Julia Gagnon performing on Sunday’s episode of “American Idol.” Photo courtesy of Disney/Eric McCandless

Cumberland singer Julia Gagnon was the final “American Idol” contestant named to the top 20 at the end of a three-hour episode Sunday.

It was the first elimination round of the season that was determined by votes from the public.

“It looks like America believes that you belong,” judge Katy Perry told Gagnon, who was born in Guatemala and told the Press Herald she felt like she didn’t fit in among her peers in Maine growing up.

The top 14 contestants will be announced on Monday’s episode.

People can vote for the contestants of their choice by texting their assigned number – 4 for Gagnon – to 21523, or place their votes through the American Idol app or at the American Idol voting site. Voting opened at the end of Sunday’s episode and was scheduled to close at 9 a.m. Monday.


On Monday, during a live episode from Hollywood, the 10 top vote-getters from the night before will be revealed. But the show’s celebrity judges – Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Perry – will add four contestants they deem worthy to create a field of 14 singers going forward.

Nearly 30 million people cast votes for the top 20, host Ryan Seacrest said at the beginning of Sunday’s episode.

A week earlier, Gagnon, a 21-year-old student at the University of Southern Maine, took to the “American Idol” stage at Aulani Disney Resort and Spa in Hawaii to deliver a performance of Adele’s “Rumour Has It” that had the judges urging the public to vote for her.

Previously, she had competed against 150 others in the show’s Hollywood Week competition, advancing to the top 24 after impressing the show’s judges by singing “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” on the April 1 episode.

Gagnon, who graduated from North Yarmouth Academy, was the last person to audition for season 22 in November. The judges awarded her one of only three platinum tickets for the singers with the strongest performances, which meant she got a pass through the first round of Hollywood Week.

For more information on how and when to vote, go here.

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