Mississippi’s Colin Stough, Zachariah Smith continue American Idol dream. Watch performances that launched them into Top 8.

Published 6:51 am Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Two Mississippi men continue to wow American Idol judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan — and more importantly, the American viewing audience with their performances.

Colin Stough and Zachariah Smith, both form the Amory area, advanced to the Top 8 singers and will compete next Sunday for a spot in the show’s Top 5.

On Monday, Stough and Smith were given the opportunity to choose from the three songs selected the judges. In “Judge’s Song Contest,” each judge selected a song they thought would be a good fit for each performer. Then, it was up to the singers to choose one to sing in front of the live audience, not knowing which judge selected which tune.

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Originally three singers were to be eliminated from the competition Monday, but a friendly contest between the judges to see whose song selections were chosen most ended with the winning judge — Katy Perry — choosing one singer to save from elimination.

Stough had the opportunity to choose between Cody Johnson’s “‘Till You Can’t,” Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over” and “It’s Been Awhile” by Staind. Stough decided to go with “It’s Been Awhile”  which was a song that was chosen by Perry.

Smith chose to sing Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive,” a song that was chosen by Lionel Richie.

In the second night of live voting, the two Mississippi singers advanced. Here are the results from Monday’s episode:

Top 7 American Idol 2023 contestants:

  • Colin Stough, 18, from Mississippi
  • Haven Madison, 17, from Tennessee
  • Iam Tongi, 18, from Hawaii
  • Megan Danielle, 20, from Georgia
  • Oliver Steele, 25, from Tennessee
  • Warren Peay, 24, from South Carolina
  • Wé Ani, 23, from New York
  • Zachariah Smith, 19, from Mississippi

Contestants Marybeth Byrd, from Arkansas, and Tyson Venegas, from Canada, were sent home.

Next week there will only be one episode — on Sunday night — when guest judges Alanis Morissette and Ed Sheera will take Perry and Richie’s place at the judges’ desk. Perry and Richie will be busy at King Charles III’s coronation ceremony