Lionel Richie Calls Roman Collins' Singing 'Spiritual' After Shocking Exit

American Idol's latest episode delivers unexpected twists and turns

by Zain ul Abedin
Lionel Richie Calls Roman Collins' Singing 'Spiritual' After Shocking Exit
© Monica Schipper/Getty Images

In a surprising turn of events on the latest episode of "American Idol," aired Monday, April 23, fans witnessed the unexpected elimination of Roman Collins and Jayna Elise, leaving viewers and judges alike grappling with the shock.

Roman Collins, notably rescued by the judges just last week, has been a standout contestant, captivating audiences with his dynamic performances. Post-elimination, Lionel Richie, a seasoned judge on the show, shared his thoughts with PEOPLE, emphasizing the profound impact of Collins' performances.

"Roman brings so much energy. When you leave after his performance, you're emotionally spent—it's a spiritual experience," Richie explained, underscoring the deep emotional resonance Collins brought to the stage. Despite the setback, Richie remains optimistic about Collins' potential for stardom, drawing parallels to Jennifer Hudson's journey, "Jennifer was ousted at number seven, yet look at her now.

The potential for superstardom is definitely there." Further reflecting on the talent this season, Richie expressed his awe at the caliber of contestants. "I could take the top 14 and build an entire business. It's extraordinary what we attract here on American Idol," he stated, highlighting the exceptional quality of the performers this year.

Judges Face Tough Choices

Luke Bryan, another judge, also weighed in on the eliminations, noting the emotional difficulty of sending talented contestants home. "Every week, it's heartbreaking. Roman was not just a great singer but a great spirit.

It’s tough seeing such talent go," Bryan remarked. The episode also spotlighted other contestants, notably Julia Gagnon, who impressed the judges and guest mentor Gene Simmons with her rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Run to You." Bryan praised Gagnon's growth, saying, "Your transformation is inspiring.

It’s a testament to why this show is so beloved." As "American Idol" continues to air on Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, the journey for the remaining contestants promises more thrilling performances and, inevitably, more heartbreaking goodbyes.

The road ahead is uncertain, but one thing remains clear: the impact of a contestant like Roman Collins will not be forgotten anytime soon.