The Top 10 Performances from ‘American Idol’ Top 14 Reveal Show


The Big Picture

  • Top 20 finalists performed, 10 advanced directly, and 4 were picked by judges to form the Top 14 on
    American Idol.
  • Contestants including Jayna Elise, Ajii, and Jordan Anthony faced pivotal moments in their performances.
  • Talent like McKenna Faith Breinholt, Triston Harper, and Kayko showcased their skills with potential for future stardom.

After a strong Top 20 reveal show, all 20 American Idol hopefuls had a chance to perform as 10 artists automatically moved into the Top 14 on the reality series, while 10 artists sang for four spots decided on by judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie. After some shocking results, the Top 14 are officially set. But did the best 10 performances come from the Top 14?

For the first live show of the season, all 20 American Idol hopefuls took to the stage, but as host Ryan Seacrest called each contestant forward to reveal their fate, the nerves in the room could be felt across the screen. As it was revealed, the first 10 singers that automatically moved forward and sang in celebration included Abi Carter, Emmy Russell, Jack Blocker, Julia Gagnon, Kayko, Kaibrienne, McKenna Faith Breinholt, Mia Matthews, Triston Harper, and Will Mosley. Earning the final four spots as decided on by the judges including Jayna Elise, Jordan Anthony, Nya, and Roman Collins. Sadly, the contestants that were eliminated were Ajii, Jennifer Jeffries, Kennedy Reid, McKenzie Sol, Odell Bunton Jr., and Quintavious. As far as the best ten performances of the night? Well, they just so happened to be a mix of artists from each of the three categories! Dim the lights! Here we go!

American Idol

Twelve American finalists (six men and six women) compete in a singing contest.

Release Date
June 11, 2002

Simon Fuller

Carrie Underwood , Fantasia , Jennifer Hudson , Clay Aiken , Chris Daughtry



10 Jayna Elise

“All I Wanted” by Paramore

As one of the surprising judges’ saves of the evening, Jayna Elise came out with a haunting performance of “All I Wanted” by Paramore. Looking like a star, there was a fight in her performance as telling her she had to sing for her life brought out a new side of the DC singer. Having been eliminated during the Hollywood Round during Season 21, Jayna was determined to show her fire and passion in Season 22. Jayna pushed her vocals and brought drama to her performance. Between the dramatic hood removal and the effortless key change, Jayna won over the judges just enough in order to continue her journey on American Idol.

9 Ajii

The Weeknd’s “Call Out My Name”

Easily the most shocking elimination of the night, Ajii had come onto American Idol as a unique artist, eager to show his range and skill set. With the judges shocked he wasn’t automatically in the Top 14, they somehow seemed to neglect him when selecting their four wildcard choices. Even with a potential disconnect with the American votes for whatever reason, Ajii’s artistry was something worth saving. Even if his rendition of The Weeknd‘s “Call Out My Name” wasn’t his best performance during his run on the show, it was still one to be discussed. Ajii may have brought in the shock and disappointment of the results into his performance, his soulful vocal captured the crowd. The song allowed him to bring out the tops and bottoms of his voice while literally asking the crowd and judges to call out his name. Unfortunately, it was the end of the line for 27-year-old Brooklyn native.

8 Jordan Anthony

“Attention” by Charlie Puth

The judges decided a plane ticket back to Perth, Australia wasn’t in the cards as Jordan Anthony received one of the judges picks. Taking on “Attention” by Charlie Puth, Jordan gave his strongest performance of the season. Perhaps singing for your life can bring something special out of you! Jordan brought an ease to the R&B stylings of the song, finally matching his stage presence with his vocals. He did have some pitch issues in his upper register toward the end of the song, but that may have been due to him easing into the track. While he and the next artist on the list likely fulfilled the same genre slot, Jordan was the one who was victorious in the end. Jordan will need to be smart with his song selections moving forward and manage to connect with America as the rest of the Top 14 has a slight edge over him. Regardless, in a game of self-preservation, Jordan did what he needed to do and prevailed.


Kennedy Reid Hits Back at Haters and Makes the Top 20 on ‘American Idol’

American Idol hopeful Kennedy Reid defies the internet trolls with a standout all-natural performance.

7 Mackenzie Sol

“I’ll Never Love Again” by Lady Gaga

Well, this one was a heartbreaker. While Mackenzie was one of the front-runners from episode one of the season, Mackenzie sadly did not win over the hearts of America as his journey on American Idol came to an end. As noted on the previous night’s episode, Mackenzie’s millions of followers came thanks to his comedic content creation, but his dream was to be a recording artist. His performance of “I’ll Never Love Again” by Lady Gaga in the Top 20 show was quite pitchy and likely caused him to be in danger, but he certainly redeemed himself with his version of “False Alarms” by Laurence featuring Jon Bellion. His performance was controlled. He had quite the ease with his falsetto. He does bounce around on stage. As Katy noted, he is a tornado of energy. But that’s what makes him captivating to watch and listen to. The song was very much in his wheelhouse, and while the song may not have been as well known as his other song selections throughout the season, Mackenzie did everything he should have to prove to the judges why he deserved to stage. Mackenzie’s run on American Idol may be over, but his journey to stardom has just begun. Mackenzie will be one of those singers who will return to the show to perform once he blows up and hits the Billboard charts.

