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American Idol: Katy Perry compares Cassandra Coleman to friend Florence Welch as she enters Top 24

Katy Perry compared a nervous contestant with a stunning voice to one of her most famous pals on Sunday’s episode of American Idol.

‘Listen, my friend Florence, of Florence + the Machine, …you remind me a lot of her,’ the 36-year-old singer told Cassandra Coleman, a 24-year-old coffee shop manager from Columbia, Tennessee, who’d just performed on the first Showstoppers episode.

‘I love her,’ said Cassandra, who was still shaking with anxiety and excitement after doing a gorgeous cover of Aurora’s Running With The Wolves.

Famous friend: Katy Perry compared a nervous contestant with a stunning voice to one of her most famous pals on Sunday’s episode of American Idol

Katy predicted she’d echo the journey that Florence Welch went on when she finally hit it big.

‘She found her freedom; she started dancing around the stage—and you’re gonna find your freedom,’ she told Cassandra. ‘When you came on the stage, and you started moving your dress, it was so beautiful to see that growth, even if it was baby steps.’

Katy called Cassandra’s voice ‘unique,’ ‘powerful’ and ‘very pure’.

Cassandra advanced into the show’s Top 24, along with nine contestants on Sunday.

High praise: 'Listen, my friend Florence, of Florence + the Machine, ...you remind me a lot of her,' the 36-year-old singer told Cassandra Coleman, a 24-year-old coffee shop manager from Columbia, Tennessee

High praise: ‘Listen, my friend Florence, of Florence + the Machine, …you remind me a lot of her,’ the 36-year-old singer told Cassandra Coleman, a 24-year-old coffee shop manager from Columbia, Tennessee

Killed it: Cassandra delivered a gorgeous cover of Aurora's Running With The Wolves

Killed it: Cassandra delivered a gorgeous cover of Aurora’s Running With The Wolves

‘That’s such a blessing,’ Cassandra said, wiping her eyes. ‘How do I gain confidence? How do you guys do that?’

Katy told the redhead that she already had all the tools, she just needed to trust herself.

‘We see special beauty in the things that you do, and so will everybody in America,’ added Luke Bryan, 44.

Moving forward: 'That's such a blessing,' Cassandra said, wiping her eyes. 'How do I gain confidence? How do you guys do that?'

Moving forward: ‘That’s such a blessing,’ Cassandra said, wiping her eyes. ‘How do I gain confidence? How do you guys do that?’

‘Study your heroes, Cassandra,’ Katy intoned. ‘Because you are about to become one of them.’

Due to a potential exposure to coronavirus, Lionel Richie, 71, watched the Idol contestants sing for the Showstoppers round, aka Final Judgment, over a Zoom hook-up from home.

On the whole, those left in the competition gave solid performances, with few not making it.

Heroic message: 'Study your heroes, Cassandra,' Katy said. 'Because you are about to become one of them'

Heroic message: ‘Study your heroes, Cassandra,’ Katy said. ‘Because you are about to become one of them’

Potential exposure: Due to a potential exposure to coronavirus, Lionel Richie, 71, watched the Idol contestants sing for the Showstoppers round, aka Final Judgment, over a Zoom hook-up from home

Potential exposure: Due to a potential exposure to coronavirus, Lionel Richie, 71, watched the Idol contestants sing for the Showstoppers round, aka Final Judgment, over a Zoom hook-up from home

Alyssa Wray, 18, a college student from Perryville, Kentucky, was the first one through with a heartbreaking cover of I’m Here, from the Broadway musical The Color Purple.

The song echoed her own journey to self-acceptance, and had Lionel calling ‘Boom!’ as he watched while others in the live audience yelled ‘Yes!’

Katie did worry that Alyssa’s ‘vocal gymnastics’ were too much, so she cautioned the teen to stop overcompensating with them as she went forward.

Touching rendition: Alyssa Wray, 18, a college student from Perryville, Kentucky, was the first one through with a heartbreaking cover of I'm Here, from the Broadway musical The Color Purple

Touching rendition: Alyssa Wray, 18, a college student from Perryville, Kentucky, was the first one through with a heartbreaking cover of I’m Here, from the Broadway musical The Color Purple

Jason Warrior, 25, a music teacher from Chicago, lent his gospel-tinged vocals to Imagine Dragons’ Believer, pulling out all the stops.

He finished his song sprawled out on the stage, and said, ‘All the pain inside of me, everything I’ve been through, came out in that performance.’

Katy and Luke gave him a standing ovation for the sheer fight he demonstrated on the song, but Lionel really drew his acceptance out.

Dramatic finish: Jason Warrior, 25, a music teacher from Chicago, lent his gospel-tinged vocals to Imagine Dragons' Believer, pulling out all the stops

Dramatic finish: Jason Warrior, 25, a music teacher from Chicago, lent his gospel-tinged vocals to Imagine Dragons’ Believer, pulling out all the stops

‘Now that you’re in the class of 24, what are you gonna do next?’ the Hello hitmaker asked Jason, who collapsed weeping to the floor.

