American Idol contestants faced new challenges during Season 18. Due to current circumstances, the show was unable to tape in the studio.
The show went on a two-week hiatus following the conclusion of pre-taped episodes. During those two weeks, a special called American Idol – This Is Me aired while showrunners figured out a solution for the live shows.
It was finally decided that Idol would film its live shows remotely, with the contestants and judges all chiming in from the safety of their own homes. The first remote Idol show aired on April 26, and featured performances from the Top 20 contestants.
Grace Leer had a special journey into the Top 20, as she was the only one whose fate was decided by fan vote. Fans cast their votes between her and Lauren Mascitti to choose who would land the final spot in the Top 20.
Wanting to impress the fans that voted for her, Leer rose to the challenge presented when Idol switched to its at-home format. She chose the perfect backdrop for her performance, opting to set up her equipment in her yard full of blooming flowers.
Since Leer is a country girl through and through, it came as no surprise that she picked a country song to sing. She chose “Cry” by Faith Hill, which was released in 2002.
The song reached the 12th spot on the Hot Country Songs chart and was also a crossover success.
Even though Leer filmed her cover of “Cry” from home, her performance was perfectly polished. The judges were clearly impressed, and offered her praise via video chat.
“I felt every bit of it,” Lionel Richie said about Leer’s performance. “That was a great delivery.“
Katy Perry also had quite the compliment to share, telling Leer she had all the qualities needed to become a big country star some day.
Fans were equally impressed with Leer’s performance, and raved about it on social media. See a few responses to her cover of “Cry” below.
Grace leer doing “cry” is the highlight of my day
— Justin Tonte (@JT1718) April 27, 2020
When @GraceLeermusic sang ''Cry'' By @FaithHill during The Live Shows At Home On @AmericanIdol Tonight Wow, I thought She did such A great & Amazing Job, She sounded like She was singing from the heart, It was Beautiful & Very Entertainment as well!!!
— Jillian Balcazar (@BalcazarJillian) April 27, 2020
You nailed it Grace! Congratulations! 👏👏👏💕
— MindsEye55 (@MindsEye55) April 27, 2020
Way to go, Grace! Awesome performance! I'm voting for you now. I still believe you are to going to win. Stay safe & see you in the top 10 next week!
— Greg Smith (@WheelinGreg) April 27, 2020
If you missed Leer singing “Cry” or simply want to watch her sing it again, check out the below video.
We think Perry is right…this girl is gonna go far! She knows how to sing country music, there’s no doubt about that.