Francisco Martin (age 19) a pre-law student from California performed “Falling” by English singer and songwriter Harry Styles during the Top 40 Hawaii Showcase round on American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
“Falling” was released in February 2020 as the fourth single from Harry Styles’ second studio album. It peaked at number 62 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Francisco Martin showed a marked improvement in his confidence during his Top 40 performance and the American Idol judges were amazed by his transformation. Luke Bryan reacted by jumping up and down on his chair after Francisco’s rendition.
In the final judgment, Katy Perry said it’s a good thing she can’t recognize Francisco anymore after his performance and joked if it was Bruno Mars on stage. Lionel Richie noted the screaming girls and said Francisco took it all in. Luke Bryan, who has been rooting for Francisco all along, said that Francisco checks every box and that he’s a wonderful talent. Luke announced the judges’ decision that Francisco will go through the next level and that he’s now part of the American Idol Top 20.
American Idol: Season 18
Episode: “Hawaii Showcase and Final Judgment, Part 1” (Top 40 Performances)
Performance: “Falling” by Harry Styles
Audition: Francisco Martin audition
Result: Advanced to Top 20
In a quick interview after his performance, Francisco said he was very emotional and was just channeling everything he’s been through and all people he had lost. Before facing the judges for his final judgment, Francisco said he was definitely feeling anxious and hoped that his performance was enough to get into the Top 20.
Katy Perry commented, “I don’t really recognize who you are anymore, especially what you did last night. And that’s a good thing.”
Lionel Richie chimed in, “And did you see, when the girls screamed? Did you see what he turned into? I don’t even think he sang. For a moment he just kind of sat there and took it all in.”
Katy Perry wondered, “I was like, is that Bruno Mars? I like it.”
Luke Bryan, who told Katy earlier that Francisco is his man, commented, “Man, what I’m proud about is you’re figuring out how to be a real artist, somebody that you naturally root for. You check every box. I have a feeling that great things are just gonna happen to you in this experience. You’re just a wonderful talent, man, and you are definitely going through to the next level. You’re in the top 20. Relish it, and stay who you are. Stay exactly who you are.”
With the good news, Francisco said that the anxious, nervous Francisco is gone. “I like this new Francisco. So, yeah, let’s keep rollin’.”
American Idol Season 18 premiered at 8PM, February 16, 2020 on ABC television and will air Sundays at 8/7c until the live shows. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, filming of American Idol is temporarily suspended and the production will assess things on a weekly basis.
Ryan Seacrest continues his role as the show’s host and Bobby Bones returns as the in-house mentor. Despite budget cuts, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie come back as judges for their third season of the series.
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