American Idol 2022 updates — Top 10 to compete TONIGHT includes HunterGirl, Lady K & more amid Laine Hardy arrest news

AMERICAN Idol is back tonight, with a top 10 roster of contestants beloved by fans voting at home.

Previously, Lady K was saved by judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan after they tied for the win in the Judge’s Song Contest.

Other performers competing in tonight’s episode include Emyrson Flora, Mike Parker, Jay Copeland, Nicolina, HunterGirl, Noah Thompson, Leah Marlene, Christian Guardino, and Fritz Hager.

The new episode comes after a previous American Idol winner, Laine Hardy, was issued a warrant from Louisiana State University Police, per a statement from the star.

LSU confirmed to WAFB that there is an active investigation against the singer, but declined to provide additional details.

Fans of Idol can watch the show every Sunday on ABC at 8pm ET.

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

  • Judges praise Lady K

    The judges said Lady K had a “validating performance” after she was saved by them last week.

    Lionel said that they have seen a lot of growth from her since she first started with Idol.

  • Lady K is up first

    Lady K is the first of the top 10 to perform on Disney night.

    She will be singing “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.

  • Katy takes a tumble

    The judge showed off her tail by propping it on the judge’s table, and apparently fell out of her chair.

    Ryan Seacrest ran to help the judges get her back in her chair so the show could go on.

  • The judges enter

    Judges Luke Bryant and Lionel Richie wheeled out Katy Perry while she donned a full Ariel the mermaid costume complete with tail.

  • Disney night

    Tonight’s episode opened with the contestants singing a special rendition of Encanto’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

    Members of the Encanto cast also joined for the performance.

  • Tune in!

    Tonight’s live episode of American Idol is starting now.

    Tune in to ABC to watch Disney week and see the remaining singers perform!

  • Where was American Idol 2022 filmed? continued 

    The new showrunner, Megan Michaels Wolflick, told Deadline in an interview: “now we’re going to the biggest music cities in America, we’re able to go out again. We’re able to go to the places that make this show sing.” 

    However, due to the ongoing pandemic, the first round of auditions for the 2022 season took place virtually through Zoom.

    They resumed in-person from October 2021 with health and safety protocols in mind.

  • Where was American Idol 2022 filmed? 

    Unlike season 18, which was virtual and season 19, which was filmed in California, American Idol’s season 20 took its time to visit some of the trending capitals in America:

    • Los Angeles, California
    • Nashville, Tennessee
    • Austin, Texas
    • Disney Aulani, Hawaii
  • Los Angeles options

    Due to the California city’s mayoral debate airing on ABC7 tonight, the Los Angeles network is allowing viewers to watch the broadcast at 5pm.

  • Magical evening

    Tonight’s episode kicks off Disney Week, according to a tweet by the show’s official Twitter account.

  • Top 10: Noah Thompson

    Noah Thompson, 19, is a construction worker from Kentucky and was pushed to audition for American Idol by a co-worker.

    His affinity for music started at a young age when his dad bought him his first guitar and gave him lessons.

    Thompson told Hollywood Life that it was his dad who wanted him to “be in music,” but as his dad taught him to play his first chords, his love for music grew.

    It was his dad’s dream as well that Thompson would make it in the music industry, and Thompson said, “Kind of the whole point of me being here, for my dad. I wanted to do it almost for the both of us. 

    On April 25, Thompson wowed the judges with a rendition of Ben E. King’s song, Stand With Me.

  • Top 10: Nicolina Bozzo

    Nicolina is 18 years old and from Toronto, Canada.

    She is a university student and has said that she is used to performing with her family.

    The star has an impressive TikTok following of over 258,000 followers.

    For her original audition, she sang She Used To Be Mine by Sara Bareilles, which earned her a golden ticket, and a standing ovation from the judges.

  • Top 10: Mike Parker

    Contestant Mike Parker was called a “superstar” by judge Luke Bryan towards the beginning of the season.

    Mike Parker was born in Gainsville, Virginia, and attended Fauquier High School.

    According to Hollywood Life Parker was a part of his school’s musicals growing up.

    Prior to his time on American Idol season 20, Parker auditioned for The Voice.

    On The Voice, he made it to Jennifer Hudson’s team after his third try during season 15.

    On April 18’s episode, Parker failed to win the public vote to become one of the Top 14 on American Idol season 20.

    However, it wasn’t all over for the Idol wannabe as he became one of the four contestants saved by the judges — leading him to the top 10.

  • Top 10: Leah Marlene

    Leah Marlene sticks out this season for having soulful sound, obvious songwriting talent, and a funny personality.

