'American Idol' Season 18: Jonny West sings 'You Found Me' and Katy Perry learns why Margie believes in him
Sunday night's telecast of 'American Idol' showcased another incredible round of singing talents from the Top 40 contestants who were still left in the race, this time taped at the Disney resort in Aulani, Hawaii. One of the contest's early favorites, Jonny West, was having to do a lot of soul searching and introspection as he came to terms with the overwhelming emotions of the singing competition.
Piano teacher Jonny had initially just come for the auditions as a supportive partner of Margie Mays, a returning 'Idol' hopeful who had been cut in the Hawaii round of 'American Idol' during the show's previous season. His humble demeanor, keyboard skills and astounding vocal talent made him a strong contender for the 'Idol' crown initially, but then both Jonny and Margie seemed to lose their way a little bit. They faltered during Hollywood Week, seemingly overawed by the occasion in their duet and solo rounds. Margie was subsequently cut at the end of Hollywood Week and a distraught Jonny could be seen pensively mulling his fate, having made it to the Top 40 round without his adoring Margie.
In Hawaii, a glum and defeated Jonny admitted that he didn't know whether he was ready to be a big star yet, considering most of his focus had been more about doing well with Margie than contemplating his own success story. Now that Margie was out of contention, it was up to Jonny to prove that he could set aside his intense feelings and distracting self-doubts and prove that he had it in his locker to be a memorable 'American Idol' finalist.
Although the eliminated Margie was, to her credit, entirely supportive and completely believed in his abilities, it didn't seem like Jonny had the same hunger for success as Margie did on his behalf. The show's fulltime mentor, Bobby Bones, gave him a great piece of advice that hit home - even if he felt like he wasn't ready, a supportive Bones told Jonny, "Here's the thing - you're never ready." He had to seize the opportunity that was given to him, whether he had lingering doubts or not. Jonny took that encouragement to heart and decided to show the viewers that he was made of stronger, fighting stuff.
Choosing to sing 'You Found Me' by The Fray on the piano in Hawaii, Jonny's mellow, earnest rendition of the heartfelt song impressed the judges, and of course, thrilled Margie Mays. Katy Perry noted that she now saw why Margie was so obsessed with Jonny, he certainly had plenty of vocal talent, brooding charisma and undoubted star quality. Deciding that Jonny had proved his mettle, the judges informed him that he was now in the Top 20. But they cautioned him to not let small doubts get in the way of big success. Too much ego would prove to be his undoing, but not enough self-belief would ensure that he never succeeded.
Jonny realized they were looking out for him and promised to work on ridding himself of his demons. His fans were certainly rooting for him to succeed. One of them was former American Idol winner, Maddie Poppe, who said, "Sorry, but I need to say it... not a dig on anybody else, but Jonny West is the best male singer AND (more importantly) ARTIST this year, and he’s top 3. Mark my words." Other supporters echoed her sentiments, with one admirer going, "Ok Jonny West is out here giving me chills..." while another fan was saying "Jonny West is talented enough to be the next American Idol... if this timidness isn't an act, it's all about confidence and growth with him. He's one of my top 5, easily."
We certainly hope Jonny realizes he's one of the more talented Idol contestants currently out there and starts to believe in himself the way Margie believes in him. To catch more episodes of 'American Idol', tune in to the ABC network on Sunday and Monday nights at 8 pm ET.