The top 10 finalists of this season’s American Idol came out fully prepared with a Disney song to inspire American viewers who would be voting live to reveal their top picks. Judge Katy Perry started the night off by singing “Wish upon a Star” and dressed as Cinderella. Longtime show host, Ryan Seacrest, welcomed the live studio audience and the judges with Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan accompanying now a Snow White Katy Perry to the judges table. Idina Menzel, who is the voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen, acted as mentor to the Top 10 contestants this round as well.
Maddie Poppe started the show and didn’t let us down with her classic fun and refreshing voice. Poppe sang The Jungle Book’s “The Bare Necessities” along with playing a ukulele. The fun loving song slowed down towards the middle of the piece to give Poppe a chance to belt out some slower well hit notes. Judge Lionel Richie told Poppe, “You are absolutely coming of age right in front of our very eyes.”
Jurnee chose to sing “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s Moana which allowed her to showcase her beautiful voice with pure and clean notes. Jurnee started to sway on the second verse of her piece which led well to still keep the focus on her voice along with a mix of stage presence. Katy Perry stated, “You seem very connected. You seem vulnerable which is also a strength.” Lionel Richie told Jurnee, “Stage presence is something we can’t give you…tonight for whatever reason I felt that you were present on stage singing from your heart and not your head.”
Cade Foehner came out with his classic style carrying his guitar and chose a slower ballad this week with his rendition of “Kiss the Girl”. A bright moon and water graphics flanked Foehner as he sang this piece from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Judge Luke Bryan told Foehner, “Way to show us another side man. You can bring the rock and roll genre back. I am so excited to see what you are going to do.” Host Ryan Seacrest came out and said, “There was something special about that…I thought I saw someone in the lounge paying very close attention,” giving strength to the rumors that Foehner is dating fellow contestant Gabby Barrett.
Ada Vox came out in a beautiful gold outfit singing “Circle of Life” that left her looking like a goddess. Vox hit a lot of high notes throughout the song and ended it with Judge Lionel stating, “You have never let us down. You have to know how special this is to have you on this show. You are a movement unto yourself,” suggesting that the drag queen personality of Ada Vox is gaining support with viewers.
Michelle Sussett chose “Remember Me” from Disney’s newest movie, Coco. Sussett got to use her Venezuelan roots by singing most of the song in Spanish which excited the judges. The song fit her vocal range perfectly and Judge Katy Perry stated, “This time the sound was the priority and that’s the right direction to go. You go sound and then bells and whistles. You are a star.” Luke Bryan stated, “You nailed it perfectly. You showed us that you really, really are a singer.”
Gabby Barrett sang “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas. She was backed up by stunning graphics that put her in a magical sunbeam flanked forest. Barrett strayed from some of the notes and chose to belt out higher and delicate ones that showed off her vocal range well. Luke Bryan told her, “You have all of the tools to win this in my opinion.” Judge Katy Perry told Barrett, “I really appreciated the difference tonight…you really brought that pop stardom tonight.”
Michael J. Woodard’s version of “Beauty and the Beast” started out very slow and quiet that led well to showcase his pure vocal ability. Woodard then hit a long and high note that jolted the audience awake in showing even more of his gorgeous voice. His performance encouraged the live studio audience to a standing ovation. Katy Perry told Woodard, “My angel. You really make my heart smile.” Luke Bryan told him, “Like Disney, you are magical my friend.” Host Ryan Seacrest came onto the stage after his performance and told Woodard, “You are just such a nice guy…you are genuine and sincere and you want to win.”
Caleb Lee Hutchinson chose a Disney song that perfectly matches his country persona with Toy Story’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”. He wore a blue shirt that matched his baby blue eyes along with a leather jacket complete with a bolo tie. Fellow country singer Judge Luke Bryan, “Caleb that was a great song choice bud. Way to pick the right song. Way to make America smile. There is no way America isn’t going to watch that and want to be in your corner.”
Catie Turner came out in a champagne pink colored gown and her signature smile while singing “Once upon a Dream”. Turner’s gorgeous voice did incredibly well with this harder song to sing and Lionel Richie told her, “You have just taken us on a magical, magical, magical journey.” Katy Perry told Turner, “Tonight you showed us a real mature, you went from a girl to a woman just right there.”
Dennis Lorenzo showed his beautiful tenor vocals with The Lion King’s “Can You Feel the Love tonight?” He was backed up with background singers and a full band on stage. Lorenzo’s every note is dripping with feeling and a hint of pain. Luke Bryan told Lorenzo, “Home run buddy…You always knock it out of the park for me. Great job man.” Katy Perry, dressed still as Snow White, chomped on an apple and said that she was “stress eating now” as it got closer and closer to the time when the Top 10 would be cut down to just 7 contestants.
Host Ryan Seacrest ended the show with the results from America’s live vote and told all of the contestants that millions of votes had been cast. He stated, “It was so tight. The difference between a contestant and another contestant: 0.19%. That is how tight this race is.” Seacrest started to build the Top 7 contestants and named them in the following random order: Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett, Michael Woodard, Cade Foehner, Maddie Poppe, Catie Turner, and Jurnee. That left Ada Vox, Michelle Sussett, and Dennis Lorenzo eliminated from the competition.
Tune in next Sunday, May 6th at 8/7PM Central for the next episode of American Idol on ABC and catch up on the highlights on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/americanidol/videos