Andrea Valles, 23, a wedding singer from Houston, did a version of The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights that Katy called ‘the wrong song,’ but she still earned her shot on the show.

Chayce Beckham, 24, a heavy machinery operator from Apple Valley, California, did a gravelly take on Chris Stapleton’s You Should Probably Leave that barely got him through.

Song choice: Andrea Valles, 23, a wedding singer from Houston, did a version of The Weeknd's Blinding Lights that Katy called 'the wrong song,' but she still earned her shot on the show

Song choice: Andrea Valles, 23, a wedding singer from Houston, did a version of The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights that Katy called ‘the wrong song,’ but she still earned her shot on the show

Gravelly rendition: Chayce Beckham, 24, a heavy machinery operator from Apple Valley, California, did a gravelly take on Chris Stapleton's You Should Probably Leave that barely got him through

Gravelly rendition: Chayce Beckham, 24, a heavy machinery operator from Apple Valley, California, did a gravelly take on Chris Stapleton’s You Should Probably Leave that barely got him through

Katy urged Chayce to believe in himself as much as the Idol judges and his own parents did.

Caleb Kennedy, 16, a high-school student from Roebuck, South Carolina, opted at the last moment to sing an original called When You Leave Tonight.

In judging, he wasn’t entirely sure that it had been the right move but Katy told him not to second-guess himself, saying, ‘God is not a God of confusion.’

Original song: Caleb Kennedy, 16, a high-school student from Roebuck, South Carolina, opted at the last moment to sing an original called When You Leave Tonight

Original song: Caleb Kennedy, 16, a high-school student from Roebuck, South Carolina, opted at the last moment to sing an original called When You Leave Tonight

Luke agreed: ‘We’re not confused. You’re going through.’

Wyatt Pike, 19, a college student from Park City, Utah, had the judges grinning throughout his jaunty rendition of George Ezra’s Blame It On Me, which scored a standing ovation.

‘You’re a little left-of-center, but is that what people want?’ Luke asked Wyatt as he sent him through. ‘I think you’re one step closer to finding out.’

Talented teen: Wyatt Pike, 19, a college student from Park City, Utah, had the judges grinning throughout his jaunty rendition of George Ezra's Blame It On Me, which scored a standing ovation

Talented teen: Wyatt Pike, 19, a college student from Park City, Utah, had the judges grinning throughout his jaunty rendition of George Ezra’s Blame It On Me, which scored a standing ovation

Country star: 'You're a little left-of-center, but is that what people want?' Luke Bryan asked Wyatt as he sent him through. 'I think you're one step closer to finding out'

Country star: ‘You’re a little left-of-center, but is that what people want?’ Luke Bryan asked Wyatt as he sent him through. ‘I think you’re one step closer to finding out’

Beane, 23, a wedding singer from Boston, put his heart into a smooth version of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, which had the judges grooving at their table.

‘C’mon, Beane!’ someone yelled as he finished, and the room erupted in applause.

Lionel, who’d once called Beane ‘the new Mr. Rogers,’ told him, ‘It’s gonna be a beautiful day in the neighborhood. You’re gonna be in our Top 24.’

Smooth cover: Beane, 23, a wedding singer from Boston, put his heart into a smooth version of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, which had the judges grooving at their table

Smooth cover: Beane, 23, a wedding singer from Boston, put his heart into a smooth version of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, which had the judges grooving at their table

Hannah Everhart, 17, a high-school student from Canton, Mississippi, charmed the judges with her sense of humor and cover of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball.

Katy adored her sass and fire, but implored her to ‘do the work’ as she moved through—before requesting that Hannah bring her BBQ ribs from home.

Hannah was so happy she jumped into a hotel pool in her denim jeans and jacket.

Hit song: Hannah Everhart, 17, a high-school student from Canton, Mississippi, charmed the judges with her sense of humor and cover of Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball

Hit song: Hannah Everhart, 17, a high-school student from Canton, Mississippi, charmed the judges with her sense of humor and cover of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball

Fully clothed: The teenager was so happy she jumped into a hotel pool in her denim jeans and jacket

Fully clothed: The teenager was so happy she jumped into a hotel pool in her denim jeans and jacket

Graham DeFranco, 27, a survey pilot from Rockwall, Texas, earned plaudits from Luke for doing Kings Of Leon’s Beautiful War.

‘I love his voice,’ the country singer said of Graham, praising his ‘infectious’ personality and telling him to believe in his genuine talent.

Graham dedicated the song to his father, who’d been battling stomach cancer and yelped ‘Really?’ when his son said he’d made it.

