The Showstoppers round is over on American Idol, meaning, after dozens of performances and countless tears, the competition is now down to the Top 24 contestants.
At least, that’s what it was supposed to mean.
But in a season already filled with shocking moments, there was an unexpected twist at the end of Monday’s episode.
Judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan spent the show breaking the bad news to homeward-bound hopefuls and sharing the good news with the top contenders (and often confusing both camps with comments like, “I’m sorry to say…you made it!”), until they were down to the last three performers waiting to learn their fates.
Colin Stough, Iam Tongi and Matt Wilson sat side-by-side in front of the judges, as Perry told the group, “There’s only one more spot in the Top 24.” She then shifted her gaze to Tongi, who delivered the one performance of the night that truly deserved to be called a showstopper, a haunting rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s 1964 ballad, “The Sound of Silence,” and she said, “Iam, welcome to the Top 24.”
All three of the men stood up and embraced, with Stough and Wilson congratulating Tongi before moving on to say their goodbyes to the panel of hit makers. But Perry soon interrupted them.
“Plot twist!” she said. “Us judges, we like to change it up every season. We have so much talent this season, we don’t think there’s a Top 24. We think there’s a Top 26.”
That means Stough, Tongi and Wilson will join the other contenders and move on to the next phase of the talent show—a meetup with celebrity mentors and a big concert at Hawaii’s Aulani Resort.
As for the other contenders headed to Hawaii, they are:
- Dawson Wayne
- Elijah McCormick
- Elise Kristine
- Emma Busse
- Hannah Nicolaisen
- Haven Madison
- Lucy Love
- Malik Heard
- Mariah Faith
- Marybeth Byrd
- Megan Danielle
- Michael Williams
- Nailyah Serenity
- Olivia Soli
- Oliver Steele
- Tyson Venegas
- Warren Peay
- Wé Ani
- Zachariah Smith
Of course, those names, added to the aforementioned lucky trio, only make a Top 25, which means there’s still one name that’s yet to be revealed.
But it’s not any of the fan favorites who were sent packing Monday night. Among those who’s American Idol dream came to end are Preston Duffee, Kaya Monee and Trey Louis. And for the second night in a row, the judges even let a Platinum Ticket winner go—Cam Amen.