“American Idol” is cutting down the competition fast, with 10 singers remaining in the competition.
Here’s a look at the top 10 singers on “American Idol” this season.
Note: The next episode of “Idol” airs May 1 on ABC.
Who are the top 10 singers on ‘American Idol’ 2023?
Iam Tongi’s “American Idol” audition is the most viewed of the season — by a landslide. Posted just over two months ago, it already has 14 million views on YouTube. For his audition, 18-year-old Tongi, who is from Hawaii, performed “Monsters” by James Blunt and dedicated the performance to his father, who died a couple of months before the audition.
With emotion, Tongi told the “Idol” judges that his father was the reason he got into music. He carried his emotion into his performance, and had judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan crying with his rendition of the song.
I’m not your son, you’re not my father
We’re just two grown men saying goodbye
No need to forgive, no need to forget
I know your mistakes and you know mine
And while you’re sleeping, I’ll try to make you proud
So, daddy, won’t you just close your eyes?
Don’t be afraid, it’s my turn to chase the monsters away
Tongi choked up as he reached his last note — but he had already convinced the judges that he would be a strong contender in the “Idol” competition.
“You hit a nerve, and that’s what great storytellers do,” Katy Perry said. “That’s what great artists do, and your voice is just so magnificent.”
“I cannot handle your heart breaking about your dad,” Bryan added. “Just seeing you missing your dad just sucks. Gosh, man, you just got a great voice. ... You just did everything perfect, and I love you.”
“You take this into the world and you’re going to fracture some souls,” Richie said.
After the audition, Tongi spoke with producers about how he and his dad bonded over music, and how his dad had long wanted him to audition for “American Idol.”
“People thought I cry because I miss him, but it’s ’cause I hear him singing — I can hear his harmony,” Tongi said. “I know he’s with me. Through my music he’ll always be with me.”
Megan Danielle, a 20-year-old singer from Georgia, got the surprise of a lifetime when she auditioned for “Idol” with Lauren Daigle’s “You Say”: Daigle, who previously competed on “Idol,” ended up joining her audition and singing along.
During her audition, Danielle, who works at a Southern restaurant with her mom, told the “Idol” judges that she had a band when she was 18 and would frequently perform in bars. But one day, she said, her grandfather pulled her aside and asked her how she could use her talent to serve God, and the singer decided to make a switch to performing Christian music.
With Daigle at her side, Danielle received feedback from the judges, who praised her authenticity. Bryan, specifically, said Danielle had “a real honest rawness.”
Danielle previously competed on “The Voice,” getting eliminated during the semifinals on Season 18.
From a small town in Mississippi, 18-year-old Colin Stough made it to the “Idol” judges for one main reason: His mom signed him up to audition for the show.
Stough — who hopes to put the small town of Gattman, Mississippi, on the map — wowed all of the judges with his rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man.” His mom, who was standing outside of the room during the performance, then came in and told the judges a little more about her son. She said Stough asked for his first guitar when he was in the fifth grade — and now their house is overflowing with guitars.
All of the judges thanked Stough’s mother for signing her son up.
“Colin is exactly what we hope and dream for at ‘American Idol,’” Bryan said. “Somebody that’s just raw, real, humble.”
Sixteen-year-old Haven Madison opted to perform her original song, “Fifteen,” for her “Idol” audition. Madison was accompanied on guitar by her father Jason Roy, who is the lead singer of the Christian band Building 429.
The judges had nothing but praise following the performance.
“Your songwriting ability is incredible,” Richie told the teenager. “I don’t see anything wrong now except the world doesn’t know anything about you, but they will. That was incredible.”
It didn’t take but the first note of her song for 21-year-old Marybeth Byrd to win the “Idol” judges over.
The singer-songwriter, who is from a small Arkansas town of roughly 300, performed The Steeldrivers’ “If It Hadn’t Been for Love” and had all of the judges in awe.
“You opened your mouth, and it was correct,” Richie said.
Bryan said he was sold on the very first note and told Byrd he sees “a very bright future.”
“Don’t change a thing, Byrd,” Perry added.
Along with Tongi, Oliver Steele’s audition was one of the more emotional ones of the season. Before his audition, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter from Tennessee mentioned that his dad was a professional guitar player before a stroke affected the left side of his body.
“If I had it my way, he’d be playing for me,” Steele said before performing Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” — one of his dad’s favorite songs — for his audition.
Although his father couldn’t play the guitar, the “Idol” judges asked for him to come into the room so that Steele could sing to him. Steele’s father and the “Idol” judges became emotional as Steele begin to sing. At one point, everyone joined in to sing the chorus.
“We are so happy to have you,” Richie told Steele before all of the judges pushed him through to the next round.
Even though he’s only 17, Tyson Venegas performs with the air of a seasoned artist — so much so that Richie asked the teenager’s mom to come into the room following Venegas’ dynamic performance of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” so she could verify her son’s age.
“That performance was spot-on professional,” Richie said, noting that Venegas performs like he’s 45.
“I felt so connected, I felt alive,” Perry added.
The judges awarded Venegas the first platinum ticket of the season — meaning the teenager got to skip the first round of Hollywood week.
Warren Peay, a 23-year-old appliance repair technician and worship leader from South Carolina, performed Zach Williams’ “To the Table” for his “Idol” audition. His voice was so strong that Richie predicted — correctly — that Peay would be a top 10 contender on “Idol” this season.
We Ani’s high speaking voice gives off the impression that she could make a living doing voiceovers for Disney. Which is why all of the “Idol” judges were shocked when the singer from Harlem, New York, began to sing Demi Lovato’s “Anyone” in a rich, deep voice.
“Way to throw the curve ball,” Perry said before all of the judges pushed the singer through to the next round without any hesitation.
Previously, Ani competed on Season 11 of “The Voice,” where she joined Team Alicia Keys’ team following chair turns from all four coaches during her blind audition. She placed third on the show that season.
Zachariah Smith — who is from the same area of Mississippi as fellow “Idol” contestant Stough — performed an energetic rendition of John Mellencamp’s “Hurts so Good” for his audition. The 19-year-old singer couldn’t stop smiling during his performance, and won all of the judges over with his stage presence.
“You have a rasp, you have a growl, and then on top of it you’re having so much fun,” Richie said.