The first American Idol live of 2021 turned out to be eventful when Paula Abdul returned and frontrunner Wyatt Pike gave up.
Entertain This !, USA TODAY
The competitors of “American Idol” rely on faith, confidence and a little pixie dust to move on to the next round.
As usual, the singers received comments from judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry, who celebrated the theme of the evening by dressing as Tinker Bell from “Peter Pan.”
In a virtual post-show Q&A, Perry opened up about the inspiration behind her costume, revealing that she borrowed her prosthetic ears from her partner Orlando Bloom, who played Legolas in “The Lord of the Rings.”
At the top of the episode, Ryan Seacrest revealed which former candidate got enough votes after the comeback to return to competition and complete the top ten. That singer was Arthur Gunn, who came in second place last year. (Because bringing back a recent finalist is totally just for current competitors … right?)
Fans voted on the show, which was broadcast live from coast to coast, for who they wanted to see in the top seven.
Here’s what happened, three of which were eliminated:
‘American Idol’: Luke Bryan booed for harsh comments as former contestants fight to join top 10
Caleb Kennedy stayed true to his rustic, rustic wheelhouse, singing “Real Gone” from “Cars”.
“You have real fire on stage,” she continued. “Every time you hire us, we bow. “
Richie said Kennedy’s energy was “what performance is.”
“He has to shine off the stage, and it was a beaming performance,” he added.
« American Idol »: Paula Abdul makes a ‘nostalgic’ comeback, the favorite leaves the show shockingly
Willie Spence, 21, put his powerful voice to good use for a thrilling performance of “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King”.
Perry offered more Tinker-Bell inspired support: “Willie, you’re not a lost boy anymore. You are an idol in good faith. “
Deshawn Goncalves, 20, gave a jazzy performance of “When You Wish Upon a Star” by “Pinocchio,” starting the song by playing the piano and later standing up to snap up a few smooth movements.
All three judges praised the student for becoming more comfortable on stage.
“It’s show business,” Richie said. ” You succeeded. “
Bryan said he “grinned so big” as he watched Goncalves come out of his shell.
“You are not the same person who showed up for the auditions,” he noted.
Katy Perry, juge d’American Idol comforts the sobbing singer who forgot the lyrics: “Perfection is an illusion”
Proving once again that she’s no typical teenybopper, high school student Casey Bishop, 16, stunned by a haunting rendition of “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2.”
The judges praised the teenager, who usually performs rock songs, on her lineup.
“Your voice will take you to infinity and beyond,” said Perry. “I love that you can do almost anything. In fact, you can do it all. You just have to believe. “
Bryan added that he certainly believed in Bishop. “I just believe that you are a superstar in the making,” he said.
Chayce Beckham, who revealed after the show that he was going to sing “On My Way” from “Brother Bear” before going to the last minute, took the sweet “Baby Mine” from “Dumbo” and gave it a certain advantage with his gritty voice.
Perry also praised Beckham for transforming the lullaby.
“Look, I think all you need is a little faith and trust and pixie dust,” she added, throwing glitter in the air.
Cradling a sparkling ball gown, student Alyssa Wray dazzled with a magical performance of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from “Cinderella”.
Richie and Bryan said they were happy to see Wray save her belt and vocal acrobatics for the song’s ending, while Perry called the singer “sleek and lofty.”
In an effort to remind “Idol” fans of his vocal prowess, former finalist Arthur Gunn sang “Remember Me” from “Coco”.
Bryan praised Gunn for his authenticity, while Richie said the musician owns his sound.
“It’s the biggest part of being a stylist when you can take any song and make it your own,” he added.
Cassandra Coleman was open on the show about her nervous problems. But the manager of the cafe channeled her inner hero, announcing “I can go the distance” from “Hercules”.
Bryan said Coleman delivered his “strongest top-to-bottom voice” and was “the most comfortable we have seen you”.
“Your confidence has gone from zero to hero for sure, and any other doubts you have, you just leave them in fairy dust,” Perry added, continuing to keep his comments on the theme.
Before taking the stage, Hunter Metts, 22, opened up about his emotional performance in the last episode, where he delved into the lyrics at the end of his song.
After the show, Metts said he was determined not to make the same mistake. “I can’t tell you how many times over the past week I’ve sat down and read my lyrics and wrote my lyrics,” he said. “There is something about this fear of this happening again. “
The practice paid off – Metts skyrocketed thanks to ‘You Will Be In My Heart’ from ‘Tarzan’, earning praise from the judges.
Perry even threw in one last attempt at a clever pun.
“It was so great to see you on stage like that with a big smile,” she said. ” You really have balance That one. “
Grace Kinstler, 20, closed the show with a powerful rendition of “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II”. The student said the song was about how she felt playing “Idol” and the uncertainty of entering the music industry.
“With our performance, it’s really about what I can show our audience about me as a person,” she said. “It was so important for me to sing this song, because I feel like this song is a lot of how we feel about entering this industry, choosing this path. “
Bryan told Kinstler that she had “tiger eye”.
“You had the whole room checked with your voice,” Perry added. “It was awesome. “
Who came home?
At the end of the episode, Seacrest revealed, in no particular order, who was safe. The last place in the top 7 goes to Gunn, meaning the end of the road for Wray, Coleman and Goncalves.
The three eliminated contestants reflected on their “Idol” journeys after the show, saying their “Idol” experiences boosted their confidence.
“I came into this competition thinking I was no good at all,” Wray said. “These people, this competition, America – they’ve really taught me that I’m worth so much more than I could ever dream of and that I have nothing else to do but be myself. I just have to do what I love and that’s enough. “
And the singers said you haven’t seen the last of them: Coleman is planning to release an album, Goncalves wants to win a Grammy, and Wray has set his sights on earning EGOT status.