American Idol Season 20 – Top 20 Contestants (2022)

The American Idol judges have been saying that Season 20 is the most exciting group of hopefuls yet.  Here are the TOP 20 contestants on American Idol for 2022, listed alphabetically.


Allegra Miles

From the Allegra Miles website:

Allegra Miles is a singer/songwriter based in West Palm Beach, FL.

Born in San Diego, she then spent 5 years living on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands before moving to Florida in 2014.

Allegra was a finalist on season 20 of ‘American Idol,’ finishing in the Top 14 at age 19.  She was also a semi-finalist on ‘The Voice’, Season 18, finishing in the top 9 at age 17.

Allegra has a distinct, recognizable sound that creates an atmosphere and makes you feel something.

Her original music draws inspiration from soul, alternative, R&B, and singer-songwriter styles, and she reimagines covers in a unique way that exemplifies the feel and message of every song.

She regularly releases original music and performs in the West Palm Beach music scene and beyond.”

American Idol Quote

“Ok, Allegra Miles, she’s sweet, she can sing, she’s a singer songwriter. No. She’s a freaking pro, and she’s here to play” – Katie Perry on Allegra Miles after she sang “Free Fallin” by Tom Petty

Allegra Miles Spotify:

ava maybee cardoso smith

Ava Maybee

From the Ava Maybee website:

“Ava Maybee Cardoso-Smith is a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles.

Ava has been singing and performing since the age of 5.  she is currently a junior at NYU.

Recently, Ava was selected to participate in the prestigious NYU/Tisch/Clive Davis School of Music High School Program (1/30 students selected nationwide).

She was also selected for Interlochen’s Songwriter and Rock Program as well as Grammy Camp’s Vocal Performance Camp.

She has performed at numerous notable events around Los Angeles including singing the National Anthem at Lakers and Dodgers games, performing at charity events, debuting her first solo showcase at The Nice Guy, and performing on stage in “Sex Degrees of Separation” at Brentwood High School.

In addition to singing and songwriting, Ava is a Youth Ambassador for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, is a co-founder of the UNICEF Young Ambassadors, and serves on the teen board of Heartbeats of VIP; a teen group promoting anti-violence in schools.

Ava is inspired by classic soul, rock, and motown music, and her favorite artists include Amy Winehouse, Sam Cooke, Leon Bridges, Adele, Janis Joplin, and Carole King.”

American Idol Quote

“More, more, more, more, more!” – Lionel Richie on Ava Maybee after she sang “Anyone” by Demi Lovato

Ava Maybee Spotify:


Cadence Baker

From Mass Live:

“This “American Idol” contestant has musical talent in her blood.

Cadence Baker, 18, is the granddaughter of country music singer-songwriter, Gary Baker, who wrote co-wrote the hit song, “I swear.”

She is also the daughter of professional guitar player, Shane Baker.

Growing up, Baker has always been surrounded by music.

Whether it was paying a visit to her grandfather’s recording studio, or playing piano, she has always had a gift of music that she inherited from her family.”

American Idol Quote

“I thought it was a fantastic arrangement, because it got to show off, like, incredible range at the beginning, and then so much fun, and just like, your dress, and your shoes.” – Katy Perry on Cadence Baker after singing “Something’s Got a Hold On Me” by Etta James

Cadence Baker Spotify:


Cameron Whitcomb


“Cameron Whitcomb is an 18-year-old aspiring singer from Canada.

He frequently shares clips of himself singing on his Instagram page. He also appears to be a huge fan of Harley Davidson bikes.

His Instagram bio reads, “Just a young man riding Harley’s and singing country.”

Aside from his passion for singing and riding bikes, Cameron is an avid drummer as well.

He flaunted his drumming skills on an Instagram post. He also took up playing the guitar last year and asked his followers for song suggestions to hone his skills on the strings.

Announcing he was auditioning for ‘American Idol’, Cameron shared, “Hey guys, I’ve auditioned for season 20 of American idol. Find out what Katy Luke and Lionel had to say February 27th on ABC!”

He also named his fellow contestant Ava Maybee as his ‘best friend’.”

