“Hunter! Hunter!” Perry yelled as Metts apologized to the panel. “That was the best performance you have ever given… Perfection is an illusion. It’s an illusion. It doesn’t matter. That shows that you are a human and vulnerable. And everybody relates to that. It’s amazing, it’s emotion. That’s what music is! I know this is a lot of pressure, but it’s not about perfection. It’s about resonating with people, and you just did… what an incredible song choice. You connected with us. You kept your eyes open, your heart open, you were so connected you forgot where you were and that is perfect.”

Luke Bryan, back from his COVID-19 quarantine, seconded that emotion. “Hunter, man it was intense for me to watch you today,” he said. “It was a series of emotions that you took me on a crazy ride. I don’t even know what happened at the end, but, listen, I didn’t care. You did no wrong. You could do no wrong in that moment,” Bryan added, heaping praise on Metts’ falsetto.

Lionel Richie had some sage words of advice too, explaining that some of his best shows are ones where he forgot the lyrics to such iconic hits as “Hello” and the audience jumped in to help him bring it home. “What I’m saying to you… if you had not done that it was called a perfect run. Now that you did that it was absolutely a perfect run,” Richie said.

Sunday night’s episode also featured performances from Grace Kinstler, Ava August, Caleb Kennedy, Madison Watkins, Chayce Beckham, Beane, Alyssa Wray, Deshawn Goncalves, Casey Bishop, Cassandra Coleman and Willie Spence singing Oscar-worthy songs for a chance to make the top nine; August, Watkins and Beane were sent home.

Monday night’s (April 19) show will feature 10 finalists from last season vying for a spot in this this year’s top 10 with guest performances from Lauren Daigle and Harry Connick Jr.

Watch Metts’ performance below.

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