The audience was not a fan of Luke Bryan’s critique on Sunday’s episode of “American Idol”.
Top 14 hopeful Tristen Gressett gave an electrifying performance of The Weeknd’s “Sacrifice”, which earned him rave reviews from the audience and the judges.
Lionel Richie couldn’t help but shout, “Love It!” and Bryan was impressed with his stage presence.
“My man was just born to be on the stage ladies and gentlemen,” the country star praised. “I think in your audition we tried to put the reins on you, but you know what? You just broke through the reins and said ‘hell with it, I’m not listening to them, I’m gonna be me.’ And I love the energy you put out.”
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When it came time for the round of critiques, however, the audience wasn’t having it.
“Now, it’s not that your vocals were bad, but y’all ain’t heard him like I’ve heard him,” Bryan added as the crowd began booing him.
“I appreciate that he rolled the dice,” Katy Perry teased when she heard the fan reaction.
The country singer tried to explain himself, despite the response.
“Right, but what I’m saying is that song might’ve put you in a little box vocally and always make sure we hear those vocals,” Bryan continued. “Anyway, I’m talking a lot to try and climb myself out of a hole and it’s not working.”
His fellow judges laughed along and Bryan played along with the crowd.
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“I can already see the comments on socials,” he joked.
“We have hostility in the room tonight,” Richie said. “But that hostility is passion. Remember I told you to take yourself serious? Well, you did it. You’re acting like an artist. I can’t keep my eyes off of you. I don’t know what you’re going to do next. The dynamics of your presentation is incredible! I love what you’re doing.”
While Gressett’s stage performance might’ve impressed Bryan, it intimidated Perry.
“Okay, this is going to sound weird, but when I first met you, I was scared of you. I was like oh, I’m not sure, I’m scared. I can’t stop watching though. Then, when you were kind of creeping down, it was feeling a little bit like Michael Jackson,” said the “Teenage Dream” singer. “You were like really possessed in it. I was like is this Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’? I was like is this Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’? But like, you can’t stop watching and it’s dynamic. You are using the energy in the room and when I see you move, you are like cutting the air like an X-Man.”
Gressett is one of 20 hopefuls who are vying for a top 14 spot. The results of the performances will be revealed on Monday.