American Idol Quote

“I said Oh my god, he’s gonna sing the song serious all the way through.  It only lasted one verse.  But, the seriousness was noted.” – Lionel Richie on Cameron Whitcomb singing “Changes” by Black Sabbath

Cameron Whitcomb Instagram:

christian guardino

Christian Guardino

From SK Pop:

“American Idol contestant Christian Guardino is a crooner from Long Island, New York.

The 20-year-old singer has already been making his presence known in the industry ever since he first appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

Guardino was 16 when he first auditioned for the talent hunt show.

He also received the rare “Golden Buzzer” from Howie Mandel after he performed his rendition of Jackson 5’s Who’s Loving You.

While entering straight into the semi-finals, he showcased his talent by singing Ed Sheeran’s Make it Rain and Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On before finally going back home.

As mentioned earlier, the American Idol contestant was born with a degenerative disease called Leber congenital amaurosis that affects the retina.

He was announced legally blind at six months old, and his vision further declined until he was 12.”

American Idol Quote

“The thing about you is you’re super endearing.  The people are gonna fall in love with you the person, and then they’re gonna hear your voice.” – Luke Bryan after hearing Christian Guardino sing Silk Sonic’s “Leave The Door Open”

Christian Guardino Spotify:

dan marshall

Dan Marshall

From SK POP:

Born as Daniel Marshall Griffith, the graduate of Virginia Tech is a country music singer and songwriter.

Hailing from southeastern VA, Marshall was born into a Marine Corps family.  His father is a retired Marine Corps, while one of his two older brothers are 1st lieutenants.

Like his family, he too is a proud countryman and has deep respect for all those families who serve the nation.

He fell in love with music when he was 12-years-old and learned the basics of the piano. At the age of 18, he learned the guitar and fell for country music of the late 90s, early 2000s and classic rock. Since then, he has been following his passion.

Musicians such as Willie Nelson, Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean are Marshall’s influences.

The singer also loves sports and has played quarterback and linebacker at his high school, Nansemond Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, and has led his team to victory in a state championship in his senior year.

Even during college, he joined the Virginia Tech football team and played in over 30 collegiate games.  For his performance, Marshall received the Paul Frederick Cobb Award at the end of the 2019 season for being the player with the most spirit.

Dan also has a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness and agricultural business operation.”

American Idol Quote

“The truth of the matter is, you could just take this act right here, and go straight on the road immediately.” – Lionel Richie after hearing Dan Marshall sing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places”

Dan Marshall Instagram:


Elli Rowe

From FreshersLIVE:

“The artist grew up in Minnesota and was first exposed to music when she accompanied her mother and father to their banjo band’s performances.

She has a lovely voice and a lovely appearance. Rowe has contributed to the music industry as a member of the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association (MBOTMA), where she was a two-time champion in the organization’s talent competition.

When Elli was profiled on Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Stars, she was just 14 years old at that time. The musician was quite gifted, and she was able to play the piano, guitar, and fiddle, as well as the mandolin and banjo.

Elli won a standing ovation and a golden ticket at her American Idol audition when she performed Allen Stone’s “Give You Blue.” She enjoys traveling and has visited a number of European destinations, including Copenhagen, Paris, and London.”

American Idol Quote

“You are small but mighty.  You know how to weave in a different way, and you keep on picking incredible songs that really compliment your voice.” – Katie Perry on Ellie Row after hearing her sing “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane

Ellie Rowe Spotify:

emyrson flora

Emyrson Flora

From SK POP:

“16-year-old Emyrson Flora from Ohio has been a singer since her childhood. She fell in love with music when she was around 10 years of age. Since then, music has been her best friend.

Before crooning in front of the judges, Flora, a junior in high school, showcased her talent on social media platforms by posting her singing videos.

The singer is also a skilled piano and guitar player. Her TikTok channel has over 10,000 followers. The singer also tries her hand at writing songs from time to time.

With her audition, the singer hopes to impress the judges with her voice and take her singing passion to new heights.”

American Idol Quote

“You’re just a pro, at such a young, young age.” – Luke Bryan after hearing Emyrson Flora sing “Lovely” by Billie Eilish featuring Khalid

Emyrson Flora Instagram:

fritz hager

Fritz Hager


“Fritz is a 21-year-old security guard from Tyler, Texas. Fritz has explained that his job isn’t ‘glamorous’ as he just sits in a dark room and monitors the security cameras footage.

