American Idol made history on Sunday night (April 26), returning for the first of many live shows broadcasting from the homes of the cast and contestants around the country. Live to tape from 28 states, Sunday night’s episode showcased performances from the Top 20. Making the most of the situation, producers shipped each contestant equipment and had them perform from home alongside the Idol band. The judges, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, as well as host, Ryan Seacrest, and in-house mentor, Bobby Bones, also appeared from their homes.
Dillon James, the contestant often referred to as the “spiritual cowboy,” had the judges in the palm of his hand with his rendition of Ray LaMontagne’s “Let It Be Me” straight from his backyard.
“Dillon, I must tell you something, you look, your sound, your attitude, your presentation, you look like a world-class artist. That performance right there was just totally believable to the point of, I had to go back and say, how many records has he had so far?’ You got the look, you got the sound.”
“It’s like stamp, artist, cut a record, you need to write the songs, go make the music you want to go make and the rest will be in your hands, you have the steering wheel,” Bryan assured him.
Perry went on to compliment Dillon as well and even compared him to Idol alum Gabby Barrett, who recently earned her first chart-topping single with her debut hit, “I Hope.”
“She didn’t even win the show, ya know, if you get to be Top 10, that could be your future next year,” Perry acknowledged, adding, “It’s all what you make of it. Your dreams are in your hands at this point. I thought you did really great though.”
The Top 20 will be narrowed down to the Top 10 come next week. Fans who would like to vote for Dillon James can vote online or by texting 15 to 21523.