The world is in the grips of a pandemic, but American Idol is continuing on (having taped much of its episodes at the beginning of the year). This week, viewers watch the lucky remaining 40 contestants travel to the Disney Aulani resort in Hawaii to compete for a spot in the Top 20. We saw how half of them did on Sunday (Mar. 29), and will get to see how the remaining half does next Sunday in the tropical paradise.

One contestant that definitely surprised judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie was DeWayne Crocker Jr. The singer's performance was preceded by how much fun he was having hanging out at the resort with his mom, grandmother and great-grandmother, all of whom have had considerable influence on his life and were in Hawaii to cheer him on. Even more fun, however, was his out-of-nowhere decision to cover Lil Nas X's viral country sensation, "Old Town Road"...but, as he said, giving it a bit of a "reggae" feel.

The performance, which had Crocker swaying about in a black cowboy hat (and didn't actually have much reggae vibe, despite his advertisement) had all three judges stomping about in glee. "I think he just played us!" crowed Perry, as Richie and Bryan circled about laughing delightedly. Crocker himself was no less elated. "I don't want to go home after that performance. It was probably the most fun I've ever had," he admitted.

When it came time to decide Dewayne's fate, the judges took on a serious note, sitting him down to discuss the performance. "Last night, when I saw you walk out on that stage with that cowboy hat on, I'm thinking, 'Who the heck is this guy,'" said Richie. "Little gimmicky," added Perry.

"But sometimes, the gimmick will work," added Richie. "Now, we have been really wrestling with you. This was a very hard decision for us. "And now, what is your great-grandmother gonna wear... When you come back to Hollywood? You're gonna be in our next top 20, my friend!"

As Crocker burst into a huge smile, Richie continued, "That was one of our favorite performances. And you were trying to be shy right now. Wow. Wow. You were trying to be shy. Can you believe it? Not only were we thoroughly entertained, but you sounded great."

"You played all of us, and you played well," said Perry. "Don't you dare be modest!"

American Idol airs on Sundays at 8 PM ET. Tune in next Sunday night for part 2 of the Hawaii fun and find out the final top 20 lineup.

If You Like a Little Rock In Your Country You'll Love Our Newest RISER:

See American Idol Contestants Then and Now

More From Big Cat - WBKT-FM