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American Idol

'American Idol': Watch Emmy Russell bring Katy Perry to tears with touching Loretta Lynn cover

“American Idol” may be known for hosting the battle to become music’s next superstar, but even the judges like to get in on the action.

As the big Top 6 reveal loomed, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie faced off Monday night in the Judge’s Song Contest, which saw them anonymously select songs for the Top 8 contestants to perform. By the end of the show, the judge with the most songs selected was crowned the winner.

Perry – who entered the contest as reigning champion – took home another victory when singers Kaibrienne, McKenna Faith Breinholt, Jack Blocker and Emmy Russell chose her musical selections, which ranged from country icon Willie Nelson to pop princess Olivia Rodrigo.

But it was Russell’s emotional rendition of "Coal Miner’s Daughter" by Loretta Lynn that proved to be the biggest prize of the night for Perry. The “Wide Awake” songstress was brought to tears by the cathartic, piano-driven performance, which saw Russell pay tribute to her grandmother Lynn.

“I chose this song not because Loretta Lynn is your grandma,” Perry said. “I chose this song because you are Emmy Russell, and you can do anything now as Emmy Russell.”

Here’s what else went down on Monday’s episode, including which contestant nabbed the coveted Judge’s Save.

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Who won the Judge's Save on ‘American Idol’?

As the winner of the Judge’s Song Contest, Perry had the power to save one of the bottom two singers from elimination.

Lucky for Breinholt, the 25-year-old esthetician landed in Perry’s good graces after delivering a tender cover of “Everywhere I Go” by Lissie.

“I chose that song because it’s moved me a lot. I’ve spent many nights crying listening to that song and just surrendering,” Perry said. “It’s just so powerful, and that’s what your voice does. It moves people emotionally. It opens up hearts so that they can feel and heal.”

More 'Idol':Judges dole out criticism (and hugs), 2 contestants are voted off

Who was eliminated from 'American Idol'?

Despite melting hearts with her soulful performance of “Traitor” by Rodrigo, Kaibrienne fell short of earning a spot in the Top 6 (now Top 7 with the addition of Judge's Save pick Breinholt).

Who's in the 'American Idol' 2024 Top 7?

  • Will Moseley
  • Jack Blocker
  • Abi Carter
  • Julia Gagnon
  • Triston Harper
  • Emmy Russell
  • McKenna Faith Breinholt
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