today.”

  • TOP 20

MAKAYLA PHILLIPS (17) – Temecula, California

  • Sang “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato
  • TOP 20

LAUREN SPENCER SMITH (16) Vancouver Island, Canada

  • Sang “Respect” by Aretha Franklin
  • TOP 20

OLIVIA XIMINES (17) – Menifee, California

  • Sang “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner

LIONEL: “Last night, this Tina Turner attitude, you just brought us back full circle to kind of give us a reminder that you not only sing, but you move. Your energy, your smile, it was amazing.”

  • TOP 20

ARTHUR GUNN (21) – Wichita, Kansas

  • Sang “Is This Love” by Bob Marley

LIONEL: You are probably one of our most unique contestants because when you walked in we didn’t quite know what to expect. Then you opened your mouth and you had instant identity…You are pure light. Your job is to come and anoint the world with your gift. We’ve had some very hard decisions to make, but you, my friend, are one of the easiest decisions we’ve ever made.”

  • TOP 20

DEMI RAE (26) – San Jose, California

  • Sang “Lonely” by Noah Cyrus

KATY: “It’s not easy, but nothing great comes easily and we are so proud of you because we think you have fought that battle. This is the start of the new Demi for you and nothing can take that away from you.”


GRACE LEER (28) Nashville, Tennessee

  • Sang “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin

LAUREN MASCITTI (28) – Nashville, Tennessee

  • Sang “Two More Bottles of Wine” by Emmylou Harris

Grace and Lauren went to the platform together.

LUKE: “There is one spot left. Your performances last night, both of them, were really great. Lauren, you showed us this rocking side we hadn’t seen and Grace, one of the winners of the night. So, we have one position left and we couldn’t make a decision.”


Voting is now open for the final spot in the Top 20. Viewers can cast their vote on the American Idol app, on or by texting “LAUREN” to 21523 for Lauren Mascitti or by texting “GRACE” to 21523 for Grace leer. Voting closes at 9am ET/6am PT on April 7.

Following is the complete list of current Top 21:

Nick Merico
Dewayne Crocker Jr.
Louis Knight
Francisco Martin
Jovin Webb
Faith Becnel
Just Sam
Jonny West
Dillon James
Franklin Boone
Julia Gargano
Aliana Jester
Sophia Wackerman
Kimmy Gabriela
Cynia Elise
Makayla Phillips
Lauren Spencer-Smith
Olivia Ximines
Arthur Gunn
Grace Leer
Lauren Mascitti