6 Julia Gagnon

Fantasia’s “I Believe”

As one of the Platinum Ticket holders, Julia Gagnon has been a judges’ favorite since they met the Maine native. For her Top 20 performance, she took on American Idol alum Fantasia‘s “I Believe.” Based on that extremely shaky performance, she should have been in danger, but America has related to her story and put her through the Top 24. But once she hit the stage to perform in celebration of her safety, Julia came out of the gate as one of the strongest vocalists in the group. Singing “Need a Favor” by Aulani Round mentor Jelly Roll, a new Julia Gagnon had entered the competition. She provided a grit and growl to her vocals that showcased her range as a singer. Choosing a contemporary track was one of the smartest moves Julia could make at that moment, and she is now moving into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame week with immense momentum.


Worth the Wait Proves Timing Is Everything On ‘American Idol’

The Family act have moved on from The Voice, now Jacy and Mia Matthews are heading to Hollywood!

5 Nya

Nya entered American Idol as one of the strongest vocally trained artists. She has a silky smooth instrument that provides easy listening. As a theater performer, she has the ability to transcend genres and musical generations. Up until this point, Nya had stuck to a classic songbook when selecting songs. Her purely pitch-perfect rendition of “Georgia on My Mind” the night before was not enough to win over America, but the judges found the spark in Nya when she sang for her life with “Water” by Tyla. By selecting a contemporary track, Nya showcased her ability to be radio-ready following the season. Nya is incredibly comfortable on stage, and it shows. Nya has certainly won over the judges, but moving forward, she will need to connect with America. Hopefully, her Top 14 performances did a convincing job.

4 McKenna Faith Breinholt

Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides, Now”

Whether she wins this season of American Idol or not, McKenna Faith Breinholt is a star of the future. Having already won over many with her incredible story, she took this performance to honor her birth mother by performing “Tumbleweed” by Nowhere Man and Whiskey Girl, her mother’s band. It was nowhere near as perfect as her exceptional performance of Joni Mitchell‘s “Both Sides, Now,” but it was still a beautiful performance that has continued to catapult to the top of the lot. Standing alone on stage with a microphone and a dream, McKenna connected to everyone listening in the studio and watching at home. Where McKenna will fit in the world of music following American Idol is still a question mark, but no matter what, McKenna’s presence this season is something special.

3 Triston Harper

Cody Johnson’s “Till You Can’t”

This kid is special. At only 15, Triston Harper has the voice of legend. But what makes Triston special on this season of American Idol is his presence is proving the importance of visibility. As a member of the Choctaw Indian tribe, Triston is breaking open doors in the world of country music. It was quite obvious that Triston would be moving straight to the Top 14, so his sing in celebration performance continues to expand his range as an artist. Tackling Cody Johnson‘s “Till You Can’t”, Triston gave a solid performance. Although he did show some slight problematic pitch moments, he proved that his raw vocal isn’t perfect, cracking the vulnerability in his armor. With only one other pure country singer left in the competition, Triston will be competing for the male country crooner slot. And if he continues to show an upward trajectory, Triston might have a date in the finale.

2 Kayko

“What If…”

Kayko would win a songwriting competition with the greatest of ease. He is an impeccable songwriter. Think of him as the next Jack Antonoff. Both are brilliant writers but have the ability to stand out as an artist. Kayko came in once again giving an original song called “What If…” and displayed his artistry in all the disciplines of music. Kayko has a bit of a theatricality in his music. He is an amazing lyricist, giving a story in each one of his original songs. Win or lose, record labels will be fighting to represent him and help him release his first album. For now, Kayko will have to rely on other people’s songs in the upcoming themed rounds. This will force him to have to put his own twist on known music. For Kayko to make an impact moving forward, he will have to take a page from the Adam Lambert playbook and reinvent songs in magical ways. Kayko’s presence on this season American Idol is special. And Ryan Seacrest loves having him there as Kayko is shorter than he is! If his banter with the host says anything, Kayko’s charm is winning everyone over.

1 Mia Matthews

Cam’s “Burning House”

Country music artists on singing competition reality shows have historically done well when it comes to the audience vote. Sometimes non-country fans are frustrated that mediocre artists are propelled forward simply because of their musical stylings. But when an artist fits the bill and also brings a pure vocal, then everyone can get on board. Enter Mia Matthews. With her story very much becoming about stepping out from her trio with her mother and sister, Mia is shining. Performing Cam‘s “Burning House,” Mia is officially a solo artist, and one of the best in this season’s group. What makes Mia a great American Idol hopeful is her ability to sing classic country like Loretta Lynn and contemporary artists like Lainey Wilson. Her strength will be in song selection and how she presents her performances. Mia has proven that she can sing alone at a microphone or bring her guitar on stage and strum along with her beautiful voice. If there’s one modern country artist whose songbook Mia would kill, it would be Kacey Musgraves. No matter how the themed nights go for Mia, she is proving that The Voice missed out on a star.

American Idol will have back-to-back episodes with a theme and mentor each night. On Sunday, the Top 14 will be mentored by KISS frontman Gene Simmons for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame week. The following night, the Top 14 will be singing for their spot in the Top 12 with Billboard #1 Hits alongside mentor Meghan Trainor. America continues to have a difficult decision as the hopefuls all have a reason why they should win!

American Idol airs Sundays at 8:00 pm on ABC. All episodes are available to stream on Hulu.

Watch on Hulu


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *