ABC’s American Idol returned on Monday evening with performances from the Top 24, who were vying for America’s vote for the first time ever. Lady K (Kezia Istonia) took to the outdoor stage at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, for a performance of an Idol alum hit.
Ahead of her performance, Lady K met with guest mentor and “Meant to Be” singer Bebe Rexha to help her decide between Fantasia’s “Collard Greens & Cornbread” and Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”
After hearing Lady K rehearse a sample of “Collard Greens & Cornbread,” Rexha said “I felt like I was seeing that Alabama girl.” But after hearing her tease “Before He Cheats,” Rexha revealed that she could imagine how it would sound with a full band.
Lady K ultimately decided to perform “Before He Cheats,” delivering a gritty version of the smash hit and working the entire stage.
When host Ryan Seacrest asked why she landed on the Underwood song as her choice, Lady K replied, “You didn’t see that? That was electric!”
The judges agreed with her self-assessment.
“Great job on song choice,” said Luke Bryan. “It has attitude. It has angst. You could feel the crowd moving. I think going forward, I wanna hear even more of that angst out of you. We just wanted it to get even dirtier, even nastier.”
Katy Perry agreed, adding, “I know you can get a little bit more dirty. I know you can get a little more nasty. We heard it towards the end… Now is a time to, you know, pull out every single ace, every single time you sing. I’m just so proud of you.”
Lionel Richie also reflected on Lady K’s inspirational journey, adding, “This is homeless to Hawaii.”
To vote for Lady K, visit AmericanIdol.com/Vote or Text 16 to 21523.
The results will be revealed next Sunday, April 17 at 8/7c EST on ABC during a special three-hour Top 20 show.