But the youngster is pretty clear about not wanting to spend the rest of his life stuck in the closed dark room watching security camera footage, he dreams of being out there and performing his music to the crowds.

He was always interested in music, he reveals that his parents have videos of him from when he was 2 or 3 years old singing songs.

In an interview with Tyler Morning Telegraph, Frtiz recounted feeling nervous ahead of auditioning for the show. “Just getting the opportunity is a dream come true really because I’ve been a fan of the show for so long.

I’m going into it super nervous because I know it’s my one shot, so I really want to make the most of it.” He recently released two singles.”

American Idol Quote

“That falsetto moment was just…it could have been recorded for an album, and just sent out there to the world.  It was just really perfectly done.” – Luke Bryan after hearing Fritz Hager sing “When The Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish

Fritz Hager Spotify:


Hunter Girl

From Hollywood Life:

“Hunter Girl’s real name is Hunter Wolkonowski. She is from Winchester, Tennessee. Hunter Girl spends most of her time working on her music in Nashville.

The singer told the judges that she works with veterans in music therapy when she’s not working on her own music. She works with many veteran organizations like Freedom Sings USA, Operation Song, and more.

Hunter Girl earned her college degree from Middle Tennesse State University’s music business school.

While she was in college, Hunter Girl won several songwriting contests, according to her official website.

She has opened at music events for performers like Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, and Sara Evans.

HunterGirl released her first single in 2018, “We’re Not In Kansas Anymore.” She dropped an EP in 2022 titled One Day that features 5 original songs.”

American Idol Quote

“You just have that magic sound, and write the songs to back it up. Sky is the limit!” – Luke Bryan on Hunter Girl after hearing her sing her original song, “Heartbreak Down”

Hunter Girl Spotify:

jacob moran

Jacob Moran

From State News:

Whether it was competing in talent shows or singing in church with his family, music has always been a large part of life for Dansville native Jacob Moran.

It wasn’t until Moran started posting videos of himself singing on social media that he realized music could be more than something to be enjoyed in his free time. His posts gained enough attention for an ‘American Idol’ producer to reach out in 2019 and suggest that he audition.

“I think that’s kind of when I was like, ‘Maybe I could do something with this,’ ” Moran said. “If ‘American Idol’ is reaching out to me, and I don’t have to go to an open call audition, that’s pretty good.”

Moran ended up making it to the “Hollywood Week” round in 2019 before he was eliminated. Now, he’s competing on the show for a second time, and said he’s made changes that have him more prepared than before.

“Ever since then, I’ve worked on myself and worked on my physical health, my emotional health,” Moran said. “I’ve lost 60 pounds from the first audition to this audition, and it’s just been a process of learning and growing. Now I’m back, and I feel like this is more realistic and achievable than ever.”

Moran is ready to pursue a music career at all costs, planning to quit his job as a nurse in East Lansing and move to L.A. He said it has been difficult to decide to leave his coworkers and patients, but it feels necessary.”

American Idol Quote

“It’s really high level singing you’re doing.  Take that high level singing and make it just come straight from your heart, and people are going to start getting onboard with what you’re selling.” – Luke Bryan after hearing Jacob Moran sing “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes

Jacob Moran Instagram:


Jay Copeland

From The U.S. Sun:

“Jay Copeland is a 23-year-old musician from Salisbury, Maryland.

He graduated from college two years ago, majoring in music.

During his audition, he revealed he was on a fellowship to go to graduate school for acting but dropped out after he was told he had to choose between acting and music.

He said: “I don’t know if I made the right decision or the wrong decision, but I do know that I made the best decision for myself.”

American Idol Quote

“You gave us all the sauce that we wanted, and I don’t have enough time to talk about the fit.” – Katy Perry commenting on Jay Copeland after he performed “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse

Jay Copeland Instagram:

katyrah love

Katyrah Love

From E.T. Canada:

“Love’s real name is Katyrah Davenport. The skilled percussionist and poet from Baltimore, Maryland loves to sing especially opera music, jazz and gospel. She has more than 20,000 followers on TikTok and has also received more than 200,000 likes on the video platform.

Katyrah Love easily impressed “American Idol” judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry when she brought along her own instrument to her season 20 audition.

The 23-year-old Case Manager for homeless youth sat on a cajón and played the unorthodox box-shaped Peruvian percussion instrument, while covering her rendition of “River” by Bishop Briggs.

