Patchogue’s Christian Guardino, whose plaintive and powerful voice and increasingly confident stage presence brought him to the top 7 of “American Idol” this 20th season, was one of two contestants eliminated Sunday on the ABC singing competition.
“Thank you to all my incredibly supportive fans out there! I [love] you ALL!!!” the 22-year-old singer, who as a teen had made it to the semifinals of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2017, tweeted with a red-heart emoji Monday.
“#grateful Thank you all so much for your outpouring of love and support but know that I am TOTALLY FINE!!!” he wrote on Instagram and Facebook. “I am so grateful for this entire experience! Being on @americanidol for the 20th season has been a huge blessing. I have learned so much, grown as an artist & gained new family for life AND I get to perform with the legend [Michael Bublé]” — a reference to the four-time Grammy Award winner appearing via remote video on the episode to invite Guardino to sing with him on the season finale.
“Are you kidding me?!” an astonished Guardino replied. “Are you serious?! … Well, absolutely!… I’m gonna celebrate that for sure!”
“My journey does NOT finish here,” Guradino concluded on his social media. “I am more on fire and ready to fight for my spot in music than ever so KEEP WATCHING & LISTENING! New music coming REAL soon!!”
Guardino, the son of Beth and Nino Guardino, had earned praise in the Sunday episode from judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie for his rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Lonely.” Then after a prerecorded segment featuring Guardino and his mother in their kitchen at home on Long Island — in which Beth Guardino told her son, “I couldn’t be more proud to be your mom” — Guardino belted the 2011 gospel song “Dear God” by Smokie Norful live on the “American Idol” stage.
The judges erupted in accolades. “I feel the spirit in here! I feel like we’ve all been baptized by Christian!” marveled Perry, herself the daughter of Pentecostal pastors, in a voice mimicking a revival-tent preacher. “Oh, my goodness! Wow! You sang that like that was a second skin, like you’ve been singing that a hundred times on the way to church with mom. … It was so authentically you.”
“It was just pouring out of your soul,” agreed Bryan. “Pouring, and it was just second nature. … Just a beautiful moment.” Richie jokingly suggested he was “going to ask for a family-root check,” evidently alluding to Guardino evoking Black spiritual singers with “some of those notes you were hitting.”
Despite the judges’ praise, a dearth of viewer votes eliminated both Guardino and Jay Copeland.
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