By Jon James|

Julia Gagnon takes the advice of the coaches to heart and is constantly using their suggestions to her advantage. Every. Single. One.

On Sunday’s (4/28/24) American Idol, Shania Twain was the coach.

Twain advised Julia to showcase her whole voice. Bring it down low (intimate, as Katy Perry called it) and then hit the highs.

That dynamic range made a world of difference in her performance which, I doubted (until last night), could get any better.

Oh, and the beautiful smile as she began softly was wonderful!

Her choice of Bryan Adams’ Here I Am (from 2002’s Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron) proved to be perfect, yet again.

Like Twain, Adams is also Canadian. Not sure if that influenced Julia’s choice or not. It was likely just serendipitous.

Now in the top 8, I’m feeling more and more confident that she’s going to go all the way…and that doesn’t come from a biased perspective just because she’s a fellow Mainer, though I love that she is.

I love music and have been in music radio for well over 40 years and recognize amazing talent, which Julia possesses, in ALL aspects!

I recently saw a random video of her performing “I Will Always Love You” acapella. I immediately thought about Whitney Houston, doubting that even SHE could perform it any better!

Julia seemed tickled when Perry told her that she though for a minute she was listening to Kelly Clarkson. It WAS THAT GOOD!

So what’s next? I’ll be tuned in tonight.

I’m now watching another performer who pulled off a game changer last night….and he’s only 15!

He sang She’s Country, a Jason Aldean classic and absolutely commanded the stage. He was amazing. That video is below too.

My other favorite, Emmy Russell, made the top eight.

Mia Matthews and Kayko were both eliminated.

Julia Gagnon, Here I Am

Tristan Harper, She’s Country

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