Nutsa, whose real name is Nutsa Buzaladze, commanded the audience when she took the stage as part of the Showstoppers Round on Season 21 of American Idol.
The 25-year-old standout from Tbilisi, Georgia, dazzled the studio audience and judges with a rendition of “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival and later covered by Ike and Tina Turner.
Her cover of the song has now landed her in the Top 24 of the cutthroat televised singing competition.
Watch Nutsa’s “Proud Mary” Performance On American Idol Below
For her “Proud Mary” performance, Nutsa sported a lime green jumpsuit with sparkly, silver knee-high boots. She kept her hair down so she could whip her hair back and forth as she threw her whole body into the onstage display. Nutsa began the song slowly and provided an epic build as she waited for the band behind her to pick up speed.
“I left a good job in the city / Working for the man every night and day / And I never lost one minute of sleeping / I was worrying ’bout the way the things might’ve been,” she sang while carrying the microphone stand from one area of the stage to the next.
Nutsa’s stage presence outshone much of her competition, and it’s clear judges couldn’t agree more.
“It was wild… fun… entertaining. You whipped your hair at that camera as JLo does on a daily basis,” Katy Perry commented. “And we’ve just had so, so much fun watching you bring that amazing showmanship.”
“But as you know, it’s a tough competition. I know. It’s not going to be just about winning. It’s about learning, as Lionel says. So we have really appreciated you being in this competition. Thank you for everything you brought and we did not put you in the top 24,” she added, trying to confuse Nutsa. “You put yourself in that top 24 Nutsa. You put yourself in the top 24 with your spectacular talent. We didn’t put you in there. You did. But as confusing as it seems, you’re going to the top 24.”
Did Nutsa Make The Top 24 On American Idol?
After learning her fate, Nutsa let out an enthusiastic scream.
Nutsa’s performance in the Showstoppers Round was certainly a stark contrast from her previous one during Hollywood Week Duets. At the time, she took the stage with fellow competitor Carina after the two met and became friends in Las Vegas, Nevada.
However, drama unfolded after the pair didn’t seem to connect with rehearsal times. Carina wanted to work on their rendition of Nina Simone’s “I Put A Spell On You” late into the night to perfect it while Nutsa wanted to make sure the two got adequate rest ahead of their performance.
Nutsa was also confident with her parts, yet Carina felt she didn’t have enough areas in the song that spotlighted her vocals. In the end, Nutsa reigned victoriously and got through to the next round.
“It was really hurtful for me. It really hurt me. I never do bad to people. I am not this person. I’ve never been this person. Perfect. So let’s do it,” Nutsa said reflecting on the situation. “If you answer negativity with negativity, it’s going to have worse results.”
Despite the flub of the duets’ portion of the competition, Nutsa has continued to impress judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Perry week after week. During her solo performance for Hollywood Week, she blew judges away with a near-flawless rendition of “I Surrender” by Celine Dion.
Afterward, she earned a standing ovation from the panel of judges and her peers who watched on from the seats in the auditorium.
“I feel like we have the best talent this year,” Perry said in response to the performance. “This is the best season.”
American Idol airs Sunday and Monday nights on ABC.