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Mississippi’s Stough advances to...

Mississippi’s Stough advances to ‘American Idol’ Top 3

By: Frank Corder - May 15, 2023
Colin Stough

Colin Stough performs on American Idol, May 14, 2023 (Photo from Stough's Facebook page)

Colin Stough and Zachariah Smith have represented Mississippi well, both making it into American Idol’s Top 5. On Sunday, only one made it through to the Top 3 with the finale set for next week.

Season 21 of American Idol is winding down as the show’s Top 3 were announced on Mother’s Day evening following a nationwide vote. Host Ryan Seacrest told viewers that this week’s episode received 3 million more votes than at this point in the competition last year.

Among those advancing to the show finale next Sunday is Mississippi’s own Colin Stough from near Amory.

Stough joins Megan Danielle and Iam Tongi as the last three standing in this year’s competition.

Sunday’s show was Disney night, where contestants sang two renditions of their favorite songs from Disney movies. Stough performed “Real Gone” from Cars and “Nobody Knows” from Pete’s Dragon.

Idol judges Lionel Richie, Luke Bryan and Katy Perry have repeatedly noted Stough’s growth as a performer during the show’s run this season. On Sunday, Richie said Stough’s comfort zone on stage was “perfect.”

“Your confidence was sitting right out here where we could all see it,” Richie told the young man.

“You came out looking like an electric guitar,” Perry said, referring to Stough’s first performance of the Cars song. “You finally did exactly what we’ve been wanting.”

Stough took to his Facebook page, saying it has been a magical experience for him while thanking supporters.

“Thank you so much for your support and votes,” Stough wrote. He also announced on his Facebook page that his new single “I Still Talk to Jesus” drops this Friday.

Mississippi’s other Idol contender, Zachariah Smith, also from Amory, did not make the cut on Sunday into the Top 3. He and We Ani ended their Idol journey after making the Top 5 the previous week.

Smith performed “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from The Lion King and “Life is a Highway” from Cars. He drew comparisons to Michael Jackson from Richie.

“You are the entertainer’s entertainer,” Richie said. “I love when you bring the fire to the stage.”

Bryan was left without words from Smith’s performances.

“I can’t tell you anything else,” Bryan said. “I’m out of stuff.”

The season finale will air on ABC next Sunday, May 21st, at 7pm CT.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank:
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