Lee Jean fans can breathe a collective sigh of relief.
The Bluffton teen made it through yet another round of “American Idol” on Thursday night as five more contenders were eliminated from the reality music show competition.
But not Jean. Jean not only survived, the teen seemed to thrive, giving what mega-star Jennifer Lopez called an “amazing” performance.
Several “fan favorites” from previous “Idol” seasons returned to the show Thursday night to perform duets with the remaining group of semi-finalists.
Jean, 16, was paired with Chris Daughtry of the rock band Daughtry.
The rock singer and more seasoned performer came in fourth during the fifth season of the reality music show competition but went on to have a top-selling album and a Grammy nomination, putting him among the more successful contestants to have appeared on the show, now in its final season.
Last week, five of the “Top 24” semi-finalists were eliminated after the first half performed over a period of two nights. Jean’s group took to the stage Wednesday night with Jean performing Ed Sheeran’s hit “Runaway.”
The return of the show’s past contenders, judges said, was meant to provide each “Idol” hopeful with a mentor as well as to see how the semi-finalists performed in a duet.
Throughout the course of their appearance together, Daughtry praised Jean’s singing, saying the high school junior was “super talented.” The pair sang Daughtry’s original song “Home” — a slow-paced, soulful tune that seemed to play up Jean’s musical abilities.
After the performance, celebrity judge Jennifer Lopez called Jean’s performance “amazing.”
“It was really amazing. I was speechless,” she said.
Her fellow judging panelist Harry Connick Jr. said the amount of fun Jean had on stage was “captivating to watch.”
At the end of Thursday’s two-hour show, five contestants were eliminated, bringing the pool of hopefuls, including Jean, down to 14.
“American Idol” is scheduled to run through April 7.