“I’d never heard this song before,” confessed “American Idol” singer Ryan Hammond prior to his duet of “Hold On, I’m Comin'” with Cynthia Erivo during Monday’s Top 20 episode (watch above). He continued, “I had just listened to Christian music when I was younger. But I listened to [Cynthia’s] version like crazy and I totally fell in love with this song.” Unfortunately, judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie weren’t impressed with Ryan’s “swagger” on the stage and so this 25-year-old from Modesto, California was eliminated.
“Woo! I felt the spirit!” Katy shouted after Ryan and Cynthia’s duet. “I felt like I was at church. That was great. I really felt it a lot. Cynthia, her voice could swallow you up, or anyone. It’s so amazing. She’s such a dynamite singer and you really held your own in that. I know she’s trying to force you to just like get more into it and I think that may be the one thing that you’re still working on. But your voice is just amazing on all levels and you’ve got such class about you.”
Luke chimed in that Katy “hit the nail right on the head.” He continued, “You just gotta shake it out and come out and your voice, man, will carry you so far. [You should] add a little more swagger to what you bring. Get that body moving.” Katy then instructed Luke to demonstrate what he meant, and so he did a little swagger as the audience cheered him on.
“Well, as far as I’m concerned, there goes the show,” joked Papa Lionel after Katy pretended to vomit because of Luke’s dancing. “The fact that you’d never heard that song and you did what you did tonight — applause to you. Just relax in this ride, okay? But we have all the faith and trust in you. You’re gonna be somebody.”
In his “American Idol” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about Ryan’s performance: “Ryan’s vocals are on point, but you can tell he’s intimidated and Erivo is definitely owning the stage. I’m not a fan of Ryan’s torn jeans, he looks more like he escaped from the woods than someone who is fashion forward, but as the song progresses at least his vocals do as well. All in all, the performance was okay but uptempo numbers aren’t his strong suit.”