Watch the “American Idol” performance that had Keith Urban bursting with country pride YouTube screenshot

When it comes to competing on “American Idol,” having a voice in tip-top shape is vital, so falling ill would be a nightmare.

But for Trent Harmon, that’s just not the case.

The 25-year-old hopeful we’ve all come to know as the contestant who was stricken with mononucleosis during Hollywood Group Rounds landed a spot in the top 24 despite being sick as a dog.

And on Feb.17, all eyes and ears were on a much healthier looking Trent who graced the stage to perform Chris Stapleton’s debut solo single “What Are You Listening To.” While he did it without one of his ‘go-to’ hats on his head, he did do it with an acoustic guitar in hand. And Trent did the song justice with an intimate and soulful performance.

However, the judge’s opinions varied.

“I feel like when you sing, it really gets to my heart,” gushed “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez.

Fellow judge Keith Urban agreed by saying the song choice was “tremendous.”

As for Harry Connick Jr., the performance fell short of great.

“Trent, you’re one of the most gifted vocalists here,” he said. “I’m not sure whether it was the type of song that you chose, but it wasn’t the Trent that I’ve come to sit on the edge of my seat with great expectations.”

Now, as a top 14 contestant, only time will tell if we’ll still be listening to Trent by the season’s finale.

Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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