American Idol 2023 Episode 16 Recap: The Top 7 Are Chosen

The American Idol 2023 Top 10 and judges
Photo Credit: (ABC/Eric McCandless)

Tonight, we’ll watch as American Idol goes from the final ten contestants to the final seven American Idol 2023 contestants. We’re only a few weeks away from the American Idol 21 finale so things are speeding along to a grand conclusion. The competition continues to get more intense and everyone continues to perform at their best. During last night’s episode, we saw the unfortunate elimination of Lucy Love and Nutsa. Now, we’ll have to say goodbye to three more contestants. It’ll be nearly impossible to decide and predict who will go home.

They’re all that good.

America may have the power to pick the Top 7 live, but the judges have the power to help them get to those important spots. The judges will help pick the contestants’ songs for this live episode. I’m excited to see what Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan, and Katy Perry end up suggesting for the contestants. Hopefully, we get to see more great performances tonight. So far, it’s really been one of the best seasons of American Idol.

Let’s get into the American Idol Top 7 recap! Get your voting fingers ready because you have to vote for your favorites live in real-time.

The Performances

Song choices are so critical to the success of an American Idol contestant. Therefore, the judges have a lot of pressure on them tonight as well.

Zachariah Smith performs first tonight. He talks about Katy blew his mind by telling him that he’s Top 10 material. He gets to pick from three songs and he picks “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi. You can vote for Zachariah by texting 11 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app. Lionel picked the song for him. Lionel said that it was really nasty and a fantastic job. Katy said that the crowd loved him. He was true to himself. Haven Madison goes next. She picks “Only Exception” by Paramore. You can vote for Haven by texting 3 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app. You picks Katy as the person who picked her song and she was correct. She said she picked it to let her voice be strong and vulnerable. Luke said he loves how she tells her story. Lionel said that she has the “it” factor.

Chayce Beckham returns to American Idol to sing his original song “Till the Day I Die.” We Ani picks “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston. You can vote for We Ani by texting 8 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app. She thinks it was Lionel but it was Luke. He called her performance beautiful. Lionel said she owned the song Katy said she showed that she exceed their expectations.  Oliver Steele picks “High and Dry” by Radiohead. You can vote for Oliver by texting 5 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app. He picks all three choices right and knows that Katy picked his song. She said that he made the song his own and it was “chef’s kiss.” Luke and Katy agreed that his guitar playing and singing were excellent. Luke said that his vibes were great and Lionel agreed.

It’s announced that Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morissette will be guess-judging with Luke. They will also be mentors. Ed will also be performing his songs and the finalists will be teaming singing some of his songs.

Warren Peay sings “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band. He guesses Luke picked the song, but Lionel picked it in actuality. Lionel said he owned the moment. He became a storyteller. Katy hopes that he shows all his cards with his performances. Luke said it’s a great song choice. You can vote for Warren by texting 2 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app.

Iam Tongi picks “More Than Words” by Extreme first but the voice coaches encourage him to sing “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. He eventually settles on “What a Wonderful World.” You can vote for Iam by texting 12 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app. Luke picked Iam’s song. Luke said he knocked it out of the park. He knows that he’s critical of himself, but he did great. Lionel said he had them on the first note and he’s very special. Katy requests that he still sing “More Than Worlds” for her. She said they took them to another place, and the world is more wonderful with him in it.

Marybeth Byrd sings “Wasted On You” by Morgan Wallen. You can vote for Marybeth by texting 7 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app.  She guessed Luke but Lionel picked her song. He hoped she would get out of her comfort zone and fight. He wanted her to leave the emotions on the stage. Katy said that tonight she is the butterfly. Luke said this was her standout moment. Tyson Venegas sings “Somebody You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi. You can vote for Tyson by texting 1 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app. Tyson guessed Katy and he was right. She picked his song. She said he has evolved on the stage. She said he is the whole package. Luke said the contestants are feeding off each other. He said “way to fight,” and he did great. Lionel said he owned his style and performance.

Megan Danielle sings “Go Rest High on the Mountain” by Vince Gill. You can vote for Megan by texting 10 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app. She guesses Lionel, but Luke is the one to pick her song. He said he just felt the song was perfect for her. Lionel said she has the ability to touch people. He called her a powerful storyteller. Katy called it heaven-sent. The final person to perform is Colin Stough. He chooses “It’s Been Awhile” by Staind. You can vote for Colin by texting 6 to 21523 or vote at or the American Idol app. Katy did pick his song. She said she was happy that he left his box.

Katy wins this year’s judges’ song contest.

The Elimination

It’s going to be sad to see anyone go home tonight. But, let’s see who makes it to next week to compete to make it into the Top 5.

Megan has made the Top 7.

Haven has made the Top 7.

Warren has made the Top 7.

We Ani has made the Top 7.

Colin has made the Top 7.

Iam had made the Top 7.

Zachariah has made the Top 7.

Marybeth, Tyson, and Oliver are eliminated. However, Katy gets to save one from elimination. She consults Lionel and Luke for advice. She keeps Oliver, turning into the Top 8.

This is the final Monday episode of the season, so join us next Sunday when the final 7 become the final five. Make sure to add us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on all things American Idol.