In the first live voting episode of American Idol season 21, fans across the nation decided to place Mississippi residents Zachariah Smith and Colin Stough in the competition’s top 10.
Sunday night’s theme of “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” was a match made in heaven for Smith, a 20-year-old rocker out of Amory. The grill cook turned Idol star performed a classic in “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra.
Following Smith’s performance, the judges showered him with compliments with Lionel Richie telling Smith that he “could sing a phone book.”
“You brought the party to the stage,” Richie said. “Now, let me tell you what I love about you. Your attitude is brilliant. You’re deliberate. You’re entertaining. That’s what half the business is.”
Stough, on the other hand, decided to stray from his comfort zone with a rendition of the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider.”
For the second straight week, the judges celebrated Stough for his vocal skills but pushed him to attack his performances more.
“When you started nodding and getting into it, that’s when I was like hooked, but I just wanted you to attack it with that feeling,” judge Katy Perry said. “But you sounded great as always.”
Luke Bryan and Richie shared Perry’s concerns with Bryan saying, “We want more big star out of you and you’ve got all the tools to turn into that,” while Richie pitched in, “You gotta get nasty!”
Smith and Stough will now look to advance to the competition’s top 7 when American Idol returns Monday night at 8/7c.