Arts & Entertainment

Summit County singer takes on Joan Jett, earns Top 12 spot on ‘American Idol’

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — This week on “American Idol,” during the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-themed episode, Summit County contestant Kaibrienne Richins earned her spot in the Top 12 with a dynamic performance that veered away from her usual ballad repertoire. Mentored by Gene Simmons, Richins chose Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ anthem, “I Hate Myself for Loving You.”

Katy Perry, one of the judges, praised Richins for stepping up to the challenge, emphasizing that the performance reached a level she had hoped to see, ultimately calling her a “rock star.” Lionel Richie commended the concert-like atmosphere Richins created, noting her transformation into a “whole new human being” and highlighting her expressive “ugly face,” which he described as crucial for conveying the song’s raw emotion. Luke Bryan echoed this sentiment, likening the performance to a real concert experience.

Richins, 20, discussed her leap from familiar ballads to rock, crediting Simmons for encouraging her to embrace and embody the physicality of the performance.

The Top 12 contestants will next perform their favorite Billboard hits live on the show under Meghan Trainor’s mentorship. It will air tonight, Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. MDT when the Top 10 will be selected.

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