Georgia singer ascends to the Top 3 on ‘American Idol’ with show-stopping performance

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Georgia’s own Willie Spence is an “American Idol” finalist and will compete in the show’s live finale next week.

Spence, who first rocketed to internet fame in 2017, has wowed judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie each week with his show-stopping performances. Viewers love him too, saving him in another night of live voting to put him in the Top 3 on Sunday.

The 21-year-old took the judges to church and belted out a stirring rendition of “Glory” from the 2014 motion picture “Selma.” The song, originally performed by rapper Common and John Legend, won an Oscar for Best Original Song.

“It was amazing, it was connected, it was spiritual,” Perry said of Spence’s performance. “I’m so glad that – it’s in God’s hands now. I don’t want to choose … I’m speechless.”

Bryan agreed, saying: “You’re literally gonna save people’s lives with your voice.”

“You’re gonna bring people out of stuff, and then you know what, they’re gonna walk up to you one day and then they’re gonna tell you that you saved their lives,” the country star continued.

Spence also debuted his single “Never Be Alone” during Sunday’s show. He followed that up with an emotional cover of “I Was Here” by Beyoncé. The trio of judges were just as enamored with his second performance, each of them rising from their seats to applaud him.

Richie predicted that Spence would win it all and said he couldn’t wait to see the powerhouse singer on tour.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is it,” Richie said. “Willie, you’re a giant of a voice and a giant of a presence and you handle it so well. Your ability to be so calm, and yet all of your expression is coming out of your God-given talent.”

Spence, who grew up in south Georgia, recently reflected on his “Idol” journey calling the experience “surreal.” He told V-103’s “The Big Tigger Morning Show” in Atlanta that he didn’t expect to make it past auditions.

“It’s definitely been the best experience of my life, honestly,” he told the morning radio show host. “And I’m just grateful to be here.”

If he’s crowned the next American Idol, Spence said he plans to “invest, celebrate with his family and go out the country somewhere.” The Florida native also said he hopes to work with big names like Rihanna, John Legend and K. Michelle.

The “American Idol” finale will be broadcast live Sunday, May 23 at 8 p.m. EST.

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