Bellport singer Shannon Gibbons was told aloha as in goodbye on Sunday's episode of ABC's "American Idol," as the 21-year-old contestant failed to advance from the top 40 to the top 20 finalists at the Aulani resort in Hawaii.
"When I went up to the judges to talk about" her performance of Adele's "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)," "I had a feeling it was going to go the other way for me from the moment they started speaking," Gibbons tells Newsday. "I was thinking, 'Yeah, it was a good performance — was it my best? I don't know.' "
Katy Perry, one of three judges with Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, told her "I need to find myself a little bit more," Gibbons says. "I think I'm more than capable of doing that. She said that I could be a star, and coming from Katy Perry, that's really something." Richie, she recalls, "said, 'Oh, this is gonna be a hard one.' They didn't show the judges when I was singing on the show, but he was standing up and giving me a standing ovation. … Seeing him stand up for my performance was enough for me."
Overall, said the Bellport High School graduate now studying at Queens College, the judges' comments were "constructive criticism. I don't know if it was the most accurate constructive criticism, but they're on a TV show and have to say something. … I take nothing negative about it at all. It's just going to push me to go harder."
Gibbons' episode was the last to be recorded before the live-show competition was scheduled to begin Monday. With coronavirus social-distancing restrictions shuttering the show's Hollywood set for the live shows, and with the singers all subsequently sent home, ABC said on March 27, "Regarding 'American Idol' live shows, we are monitoring the situation and exploring multiple options. … We will share a production plan as soon as it's in place."