Made it: Graham DeFranco, 27, a survey pilot from Rockwall, Texas, earned plaudits from Luke for doing Kings Of Leon's Beautiful War as he advanced into the Top 24

Made it: Graham DeFranco, 27, a survey pilot from Rockwall, Texas, earned plaudits from Luke for doing Kings Of Leon’s Beautiful War as he advanced into the Top 24

The show ended with a cliffhanger.

Alanis Sophia, 19, a college student from Dade City, Florida, did her namesake Alanis Morrissette’s Uninvited for the show.

Casey Bishop, 15, a high school student from Estero, Florida, was once called ‘the damn winner of American Idol’ by Luke, but fell flat on The Black Crowes’ She Talks To Angels.

College student: Alanis Sophia, 19, a college student from Dade City, Florida, did her namesake Alanis Morrissette's Uninvited for the show

College student: Alanis Sophia, 19, a college student from Dade City, Florida, did her namesake Alanis Morrissette’s Uninvited for the show

‘Every time you show up to the party, you surprise us,’ Luke told Alanis, also admiring the rawness in Casey’s voice.

Viewers would have to wait until Monday to hear whom the judges chose.

Several fan favorites were also eliminated during Showstoppers.

Early frontrunner: Casey Bishop, 15, a high school student from Estero, Florida, was once called 'the damn winner of American Idol' by Luke, but fell flat on The Black Crowes' She Talks To Angels

Early frontrunner: Casey Bishop, 15, a high school student from Estero, Florida, was once called ‘the damn winner of American Idol’ by Luke, but fell flat on The Black Crowes’ She Talks To Angels

Alex Miller, 17, a high-school student from Lancaster, Kentucky, failed to make the Top 24 with his ‘throwback’ cover of Merle Haggard’s Silver Wings.

He got a great consolation prize, though: a slot at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville that Luke arranged for him.

‘I’d like to share the stage with you a little bit, if you’ll let me,’ the singer told Alex, who humbly replied, ‘It would be my honor, Mr. Bryan.’

Good effort: Alex Miller, 17, a high-school student from Lancaster, Kentucky, failed to make the Top 24 with his 'throwback' cover of Merle Haggard's Silver Wings

Good effort: Alex Miller, 17, a high-school student from Lancaster, Kentucky, failed to make the Top 24 with his ‘throwback’ cover of Merle Haggard’s Silver Wings

Also cut was traveling musician Murphy, 27, who did a compelling original called Am I Still Mine? after show mentor Bobby Bones, 40, suggested Murphy work on improving his eye contact with fans.

Murphy then confessed that his eyes were damaged by the show’s lights.

‘My vision is substantially worse than the average person,’ Murphy explained. ‘My left eye is gone and my right eye is going due to a form of degeneration. I’m expected to lose sight at maybe mid-30s. This experience, while wonderful, is trying on that part of my life.’

Original song: Also cut was traveling musician Murphy, 27, who did a compelling original called Am I Still Mine? after show mentor Bobby Bones, 40, suggested Murphy work on improving his eye contact with fans

Original song: Also cut was traveling musician Murphy, 27, who did a compelling original called Am I Still Mine? after show mentor Bobby Bones, 40, suggested Murphy work on improving his eye contact with fans

The judges ultimately let him go, with Katy saying that ‘We don’t want to clip your wings, but we know that we sometimes have to deliver unfortunate news.’

‘Oh no,’ said Murphy, who’d been busking nationwide (often homeless) for years.

‘Thanks for being such a great light for us,’ Luke told the singer, as Murphy reassured both judges they’d done their best to push him and he would continue to push himself.

Continue pushing: 'Thanks for being such a great light for us,' Luke told the singer, as Murphy reassured both judges they'd done their best to push him and he would continue to push himself

Continue pushing: ‘Thanks for being such a great light for us,’ Luke told the singer, as Murphy reassured both judges they’d done their best to push him and he would continue to push himself

‘That’s right, Murphy—I believe in you,’ Katy said. ‘Be well.’

Striding away, Murphy revealed, ‘I want to hear ”yes,” but I also wanted to hear ”no” if it was honest. You might just not hit the mark every time.’

‘And it’s my birthday!’ he noted. ‘I’m happy, I’m here. I’m alive, and I’m well. What ”no” can ruin that?’

Powerful voice: Amanda Mena, 18, a horse handler from Boston, also did not advance

Powerful voice: Amanda Mena, 18, a horse handler from Boston, also did not advance

Amanda Mena, 18, a horse handler from Boston, did not advance.

Anthony Guzman, 27, a warehouse worker from Santa Rosa, California, also learned that he would not be joining the Top 24.

American Idol will return Monday on ABC. 

Judgment time: Katy and Luke delivered their critiques to the singers after their performance

Judgment time: Katy and Luke delivered their critiques to the singers after their performance

Fabulous: Perry shared a close-up look at her glam style on her Instagram before the live show aired

Fabulous: Perry shared a close-up look at her glam style on her Instagram before the live show aired

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk