ABC viewers could be forgiven for mistaking Sunday night’s American Idol Hollywood Week episode for the premiere of the network’s new musical Bachelor spinoff, Listen to Your Heart. For the first time in Idol history, the usual Group Round was replaced with a duets challenge, and when real-life couples blurred the lines between the personal and the professional, drama ensued — especially between Margie Mays and Jonny West.
Judge Katy Perry had already warned Margie that competing in the same Idol season with her boyfriend of three years, Jonny might strain their relationship. And as the two teamed up this week for the perhaps all-too-prophetically titled “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” it seemed Katy was right. Margie, a returning contestant, was a go-with-the-flow Hollywood Week veteran, having sailed through to the top 40 last year, but Jonny was a newbie. And as Jonny became increasingly overwhelmed by the Hollywood Week process, Margie worried that his “stressed energy” was messing with her. “This is harder than being with a stranger,” she moaned.
Unfortunately Margie seemed preoccupied with soothing Jonny’s nerves rather than focusing on her own success, and as a result, everything about their performance felt edgy and tense. The chemistry one would expect from these usually giddy lovebirds was completely absent. What a disappointment for both singers — especially since Margie might have squandered her rare second chance. While they both “barely passed” this round, based on their overall track record, Katy gave them some sage love advice gleamed from her own successful relationship with fiancé Orlando Bloom: “One thing I’ve noticed that is very helpful is giving each other a little space. In this competition, it’s great to have understanding and partnership and to be teammates and support each other, but this time is about fulfilling your personal dreams. Just know your priorities right now, because I think both of you kind of suffered.”
As for Season 18’s other real-life cute couple, Kat Luna and Alex "Space Cowboy" Garrido, only one of them will be fulfilling a personal Idol dream this year. Though the two were all goopy for each other during their first audition — when this they sang “Shallow” and gazed googly-eyed at each other like Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper on Oscars night — this week when they sang, “You Say,” their dynamic was off. Only Kat made it through, but Alex seemed genuinely happy for her; if anything, Kat was crestfallen by the news. Hopefully she can make through the rest of the season with her cowboy’s support.
But we may have a new showmance this season, between Aliana Jester and previously unseen contestant YZthaSinger. These two had just met, yet the attraction between them during their own, much more vibey version of “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” was impossible to ignore. They positively sizzled the screen, and they looked damn good together. “Y’all are like a celebrity couple coming out here!” said Luke Bryan. “Oh Lord, you’re going to get me in trouble,” giggled a blushing Aliana. Yes, unfortunately for YZthaSinger, Aliana already has a serious boyfriend. (“If she were single, I would definitely pursue that,” he admitted.) But they’re both staying in Hollywood for now, so who knows what might happen? I have a feeling Idol producers are going to be shipping these two, hard.