While Richie complimented the “great” presentation of Love’s performance, she also received some helpful suggestions.

“The box is cute and all, but you don’t need the box,” said Bryan.”

American Idol Quote

“You can sing anything. You can sing the ABC’s and make it sound like the best song ever.” – Katy Perry after hearing Katyrah Love sing “Blame It On The Boogie” by Michael Jackson

Katyrah Love Instagram:

lady k

Lady K

From Alabama Life & Culture:

“Talk to Lady K on the phone, and she sounds exactly the way you’d expect.

Warm. Humble. Extremely grounded. Ready to change her life and make her mark in the world.

Alabama native Kezia Istonia — known to “American Idol” fans as Lady K –could be on the verge of something big, thanks to the exposure she’s receiving on television.

“I’m just an artist, trying to be vulnerable,” Lady K says in a phone interview with “I’m the person who uses my platform to tell the truth.”

Lady K, originally from Montgomery, is a Tuskegee resident now, and that gives her a special link to one of the “Idol” judges. Richie was born and raised in Tuskegee, and the veteran star has an enduring affection for his hometown.

Tuskegee, after all, is where Richie started his music career as a member of the Commodores. As a solo artist, Richie named a duets album after the city in Macon County, to commemorate the place where he wrote many of his signature songs.

“I am a kid from Tuskegee,” Richie said in a 2012 interview with “People know me there.”

If all goes well for Lady K — via her talent, a bit of luck and Richie’s support — Tuskegee will have another music luminary to tout.”

American Idol Quote

“You are just building, building, building, and you are just beautiful inside and out, and now you just get to play and shine like the goddess that you always have been.” – Katy Perry to Lady K after hearing her sing “Love On The Brain” by Rihanna

Lady K Spotify:


Leah Marlene

From the Leah Marlene website:

“Leah Marlene is a twenty-year-old songwriter, artist and producer from Normal, Illinois. She was born in Toronto, Canada and moved to Illinois at a young age with her family. Leah grew up in a house full of music and guitars as her father, Derry Grehan, is a songwriter and lead guitarist with the Canadian band, Honeymoon Suite. He taught her how to play guitar and piano, and passed along his passion for songwriting. She began singing and writing her own songs at a very young age and never looked back!

Since the age of 10, Leah has been performing live all over Illinois, Nashville and Canada. For most of her high school years, Leah made regular trips from Illinois to Nashville for songwriting, recording and performing. After spending two years in Nashville at Belmont University studying songwriting, she has returned back to the midwest to work on her next album!

Leah has a unique, engaging voice and a songwriting style that combines elements of pop, soul, funk, jazz, rock, Americana and more. She has been releasing original music since she was 13 years old and most recently released “Noise,” the first and only single off her upcoming album. The full album is set to release on March 4th, 2022! She also produces songs with and for many other artists outside of herself.

Leah is a lover of people and her greatest hope is that her music may meet you exactly where you’re at and help you feel whatever it is you need to feel in a given moment.”

American Idol Quote

“The only way I can describe that performance is probably that we witnessed a possession. It was spiritual, it’s crazy good.” – Lionel Richie to Lean Marlene after she performed “Heal” by Tom Odell

Leah Marlene Spotify:


Mike Parker

From Hollywood Life:

“Prior to auditioning for American Idol season 20, Mike tried out for The Voice. He made the show on his third try, earning a spot on Jennifer Hudson’s team in season 15. Mike made it past the battle round but was eliminated during the knockout round.

Before devoting himself to music full-time, Mike played football in high school. He played as a wide receiver and defensive back. He didn’t play football in college and soon dedicated himself to making music.

Mike was born in Gainsville, Virginia. He attended Fauquier High School in Warrenton. From a young age, Mike was active in school musicals.

The singer released the single “Still Stingy” in August 2021.”This R&B vibe may take you back if you know, or take you there if you dont! @djchoppalot plays no games when it comes to creating music! This is our first release as a collab and i couldn’t be more excited,” Mike wrote on Instagram.

Mike is active on Instagram under the handle @musicbymikeparker. Ahead of his American Idol debut, Mike has been teasing his audition. “Its been hard keeping this hush-hush. But Id love to share that God has blessed me with the opportunity to compete on a stage I used to have REAL dreams of being on,” he wrote after auditioning in January 2022.”