    The quirky musician, 20, is from Normal, Illinois.

    Leah’s dad is Derry Grehan from Canadian rock band Honeymoon Suite.

    The singer said she was channelling her father as she performed for the judges.

    Leah told American Idol: “My whole childhood, my life was just filled with guitars and amp.

    “He was a freaking rock star and last night my dad was there and it was just like a full circle moment. It was so cool.”

  • Top 10: Lady K

    Lady K, also known as Kezia Istonia is from Tuskegee, Alabama.

    The 25-year-old musician was up for elimination last week with Tristen Gressett but the judges saved her, putting her in the Top 10.

  • Top 10: Jay Copeland

    Jay Copeland is a 23-year-old musician from Salisbury, Maryland.

    He graduated from college two years ago, majoring in music.

    During his audition, he revealed he was on a fellowship to go to graduate school for acting but dropped out after he was told he had to choose between acting and music.

    After singing a Stevie Wonder song in his audition, Jay received a platinum ticket.

  • Top 10: HunterGirl

    HunterGirl is the first platinum ticket winner of American Idol.

    The 23-year-old country singer is from Winchester, Tennessee, and her real name is Hunter Wolkonowski.

    When she’s not focusing on her own music, HunterGirl works with veterans in music therapy.

    She graduated from Middle Tennesse State University.

  • Top 10: Fritz Hager

    Fritz Hager III, 17, is from Tyler, Texas.

    Last week, the judges gave Fritz three song options with each judge selecting a song for him to perform.

    Katy Perry selected God Only Knows by the Beach Boys, and Lionel Richie gave him the option of Perfect by Ed Sheeran.

    Hager ultimately chose Luke Bryan’s option of Wonderwall by Oasis and said he was thrilled when he heard he could perform it.

    After his performance, Bryan said he chose the song as a curveball, and his inspiration to provide it as an option came from hearing Hager prepare with his band during a soundcheck in Las Vegas.

  • Top 10: Emyrson Flora

    Emyrson Flora, 16, is the youngest performer to compete in American Idol, beating Jordin Sparks who was 17 years old when she competed in 2007.

    American Idol rules state the performer must be older than 15 and younger than 29 to compete.

    Flora told the Akron Beacon Journal that she didn’t have any formal training for performing and had only sung for her family and friends.

    She revealed: “I just come from singing in my room to this pretty quick.”

    The 16-year-old high school student is from Cleveland, Ohio.

    In addition to singing, Emyrson also plays the guitar and piano.

    She has a decent following on TikTok, with over 13,000 followers. Her username is @emyrsonflora

  • Top 10: Christian Guardino

    Christian Guardino, 21, joined American Idol for its 20th season and has made an impact on the judges for his resounding voice and his ability to overcome the setbacks and struggles he has encountered throughout his life.

    Originally from Long Island, New York, Christian was born legally blind.

    He was diagnosed with a rare genetic eye disorder, Leber Congenital Amaurosis, which affects the retina, impairing the individual’s vision.

    His remaining vision continued to deteriorate as he got older, but when he reached his teenage years, Guardino participated in a gene therapy trial.

    The trial was successful and restored his eyesight to about 80 percent.

  • Protocols for this season

    This season, American Idol is airing live again, but with necessary safety protocols in place.

    To ensure the protection of the cast, crew, and participants, the number of cities where the auditions were held was reduced, and the judges are socially distanced.

  • How Covid-19 affected recent seasons 

    Season 18 of American Idol shut down due to Covid-19 protocols, but it was the first reality competition series to return to screens and air remotely.

    Using custom-built Zoom technology, contestants that sang for producers got a green light to move on to a judged audition.

  • How much does it cost to audition?

    It costs nothing to audition for American Idol, provided hopefuls meet the show’s eligibility requirements, and cover their own costs of travel and accommodation.

    You must be between 15 and 28 years old at your audition time and you must also be a legal US resident and not have competed in the Top 10 of a previous season.

  • When do contestants rehearse?

    Unfortunately, contestants on American Idol do not get to relax on the weekends.

    Saturdays and Sundays tend to be even busier than the weekdays, as contestants are required to do intense rehearsals.

    In addition to the weekend rehearsals and sessions with vocal coaches, contestants still do three rehearsals on the day they are slated to perform.

  • Celebrating 20 years

    The famed singing competition returned for its 20th season this year, with a few changes.

    American Idol first premiered in 2002, and host Ryan Seacrest was celebrated during this season’s premiere for being involved with the show for its 20 years.

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