Piano teacher Jonny West (age 23) from Murietta, California sang “You Found Me” by American rock band The Fray during the Top 40 Hawaii Showcase round on American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
“You Found Me” was released in November 2008 as the lead single from The Fray’s eponymous second studio album. The song topped Billboard’s US Adult Top 40 and peaked at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was ranked No. 13 on the Hot 100 Songs of 2009 list and No. 36 on Billboard’s Best Adult Pop Songs of the Decade list.
For the first time in the competition, Jonny is without his girlfriend Margie Mays by his side. Margie made it to the Top 40 in Season 17, but this time she did not make it through. Jonny said it feels intense because it’s where Margie got cut last year. He said it was fun to do it with Margie at first and being able to support her. “But now it’s like, let me really fight for it,” he said.
The American Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan were so impressed with Jonny’s Top 40 performance and gave him a standing ovation. In the audience, Margie was jumping joyfully to his boyfriend’s rendition.
The morning after his performance, the judges advised Jonny to let go of his self-doubt. Lionel explained to him that artists are egotistical maniacs with inferiority complex and that Jonny will have to learn how to balance these throughout his life. In the end, the judges told Jonny that he’s part of the Top 20 of American Idol 2020.
American Idol: Season 18
Episode: “Hawaii Showcase and Final Judgment, Part 1” (Top 40 Performances)
Performance: “You Found Me” by The Fray
Audition: Jonny West audition
Result: Advanced to Top 20
Before he faced the judges for the final judgment, Jonny said he wants to prove his family right because they pushed him and saw something in him. He also wants to prove Margie right because “She believes in me so much,” he said.
Katy Perry said, “I think you’re a real serious artist. That can also mean that you probably seriously have some real intense thoughts. It seems like you’re playing a little bit of a self-sabotage game.”
Lionel Richie commented, “Can I give you a definition of an artist? We’re egotistical maniacs with inferiority complex. There are days when, ‘I want it, I want it!’ And there are days when I go, ‘I can’t make it, I can’t make it.’ It’s gonna haunt you throughout your life. Too much ego will crush you into the wall. Not enough ego will hold you back. So you gonna constantly have this balance going for the rest of your life.”
Katy Perry said, “You made it into the Top 40 and I think that’s something to be really celebrated. It’s a big accomplishment. But you’re no longer in the Top 40. You’re in the Top 20.”
Luke Bryan commented, “You’re good.”
In the interview, Jonny said, “It’s a cool sense of validation ’cause I look up to all three of them and they inspire me for sure. It feels really good, and I’m definitely ready to bring it the next round and I think my family will be proud.” He added, “I’ve never hit like a game winner, or got straight A’s and I’ve never felt what that feels like…This feels really good.” Jonny got a big hug and a kiss from Margie when he shared the good news with her.
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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