'American Idol' Finalists: Judges Call Elimination 'Difficult', But the 'Right Decision'

Narrowing down the top 10 American Idol contestants to the final eight was no easy task for judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, but they still think America made the correct choice.

After Uche and Dimitrius Graham were sent home with the fewest votes during the week's elimination, just one episode after being saved by Richie and Bryan going into the top 10, the "Hello" singer told E! News, "It was the right answer."

He continued, "It was the right decision because of the fact that we want to hold [the final judges' save vote] for something that really comes up. It was difficult. We love them so much. It's family now, but we have to make those decisions."

Perry chimed in that part of sending the two talented musicians home was trusting in America's vote to carry them through.

"We have to also trust what America is voting for in some ways, because we did save them," she told the outlet. "They were voted out last week, and we can't keep saving them, and also, we just want to hold that vote. We'll see. Maybe next week, we'll need it."

Remaining in the competition as they head into the finale week are Alyssa Raghu, Alejandro Aranda, Laci Kaye Booth, Walker Burroughs, Wade Cota, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Laine Hardy and Madison VanDenburg.

Following the top 10 vote earlier this month, Perry and Bryan opened up about their growing relationship with the contestants throughout the season to PEOPLE.

“It’s tough because we’re so invested," the "Firework" singer said earlier this month. "It’s so difficult to play chess with people’s dreams. I do wish we could have American Idols, the show, but I think that America did a fantastic job at voting for this first live show.”

“We asked them to fight and then they go out there to fight,” Bryan added of the night's performances from the now-eliminated musicians. “You see these kids and it inspires me to sit at home at my piano.”


American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo credit: ABC