See which Alabamian remains in the American Idol competition

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Lady K and Tristen Gressett with “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Our two Alabama reps have been killing it on the American Idol stage this season. As the competition slims, it’s become quite the nail biter as to who will move on to the next round. This week’s episodes left us with only one remaining Alabamian in the running. Let’s recap.

Starting out strong

After making their way to the top 14, Tristen Gressett of Pell City and Lady K of Montgomery/Tuskeegee took the stage again this week to win over America’s votes.

In the April 24 episode, each contestant was mentored by “Idol” runner-up and country star, Gabby Barrett. The episode was cast live from coast-to-coast for the first time this season. Contestants were asked to perform a cover song that provided a standout moment for a star.

Tristen, who has been finding his footing as the rock star of the season, went for a risky performance. He sang Whataya Want From Me by Adam Lambert—arguably one of the strongest vocalists in American Idol history.

The bold choice paid off—the judges loved his performance and he garnered enough votes to secure a spot in the top 11.

As for Lady K, she shined more than ever in her performance of Fantasia Barrino’s 2004 hit I Believe. Katy Perry sung her praises for the powerful Montgomery singer:

“She is a lady, and I believe. I mean, honestly, elegance personified right now. The glow-up is so real…and that was a beautiful song. Way to pay tribute, and just all around, the growth is incredible.”

Katy Perry to Lady K

At the end of the episode, viewer votes sent both Alabama contestants to the top 11.

This is where it gets messy.

And then there was one…

In the Monday, April 25 episode, the contestants weren’t the only ones in for a challenge. The judges—Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie—each picked a song for the top 11 contestants to perform.

Contestants then chose their favorite from the list, unbeknownst to them which judge suggested each song. Whoever had their song picked the most, won.

Tristen Gressett

Out of three famous rock anthems: Paint It, Black by The Rolling Stones, I Want It All by Queen and You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones, Tristen decided to channel his inner Jagger with the latter Stones hit (chosen by Lionel Richie).

The judges were thoroughly impressed as the song was a perfect fit for his rockstar personality. “That is electricity in a bottle,” Katy Perry said.

Lady K

Lady K has proven her worth with her powerhouse vocals and budding confidence in every episode. For the judges choice challenge, she had an array of popular songs to choose from: Jesus Take The Wheel by Carrie Underwood, Smile by Nat King Cole and traitor by Olivia Rodrigo.

The Montgomery singer chose the hit from pop star Olivia Rodrigo—also suggested by Lionel Richie. There were some missteps vocally, but overall her strength and depth of emotion in the performance shined through.

The results

After the viewer votes were tallied, unfortunately, both Tristen and Lady K were up for elimination. Not only that—it looked like it was the end of the road for both Alabama singers as they ended up with the lowest total number of votes.

In true American Idol nature, there was a major plot twist. The winning judge from the “judge’s song choice” challenge earned the ability to save either Tristen or Lady K from bring sent home.

Luke Bryan and Katy Perry tied for the spot, so they made their decision at the same time.

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Will Lady K be our next American Idol? (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Drum roll please…Lady K was chosen to move on to the next round, taking the final spot in the top 9.

Sadly, that meant it was the end of the road for Pell City teen, Tristen Gressett. We’re sure he’ll continue to wow audiences for years to come.

Next week, Lady K takes the stage on “Disney Night” as they prep their performances for Disneyland.

Watch American Idol Sundays and Mondays at 8PM (EDT) on ABC.

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Gabby Gervais
Gabby Gervais
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