Sophia Wackerman (age 20), a UCLA jazz major from Long Beach, California, performed “Levels” by American singer Nick Jonas during the Top 40 Hawaii Showcase round on American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
“Levels” was released on August 21, 2015 and is the first and only single from Nick Jonas X2, the reissue of Nick Jonas. It was listed by SPIN Magazine as the 11th best song of 2015. The dance remixes of “Levels” reached number one on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart in its December 12, 2015 issue.
Sophia owned the stage during her Top 40 performance, something which the judges noted and praised. Katy Perry said that Sophia’s performance and stage presence showed another level of her and it was cool to see that come out. Katy said she fought for Sophia since Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie did not agree with her.
Sophia was looking a bit disappointed already and was shocked when Katy revealed that she was picked as one of American Idol Top 20.
American Idol: Season 18
Episode: “Hawaii Showcase and Final Judgment, Part 2” (Top 40 Performances)
Performance: “Levels” by Nick Jonas
Audition: Sophia Wackerman audition
Result: Advanced to Top 20
Before she faced the judges for the final judgment, Sophia said getting a “yes” from the judges would mean the absolute world. “It would be really cool to bring my family that news that I’m moving forward,” she said.
Katy Perry said, “I think that what you gave last night was another level of view that we haven’t seen. To see you move your head and dial in your stage presence a little bit more, it was really cool to see that come out and for you to trust that.” Katy said that Lionel and Luke didn’t necessarily agree. “I fought for you,” Katy said.
Lionel Richie reacted by saying, “I just love how she throws us under the bus. It’s just so amazing.”
Luke Bryan commented, “We going to get her later.”
Katy Perry continued, “I think that it was exciting. And the closer you get to touching stardom, you really want to figure the whole thing out. And you are getting closer because you are going to the Top 20.”
Sophia was shocked and thought she was being pranked. But the judges assured her she was not being pranked and proceeded to hug and congratulate 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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