Christian Guardino received high praise for his latest showstopping performance on American Idol’s Monday night episode to determine the Top 10. As a change of pace, contestants were offered three songs to choose from that judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan selected for them. Whoever correctly guessed which judge selected the singers’ performance picks granted the judges points and the ability to win a competition of their own.
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Guardino chose between three excellent choices: “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder, “Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars, and “I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith. While all were great options for the soulful singer, his initial choice didn’t quite work out.
He originally picked the Stevie Wonder song, identifying with the R&B legend’s success despite his visual disability. When he met with the music directors, however, the song wasn’t the right fit. He transitioned to Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One” and fell in love.
“I kind of fell in love with it,” Guardino said, quickly adding: “Stevie, I love you, bro. Still love you, man.”
Guardino’s pick solidified his incredible ability in the competition. He belted the 2014 hit, venturing out from behind the mic stand to show the judges he could command the stage regardless.
Katy Perry beamed, knowing her pick warranted one of Guardino’s best performances.
“I love personally singing that song,” Perry said. “I think that song has soul, it’s got gospel in it. You can just rev up into it, and that’s just what your voice does. You can command in the beginning and then just go ham in the end, which you did!”
Luke Bryan agreed and added: “Anything that you don’t do perfectly right is because you’re nervous. Everything you do right is just because you’re so amazing, man.”
He must’ve done something right, however, as his performance granted him a spot in the Top 10. Guardino will be joining the others at Disneyland Resort for next week’s episode.
Watch Christian Guardino’s performance of Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One” below.
Photo by Eric McCandless / ABC