American Idol Quote

“You have a storyteller’s voice. You have the ability to bring us right to the core, and then explode – calmly.  The crowd gives you the expression. You’re on fire, my friend.” – Lionel Richie to Mike Parker after he sings “Chasing After You” by Ryan Hurd and Maren Morris

Mike Parker Instagram:

nicolina bozzo

Nicolina Bozzo

From Hollywood Life:

“Nicolina hails from Toronto, Canada. Her family was close growing up, but her parents got divorced about 5 years old. Nicolina and her siblings have since moved in with their grandparents.

Nicolina tried out for America’s Got Talent season 16. She didn’t make the live shows, and her audition was not aired during the show’s run. Nicolina revealed that her AGT journey had come to an end in a July 2021 TikTok video, but she did hint that she was auditioning for American Idol!

Nicolina has posted countless covers of songs on her TikTok account. Her 2020 cover of “She Used To Be Mine,” which she eventually performed for her Idol audition, has been viewed over 1 million times. The singer has nearly 260,000 followers on TikTok.

Nicolina released a 3-song EP titled Moving On in 2021. She has also released her covers of “She Used To Be Mine” and “Everything I Wanted” as singles.”

American Idol Quote

“You’re a Ferrari.” – Katy Perry to Nicolina Bozzo after she sings “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks

Nicolina Bozzo Spotify:


Noah Thompson

From Spectrum News 1:

Thompson is a construction worker in his small Eastern Kentucky town. He has a 10-month-old son he works to provide for.

“As a kid, man, all I thought about was just playing music, being famous, you know what I mean? But where I’m from you don’t really get much opportunities,” Thompson said in an American Idol audition interview.

However, his friend and co-worker, Arthur Johnson, didn’t want Thompson to settle for ordinary.

“He’s not born to be working with us man, hanging drywall or anything like that,” Johnson said in an audition tape.

Johnson submitted Thompson for American Idol, “Cause he wouldn’t have signed himself up,” he told the judges.

Thompson added in his audition with Luke Bryan, Katie Perry and Lionel Richie, “He thought I could do it, but I’ve never had confidence in myself.”

“He’s got so much talent,” Johnson told the judges, standing next to Thompson. “Other contestants, they’ve had like vocal training. They do these crazy warmups.”

“This is just straight raw, right here. This ain’t no training. We don’t warm up.”

American Idol Quote

“The fact that you keep challenging yourself to grow, in the moment, is brilliant.” – Katy Perry to Noah Thompson after he sang “Heartbreak Warfare” by John Mayer

Noah Thompson on Instagram:

sage american idol

Sage McNeely

From Celeb Kura:

“Sage McNeely was born in Burbank, California. Her father’s name is Ray McNeely whereas her mother’s name is Vicki Kingsley McNeely. She has a brother named Dylan McNeely as her only sibling.

McNeely is also the winner in the popular voice category of the National Young Arts Week competition of 2020. Moreover, Sage also won a $5,000 scholarship in the year 2019.

She won the scholarship as the grand prize winner in the non-classical voice category of the Music Center’s Spotlight program for young musicians.

However, she has been interested in singing from a very young age. American Idol in turn has provided her with a proper platform to express her talent.

Also, her sun sign is Aquarius. Several sources have said that she inherited her passion for music and singing from her father. She did her schooling at Burroughs High School.”

American Idol Quote

“Your voice is just right.  When you start singing, all of time and space just goes right to what you’re givin’ us.” – Luke Bryan after hearing Sage sing Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac

Sage McNeely on Twitter:


Tristen Gressett

From Screen Rant:

“With his long hair, jewelry, and cowboy hat, Tristen had the look of a superstar. He told the judges, “I’m ready to rock your world.”

He then played guitar and harmonica as he performed his energetic rendition of Billy Joel’s, “Piano Man.” The judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan applauded him, and Luke asked him what he was attempting to do. Tristen answered, “I want to change the world of music. I want to bring back something that should have never left: soul.”

American Idol Quote

“Is there a priest or a pastor in the house because you are possessed.” – Katy Perry to Tristen Gressett after he sang “With A Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles

Tristen Gressett Spotify:

Who is your favorite?  Are you liking the season so far?  Let us know in the comments below!