Christian Guardino performs "Take Me to Church" on the 2022...

Christian Guardino performs "Take Me to Church" on the 2022 seson of "American Idol." Credit: ABC / Eric McCandless

Patchogue singer Christian Guardino wowed the “American Idol” judges and TV viewers with his performance of Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One” Monday night, helping him land a spot in the ABC contest’s Top 10. He was the second contestant chosen from the live voting during the show’s final minutes.

At first, Guardino selected Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life,” saying that he had a lot in common with the music icon. “The fact that he still made it huge in this business ... despite his visual impairment, makes me feel like, ‘Yeah, I could do it, too.’ ”

But after singing the tune during rehearsals, he switched to Smith’s song. “I kind of fell in love with it,” Guardino said, quickly clarifying: “Stevie, I love you, bro. Still love you, man.”

After his performance, Perry was revealed as the judge who had secretly picked the song, the theme for the show that night. (Guardino had guessed it had been Luke Bryan’s selection after earlier predicting that Lionel Richie had chosen the Wonder song for him.)

Singer Tristen Gressett did not advance to the next round of competition.

A day earlier, with his soulful rendition of Hozier's "Take Me to Church" Sunday night, Guardino advanced to the Top 11 of this current 20th season.

"WOW. THANKS SO MUCH TO YOU ALL!" the visually impaired 22-year-old contestant wrote on Instagram afterward. "I am so honored and just crazy grateful I have made the #Top11 of @AmericanIdol but it's not over yet," and urged fans to tune in to Monday night's live show. "I will need your votes again to make it through AGAIN. Same drill! We are LIVE COAST to COAST and voting opens right when Idol STARTS …. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!"

He tweeted additionally Sunday night, "SO-SO GRATEFUL! Back at it tomorrow!!!"

Guardino, the elder of two sons of Nino and Beth Guardino, had impressed "American Idol" judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie at his Nashville audition earlier this year with his rendition of Donny Hathaway's "A Song for You." Progressing to the Hollywood Week shows, he delivered a winning performance of Billie Eilish's "My Future," followed by a powerful duet with fellow contestant Nicolina Bozzo on Céline Dion and Andrea Bocelli's "The Prayer." The following night he delivered a stunning "Sex on Fire" by Kings of Leon.

The Patchogue-Medford High School graduate's subsequent April 17 performance of the John Lennon classic "Imagine" brought Perry to tears and sent Guardino to the top 14, which he celebrated with a rendition of Radiohead's "Creep."

Singers Dan Marshall, Ava Maybee and Allegra Miles were eliminated on Sunday's live show.

In 2017, Guardino had performed on NBC's "America's Got Talent," progressing to the semifinals before being eliminated.

Top Stories


FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.