Copious Notes

Amelia Hammer Harris cut from ‘Idol,’ last from the Bluegrass on TV singing shows

Bebe Rexha and Amelia Hammer Harris perform "Me, Myself & I," which Rexha recorded with G-Eazy on the duets episode of "American Idol," aired April 16, 2018.
Bebe Rexha and Amelia Hammer Harris perform "Me, Myself & I," which Rexha recorded with G-Eazy on the duets episode of "American Idol," aired April 16, 2018. ABC

One step away from live competition on "American Idol," Lexingtonian Amelia Hammer Harris was paired with chart-topper Bebe Rexha for "Me, Myself & I, which Rexha recorded with G-Eazy.

The compliments started before the performance with Rexha telling Harris, "You look like a model to me," and Harris, who lived in Lexington and went to SCAPA during her middle school years, relaying the story of her father, "Great Balls of Fire" co-writer Jack Hammer, complete with photos.

And the praise continued after the duet, when the celebrity judges rated Harris's performance.

"It's really not about the win, it's about platform you're standing on," Lionel Richie said. "Amelia, you've got a firm, solid grip on the platform."

Katy Perry said, "I think that you're a star. I love your presentation; I love your look, always. I've never seen anyone pull off lime green, leather pants. Like, never," she said, referring to yet another vintage Harris outfit. "I think you can be anything you want to be. I think your voice is amazing. I hope for more time with you."

Harris replied, "Me too."

But it was not to be. The judges picked seven out of the 12 competitors in this week's round to move on to the Top 14 to compete live and be voted on by viewers next week. Harris was not one of them

The seven that advanced are Mara Justine, Jurnee, Maddie Poppe, Ada Vox, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Garrett Jacobs and Marcio Donaldson.

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Amelia Hammer Harris sings on the duet round of "American Idol," which aired on April 16, 2018. Eric McCandless ABC

That brings to an end the run of a trio of talented Central and Eastern Kentucky ladies this year on the biggest singing competition shows on network TV, ABC's "Idol" and NBC's "The Voice."

Stanton's Livia Faith sparked a spirited competition between Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys to get the 17-year-old on their teams on "The Voice," but Faith was eliminated the next round in a competitive duet. One of the darlings of the early rounds of "American Idol" was Lebanon's Layla Spring, but the 16-year-old was eliminated in last week's portion of the duet rounds.

Native Western Kentuckian Kaleb Lee, who now resides in Florida, is still in competition on Clarkson's team on "The Voice."

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Like the others, Harris came out of the gate fast, earning praise from the judges like Perry, who questioned why the 27-year-old wasn't already a star. Some observers called Harris an early favorite after her first televised audition, singing a sultry rendition of The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter."

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But, for whatever reasons, the judges picked different singers, some far less polished than Harris, who already enjoys a professional music career in her current home base of Los Angeles. Regardless of what's next, she can take away compliments such as this.

"It was really fun watching you hold your own with a star up there," judge Luke Bryan said. "We haven't seen it done that well quite yet, so, good job."

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