‘American Idol’ Top 24 performances: Layla Spring grows ‘leaps and bounds’ with powerful cover of ‘A Broken Wing’ [WATCH]

Sunday night during the first Top 24 performance episode of “American Idol,” 16-year-old Layla Spring sang Martina McBride‘s “A Broken Wing” for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. This Marion County, Kentucky resident is a big fan of Season 10’s Lauren Alaina, who surprised the youngster with a Facetime call before her audition. Was Layla’s performance good enough to send her through to the Season 16 live shows, which begin April 22 on ABC? Watch the “American Idol” performance video above and then read the judges’ comments below.

SEE ‘American Idol’ season 16 spoilers: Top 14 to sing on live shows beginning April 22 are …

“Layla, what are you doing?” asked an impressed Lionel, who gave the young singer a standing ovation. “It’s one thing to take our advice, listen to our advice. It’s another thing to do it. You actually did it. You killed it, my dear. Take that bow.”

SEE ‘American Idol’ judges: We defend Katy Perry from all the internet trolls — ‘It would be so boring without her’ [WATCH]

Katy agreed, declaring, “Yeah, you really dug in and a couple of those notes, man, you really made us feel them in our gut. I’m so impressed at the way you’ve applied yourself, the way you’ve listened. I mean, if anything you’ve grown leaps and bounds from when we first met you, so congratulations.”

“A big reason why you’re here is you’re infectious, that’s your deal,” noted Luke. “Now you’re taking the infectious thing and then you’re taking some stuff that we’ve told you and it’s fun watching you put it all together and grow. [You’re] mature far beyond your years, so good job, girl.”

The Top 24 artists have been divided into two groups, with the first 12 performing April 8 and April 9. Besides Layla, the other singers in this first group are Dominique, Catie Turner, Dennis Lorenzo, Michelle Sussett, Michael J. Woodard, Trevor McBane, Jonny Brenns, Kay Kay, Brandon Diaz, Gabby Barrett and Cade Foehner. Which artists from this group do YOU think will make it through to the live shows?

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