'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 7: Makayla Phillips and Cyniah Elise pull off a powerhouse duet performance

'American Idol' Season 18 Episode 7: Makayla Phillips and Cyniah Elise pull off a powerhouse duet performance
Makayla Phillips and Cyniah Elise (ABC)

In a singing performance that was undoubtedly made in heaven, we got to witness two vocal powerhouses, Makayla Phillips and Cyniah Elise, strut their stuff in tonight's episode of 'American Idol'. As two of the competition's biggest contenders for the ultimate singing prize, both of them had definitely been sussing each other out, probably with each one wondering if they had what it takes to beat the other girl if it ever came to a showdown. However, that wasn't necessary this week.

When Sunday night's episode started, it began with a complete shocker of a reveal. In an unprecedented first for the show, the judges were doing away with the group performances and were instead making this a Hollywood Duets week.  

Makayla and Cyniah await the judges' ruling (ABC)

What that meant for the contestants was that they had to be strategic about picking their partner. It had to be someone who would allow both your voices to shine, but at the same time, you couldn't choose a teammate who was going to overpower your voice. You also had to back each other up — a failure from one teammate meant that both your necks could be on the line. And besides that, you had to gel and harmonize together, something that takes active listening skills. So a lot was riding on the line when Makayla and Cyniah decided to team up to sing Celine Dion's 'The Prayer'. But the duo obviously had faith in their abilities and knew that they could easily belt the celebrated diva's song together at full clip.

In hindsight, it was a perfect pairing; anyone else might have proved too inadequate a partner for this sublimely talented duo. Both these young women are insanely gifted singers with ridiculous power and versatility in their voices, so they needed to give each other room to let their partner shine when needed.


As expected, the pair blew away the spellbound audience with their soaring rendition of the song, despite Makayla almost having to learn the song from scratch. With some help from Cyniah's mother, the awesome twosome absolutely nailed their performance, showcasing their wide range, raw power, and dulcet harmonies. All three of the judges unanimously loved it, and they were deemed certified shoo-ins for the next Hollywood round.

The fans definitely agreed with the judges on this ruling. "These ladies are going to be in the top 5. They both deserve record deals," exclaimed one enthusiastic viewer.

Another admirer agreed, saying "I love the fact that they weren’t going against each other, instead they realized how important it is to let themselves each have their moment. Seeing teamwork happen is so beautiful! Incredible job!"

We can't wait to see what Makayla and Cyniah can come up with next. 'American Idol' airs on Sunday and Monday nights at 8 pm ET on ABC.

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