The latest episode of the reality singing competition, "American Idol," took an interesting turn on Monday night as the judges themselves went head-to-head in a song contest. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie each picked songs for the top 10 contestants, and the singer had to choose one of the three choices to perform. The judge with the most songs picked would win the contest. The episode aired live coast-to-coast and had its fair share of memorable moments. One young contestant revealed that she is in love, while another singer delivered a chilling cover of Whitney Houston's song. Unfortunately, Bryan accidentally made a risque comment, which he immediately regretted. Zachariah Smith was the first to perform with "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi. The grill cook got the crowd moving with the high-powered rock anthem. Smith mistakenly thought Bryan picked the song, but it was actually chosen by Richie. Richie praised Smith's attitude, stating that it was exactly what he had imagined.
Haven Madison chose "The Only Exception" by Paramore, a song she could relate to. After her heartfelt performance, Madison guessed that Perry picked the song, and she was correct. Perry revealed that she chose the song because it was delicate, beautiful, and allowed Madison's voice to soar. Wé Ani gave a stunning rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," which was a clear highlight of the season.
Ani thought the song choice came from Richie, but it was actually chosen by Bryan. Both judges praised Ani for owning and slaying the song. Oliver Steele impressed the judges with his performance of "High and Dry" by Radiohead. Steele correctly guessed that Perry picked the song, and all three judges gave him a standing ovation. Perry praised Steele for interpreting the song in his own unique way. Warren Peay showcased his country voice with "Colder Weather" by Zac Brown Band. When Peay guessed that Bryan chose the song, the judge unintentionally made a risque comment, which he regretted immediately. Despite the comment, all judges praised Peay for his performance.
Iam Tongi accompanied himself on the ukulele while performing "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. The song choice came from Bryan, and Perry predicted that Tongi may win the entire show. Marybeth Byrd delivered a heartfelt performance of "Wasted on You" by Morgan Wallen. Byrd mistakenly thought Bryan chose the song, but it was actually picked by Richie. However, all judges praised Byrd for her emotional performance. Tyson Venegas gave an emotional performance of "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi. Venegas correctly guessed that Perry picked the song, and all judges praised him for his vulnerability and passion. Megan Danielle chose "Go Rest High on That Mountain" by Vince Gill, a song that held a personal meaning for her. Bryan revealed that he picked the song for her, as it represented her faith. All judges commended Danielle for her powerful performance.
Colin Stough closed the episode with a rocking performance of "It's Been Awhile" by Staind. Stough correctly guessed that Perry picked the song, making her the winner of the judges' song contest. Despite winning, Perry expressed her happiness because Stough showed star quality and listened to his intuition. At the end of the episode, it was announced that Steele, Byrd, and Venegas did not make it to the top 7. However, Perry had the power to save one of them, and she chose Steele to move on in the competition.