For the first time since 2016, two Mississippians are heading to the American Idol top 5.
Zachariah Smith and Colin Stough – both of Monroe County – found out they were advancing in the competition at the end of Sunday night’s episode.
— Luke Bryan (@lukebryan) May 8, 2023
On a night in which Alanis Morissette and Ed Sheeran filled in as judges, contestants had to take on hits performed by the show’s newest guests.
Smith, who previously worked as a grill cook at Bill’s Hamburgers in Amory, went with Morrisette’s 1996 single “Ironic.”
Following the performance, the judges gave Smith credit for controlling the song rather than taking it on with full force.
“I just saw you being in the flow and enjoying yourself and just letting it move to your body. It was the liquidity that I loved,” Morissette said with Sheeran adding, “I think your voice is super, super powerful and I was captivated the whole time.”
Stough, on the other hand, took on Morissettee’s “Hand In My Pocket.” The Gattman native put a country twist on the 1995 hit which ultimately impressed both fans and judges alike.
“You’ve just come so far,” full-time judge Luke Bryan told Stough afterward. “You made a lot of dynamics happen in that song, and you put your own artistic stamp on it which was really cool. Great job.”
Smith and Stough, who are the first Mississippi duo to make the top 5 since La’Porsha Renae and eventual winner Trant Harmon did it in season 15, will compete against Megan Danielle, Iam Tongi, and Wé Ani when American Idol returns Sunday, May 14 at 8/7c on ABC.