Christian Guardino; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC
Christian Guardino; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

‘American Idol’ Judge Gushes Over Christian Guardino’s Show-Stopping Hozier Cover: “You Were On Fire”

Christian Guardino delivered a show-stopping cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church” on Sunday evening (April 24) during American Idol.

The former America’s Got Talent contestant was excited about the opportunity to meet American Idol alum Gabby Barrett, who returned to the show to offer the Top 14 contestants advice. 

“It is great to meet you,” Guardino said.

“I remember the first time I heard this song, I felt such a soulful feeling and that’s kind of been what I’ve been trying to focus on. Have people resonate with the words that you sing,” Guardino told Barrett of his song choice.

Barrett then shared her first impression of the contestant. 

“My first impression of Christian is that I love Christian,” Barrett gushed ahead of his performance, while mentoring him.

Barrett then offered Guardino some advice on his vocal efforts.

“Gabby really helped me focus on the lyrics,” Guardino admitted. “During the session, she was telling me, focus on the melody when beginning the song.”

“I think he’s going to do great!” Barrett added.

Donning a black and gold jacket, Guardino belted out the lyrics to the chart-topping Hozier tune as the Idol judges and live audience looked on.

Following his performance, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan swooned over his impressive vocal abilities.

“Christian what I loved about that was when you had the microphone on the microphone stand. That wasn’t what you wanted to be doing, you wanted to grab the microphone right off the bat, because once you got away from that microphone stand man you took it to the next level,” Bryan said. “Then, it went to another level to another level. So, listen, you know, think about these things if you’re not altogether comfortable with something that you’re doing, make sure you’re firing on all cylinders right off the bat, but man your voice is just always so solid. But great job on a tough song.”

“You mastered the highs, the lows and the complete form of the damnemics, I won’t even say dynamics because that was something else altogether,” Richie said, praising his performance. “You were on fire for that and what I loved most about it was is that you held it. What Gabby told you was the truth, hold that volume until the very end. When you did explode it was amazing.” 

“It was definitely spirited it, it was evangelical, I could feel the spirit in the room on this Sunday,” Perry added. “Christian, first of all, you look great. I love whatever you did to your hair, the fit, you are leaning in to the whole bit. I think Gabby was correct because you can sing anything and you can out sing everyone and you can just do backflips, not like the other guy [Cameron Whitcomb], but you can do all of it, so it is about how you ride it and the journey of the song and telling the song with all of those dynamics. I think you did really good, I think pick really cool songs and this was an amazing one for you.”

Christian Guardino’s performance ultimately secured him a place in the Top 11. American Idol returns on Monday, April 25 at 8/7c on ABC. 

After being voted into the Top 11, he took to social media to celebrate the exciting news.

“WOW. THANKS SO MUCH TO YOU ALL!” Guardino wrote. “I am so honored and just crazy grateful I have made the #Top11 of @AmericanIdol but it’s not over yet. Idol is back TOMORROW night at 8/7c on @ABCNetwork and I will need your votes again to make it through AGAIN.”

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