This season of “American Idol” is down to 24 finalists, and a sixth of the competition is representing Massachusetts.
Grace Kinstler, Anilee List, Beane, and Colin Jamieson sang in the All Star Duets and Solos round, which aired in two episodes Sunday and Monday. The episodes were the first time the singers performed in front of a (socially-distanced) studio audience and the first time that their future on the show will be decided by viewers, not judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan.
Four finalists from each night will be sent home by audience vote, winnowing the competition down from 24 to 16 next week when live performances will begin. Viewers can vote for their favorite singers up to 10 times on the “American Idol” website, in the “American Idol” app (iOS, Android), or by texting contestants’ numbers to 21523. Voting for each episode closes at 6 a.m. the following day.
Watch performances from the local quartet below:
It’s no coincidence that Berklee student Grace Kinstler has now closed out three episodes of “American Idol.” She’s a literal showstopper.
The powerhouse vocalist, who has been a favorite in the competition since her audition wrapped up the season debut, dominated the stage in Sunday’s episode.
Kinstler’s solo was “Queen” by Jessie J, a body-positive female empowerment anthem. The Chicagoan has spoken in past episodes about growing up with body insecurity.
The solo was followed by a duet with British singer-songwriter Joss Stone — “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & The Pips.
“She is so talented, she can do anything with her voice,” Stone said.
Kinstler proved her right, effortlessly nailing the high notes and hitting an impressive vocal run in the closing measures. (Stone’s advice: Save the run for the end. You don’t show up to a date in lingerie… that comes later.)
“Wow! What do you want me to say? Let me just compose myself,” Lionel Richie said after the performance.
Your voice quality, your confidence, the way you portray yourself on stage, it’s a winning package,” he said.
“That duet was timeless,” Katy Perry said. “You were soaring on a different level.”
“I’m so excited to be a part of this, to watch you grow as an artist and a performer,” Luke Bryan said. “I think there’s no surprise I’ve been a fan since day one.”
Queen. Tune in to @americanidol NOW…VOTING IS OPEN ❤️🙏🏻 you can vote for me 30 times!!!
•see my last few posts for more voting information!!
•#americanidol #idol #gracekinstler #love #abc #tv #singer #sing #jessiej pic.twitter.com/KAFtk7qu9k
— Grace Kinstler (@GraceKinstler) April 5, 2021
Kinstler wasn’t the only Berklee student to have the privilege of duetting with Joss Stone in Sunday’s peisode.
Anilee List, 20, belted “My Future” by Billie Eilish for her solo, and she strutted around the stage with swagger during her duet, singing “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus and Chaka Khan. (List previously echoed the Queen of Funk in the Showstopper round.)
“You’ve got such a powerhouse voice, I felt like I was at a gospel Sunday brunch, you took us all to church,” Katy Perry said.
“I just wanted to hear a couple more ad-libs, or a little pushing your voice, because I know you have it,” she said. “I remember your very first audition, it was like, ‘Those are all the notes in the world!'”
The Los Angeles native spoke about growing up with Tourette syndrome in her audition, which Katy Perry described as technically flawless. List said that her tics always disappear as soon as she starts performing, and that she was inspired by previous “Idol” finalist James Durbin, who also has Tourette syndrome.
— anilee list (@AnileeL) April 5, 2021
You’re in a good place as a singer and performer if Katy Perry says she’d sign you.
Brighton resident and Berklee grad Beane (aka Brennan Hepler) has come a long way from “Mr. Rogers.” With silver highlight in the corners of his eyes — Perry implored him to “sing with diamonds in his eyes” during the Showstopper round — he started with a spirited take on Dua Lipa’s 2019 nu-disco hit “Don’t Start Now” for his All Star Solo.
Next came a dulcet duet with “the cashmere blanket known as Josh Groban,” as host Ryan Seacrest described the multi-platinum singer.
“Think I’m going to take some of that Josh Groban spice, put it in the Beane soup, and we’re serving it up, honey,” Beane said before the duet.
The pair harmonized on “Angels,” the classic love song by Robbie Williams. Beane, who is gay, made sure to switch out “she” for “he” in the lyrics “in a small moment of defiance to the norm.” And he brought out some killer vibrato along the way.
“You made us turn around on every note to say, ‘Hey, I’m here.’ And we noticed exactly what you were doing,” Lionel Richie said.
Katy Perry praised his interpretation of the Dua Lipa song and his vocal runs, describing them as “so pro.”
“I would sign you. I think you have incredible artistic vision,” she said. “I would invest in you any day.”
“You just slayed me when Josh got on stage with you,” Luke Bryan said, prompting Beane to mime a katana slash at him. “Hold your head so high for getting up there and being able to hold your own with a singer like Josh Groban.”
— Beane (@beanemusic) April 6, 2021
What would “Idol” be without an affable rockstar competing for the win?
That’s the role that Boxford resident Colin Jamieson found himself in during the All Star round, and it seems to be one he’s embraced. He strummed on an electric guitar for his solo — “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars — and hyped the audience up during his duet with singer (and one-time “Idol” contestant) Tori Kelly.
“You look like you play 300 shows a year,” Katy Perry said to Jamieson. “I was like, am I at Warped Tour, brah?”
“What’s really infectious about you, is you’re just having fun in the moment,” Luke Bryan said.
“I don’t know who told you the secret,” Lionel Richie said, “but I think you might know the secret, which is, you’re supposed to treat the stage like your living room. We just happened to stop by.”
“I promise you, attitude will take you everywhere,” he said.
— Colin Jamieson (@colinjamieson_) April 5, 2021
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