WATCH: ‘American Idol’ Judges Say Sage Is “Top 5” Worthy After Soaring Performance Of Dolly Parton Hit

American Idol returned on Sunday evening with performances from the Top 24, who were vying for America’s vote for the first time ever. Sage McNeely, a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Burbank, California, took to the outdoor stage at Aulani, a Disney…

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on April 10, 2022

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Sage; Photo Courtesy of American Idol/ABC

American Idol returned on Sunday evening with performances from the Top 24, who were vying for America’s vote for the first time ever. Sage McNeely, a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Burbank, California, took to the outdoor stage at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, for a performance of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”

Ahead of her performance, Sage sat down with country hitmaker and CMA Best New Artist, Jimmie Allen, who admitted he’d be nervous to sing “Jolene” as well.

“You give me vibes that you’re the type of person who likes a good challenge,” Allen told her.

The “Down Home” singer went on to praise her unique vocals during rehearsals.

“The way [you] made this song her own caught me off guard in a good way,” Allen added. “WOW! Sage, that was a great surprise, you have a special voice.”

Sage confidentially took the stage and delivered a unique rendition of Parton’s iconic hit, which happens to be the most-covered song in her catalog.

YouTube video

Following her performance, Idol judges praised her vocal abilities and showmanship. 

“That was a very hypnotic rendition, it was very cool. Showing off your individual core strengths,” Katy Perry said and went on to admit she thinks Sage will “definitely” land in the Top 5.

Luke Bryan agreed.

“I think some of your note choices were really pro, you got so many flavors in your voice and that’s why Katy’s throwing out Top 5,” Bryan said as he went on to compliment her “artistic talent.”

To vote for Sage visit AmericanIdol.com/Vote or Text 5 to 21523.

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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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