AMERICAN IDOL – “615 (Judge’s Song Contest)” - The Judge’s Song Contest returns as judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie each suggest songs for the contestants to choose from. America votes for the Top 7 LIVE coast to coast. MONDAY, MAY 1 (8:00-10:00 p.m.), on ABC.
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'American Idol': Warren Peay Soars to Top 8 With Zac Brown Band's 'Colder Weather'


Appliance repairperson turned American Idol hopeful Warren Peay moved onto the Top 8 on Monday night (May 1) after his booming brand of twang fit Zac Brown Band's "Colder Weather" like a custom-made Stetson hat.

Peay was given the choice of three rocking country selections as part of the Judge's Song Contest: "Colder Weather," the Steeldrivers' "Blue Side of the Mountain" or Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird." Lionel Richie was later revealed as the judge behind this multiple-choice questions' potential answers.

Peay picked "Colder Weather" and worked with vocal coaches to display not just his natural-born talents but also what all he's learned since an audition performance of Zach Williams' "To the Table" inspired Luke Bryan to crown the 23-year-old South Carolinian a "Christian Chris Stapleton."

"Warren, you walked in that door, and I was like, 'Please God, please God answer our prayers, God. This guy looks the part, please let him sound the part'," Bryan said following the audition. "And you sound the freaking part."


A stunning take on "Colder Weather" earned a thumbs up from all three judges, with Peay getting praised for his stage presence by Ritchie, for his dynamic voice by Katy Perry and for his knack for making each song his own by Bryan.

"I cannot put into words how it feels to be in the Top 8! It means the world to me to know you have all voted me this far into the competition, and I hope I can continue to make you all proud," Peay wrote on Instagram. "To God be the glory!"

Starting next Sunday (March 7), Bryan will be joined by guest judges Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morissette as they narrow the Top 8 to a Top 5.

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