American Idol 2022 – HunterGirl performs original song about veterans as singer breaks into top 20

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FRONTRUNNER HunterGirl stunned the judges with an original song called Heartbreak Down, which is about veterans.

HunterGirl shared during the video segment before her performance that she turns veterans’ stories into songs to help them heal.

“What you do for veterans is profound,” Katy said. “Are you an artist.”

Meanwhile, another contestant on tonight’s episode of American Idol delivered the nostalgia with her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s song Rhiannon.

Lionel Richie said Sage’s performance brought him back to 1968, and Katy Perry said she reminded him of Janis Joplin.

“You carved this song like a Halloween pumpkin,” Katy said. “You gave it a whole new shape.”

The performances took place before host Ryan Seacrest revealed Scarlet Ayliz and Danielle Finn hadn’t reached the Top 20.

Read our American Idol live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Judges react to Fritz

    “I cry over Fritz,” Lionel said. “That was a stellar performance from you.”

    “I don’t think you will be misunderstood again,” Katy said as she burst into tears.

    “It could have been recorded for an album,” Luke said.

    To vote for Fritz, text “23” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Fritz is safe

    After hearing his inspiration play, Fritz received the good news that he is in the Top 20.

    Music is who I am and because they considered my dreams secondary, I felt secondary,” he said during his video segment.

    He sings When the Party’s Over, by Billie Eilish.

  • Phillip Phillips takes the stage

    Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips took to the American Idol stage to perform his new single, Love Like That.

    Philippe won the competition in 2012.

  • Judges react to Christian Guardino

    Katy was seen wiping away tears during Christian’s performance of Imagine.

    “How many cry stages are there?” Luke asked Katy.

    “You just killed that performance. I haven’t heard anything but perfection.”

    “You are the poster child or the power of the human spirit,” Lionel said.

    Katy said, “You were put on this planet to do something super powerful, and you’re doing it right now and in this room.”

    To vote for Christian, text “21” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Christian Guardino is safe

    “I’m so grateful,” Christian said during a video segment. “I will never forget seeing the moon for the first time.”

    He sings Imagine by John Lennon.

  • Judges react to Leah Marlene

    “Are you real?” Kathy asked. “I felt every ounce of your pain.”

    “It feels like a final night,” Luke said. “You go beyond anything I could have imagined.”

    “We witnessed a possession,” explained Lionel. “This class here is the strongest class ever.”

    To vote for Leah, text “19” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Leah Marlene is safe

    Leah is the next contestant to receive good news.

    “People stopped me and recognized me,” she said.

    “Even though I’m an energetic, crazy person, I take this music very seriously.”

    She sings Deal by Tom Odell.

  • Judges react to Noah Thompson

    “Tonight you were just a little shy,” Lionel said. “You made him my brother.”

    “You just deserve the world,” Katy said. “You are a great human being.”

    “You get more and more confident and you get better and better,” Luke said.

    To vote for Noah, text “18” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Noah Thompson is safe

    “As a kid, I was always around the music,” he said in a segment before his performance.

    “I really didn’t expect it to go this far at all,” he continued.

    Noah sings Falling by Harry Styles.

  • Judges react to Allegra Miles

    “It was my favorite performance of the night, so far,” said Luke.

    “The way you just thread the needle, told the story,” Lionel said. “You turned a Tom Petty song into a love song.

    Katy said Allegra just leveled up. “She’s a fucking pro and she’s here to play,” she said.

    To vote for Allegra, text “15” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Allegra Miles is safe

    Allegra has just learned that she is part of the Top 20.

    “It was truly an amazing journey on Idol,” she said in one segment. “I am perhaps the happiest of all my life.”

    She sings Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty.

  • The judges react to Ava Maybee

    “It was an interesting song choice,” Katy said. “You just reinvented that song.”

    “You showed us another side of yourself,” Luke said. “You made it, good job.”

    Lionel said she “surprised us today”.

    To vote for Ava, text “17” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Ava Maybee is safe

    “I’m really at a loss for words for this whole experience,” she said in one segment.

    Ava credited her mother for her growth.

    She sings Anyone by Demi Lovato.

  • Alejandro Aranda returns

    Former American Idol contestant Alejandro Aranda took the stage.

    He performs his song, The Darkness.

  • Judges react to Dan Marshall

    “I just want free tickets and backstage passes,” Lionel said. “It’s as good as it gets.”

    Katy said, “It was so much fun.” She then called her stage presence the best of the night so far.

    “Good job for upgrading your playmate,” said Luke.

    To vote for Dan, text “9” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Dan Marshall is safe

    Dan Marshall advances to the Top 20, which means Scarlett and Danielle have been eliminated from the competition.

    “In football, if you get knocked down, you have to get back up,” Dan said.

    He sings Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks.

  • Three candidates, one place remaining

    Scarlett, Dan, and Danielle are the three remaining contestants of the first group who have yet to find out their fate.

    Only one of them will reach the Top 20.

  • Judges react to Elli Rowe

    “Your voice is so pure, angelic, emotional,” Luke said. “It makes people feel things from the start.”

    “There’s nothing like you and your voice,” Lionel said.

    Katy said, “You are small but mighty.”

    “I pray and hope that America sees you as we see you,” she continued.

    To vote for Elli, text “2” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Elli Rowe is safe

    “I had no idea I would ever go this far,” she said. “Everything is going very fast.”

    Elli said the one thing that keeps her grounded is music.

    She sings Somewhere Only We Know, by Keane.

  • The judges react to HunterGirl

    “What you do for veterans is profound,” Katy said. “Are you an artist.”

    “You just have this magical sound and write the songs to back it up,” Luke said.

    Lionel called her “natural”.

    To vote for HunterGirl, text “11” to 21523 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • HunterGirl is safe

    HunterGirl said she turned veterans’ stories into songs to help them heal.

    “It’s really special,” she said. “Songwriting is a huge part of my life.”

    She sings an original, called Heartbreak Down.

  • Judges react to Jacob Moran

    “It’s one thing to be able to sing the melody,” Lionel said.

    “You gave everyone in America the understanding of the reach of your voice.”

    Katy said he was “the best singer in the competition”.

    To vote for Jacob, text “10” to 2153 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Jacob Moran is safe

    “I’ve been on this trip twice now,” he said. “I feel a lot better, I feel more confident.”

    “Who gets two chances at that?”

    He sings Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing, by Tori Kelly.

  • The judges react to Nicolina

    “You have a way of bringing the absolute peak of a song to its finality,” Lionel said.

    “You are a Ferrari,” Katy said. “You know how to level up every time.”

    To vote for Nicolina, text “12” to 2153 or visit Americanidol.com after 11 p.m. ET.

  • Nicolina is safe

    The candidate is the next to learn that she has moved to the Top 20.

    “It’s everything I dreamed of growing up,” Nicolina said in one segment. “I’ve received so much positivity.”

    She sings Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks.

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