Once again, this season of “American Idol” is throwing fans an unexpected twist.
On Sunday’s new episode — shot months ago at Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii, before the coronavirus pandemic — fans were expecting to learn which stars were moving on to the Top 20 and which had overstayed their welcome.
At the end of the night, with only one position left, the Final Judgement came down to Lauren Mascitti and Grace Leer, two country music-leaning vocalists who each delivered stellar performances this round.
As both singers waited to learn their fate, judge Luke Bryan had a big surprise in store: Neither were going home — yet!
“Your performances last night, both of them were really great,” Bryan told the contestants. “We have one position left, and we couldn’t make a decision… [so] we’re going to turn it over to America.”
For the first time, viewers will get a chance to vote online on who should earn a place in the Top 20, and who should get the axe. It’s a surprising cliffhanger as two women’s fates hang in the balance, and Twitter had a lot of conflicting opinions.
And not just about who should move on, but also on whether or not it was right to pit the two hopefuls against each other, instead of rewarding them for their stellar work. Quite a few felt that some of the others who’d gotten guaranteed spots on the Top 20 didn’t deserve it as much as Leer and Mascitti.
Fans can vote for their favourite on the “American Idol” website, or text “Lauren” or “Grace” to 21523. Voting ends 9 a.m. ET on April 7.
While viewers will find out who got picked to move on next Sunday, this did mark the last new episode for “Idol” before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic led the show to halt production on the current season before the live rounds kicked off.