Tonight on American Idol the Top 10 sing songs from the Disney catalog. By the end of the night, via REAL TIME voting three singers will leave the competition. Idol fans will be able to vote at the same time, as the show telecasts in all 50 state at the same time. HI WEST COAST VIEWERS! Are you watching live?
And for the first time, Judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan have NO say on which singers live to sing another week. It’s up to America who stays and who goes.
Broadway and “Let it Go” star, Idina Menzel will be on hand to mentor the contestant performances. And Katy Perry will join the Top 10 for a group performance in front of the Sleeping Beauty castle in Anaheim.
The show opens with Katy in a princess gown singing “When You Wish Upon a Star” while the Top 10 join in. And that literally lasted less than 10 seconds WTF. I was expecting a full blown group number BOO.
The judges take the stage escorted by various Disney characters. Minnie, Mickey and Snow White. Oh wait. That’s Katy dressed as Snow White.
I have an unpopular opinion. I’m really not much of a Disney fan. Went to Disneyland once, and didn’t really enjoy it. I KNOW.
Right off the bat, host Ryan Seacrest throws all the voting numbers up on the screen. EVERYTHING you need to know is AT THIS LINK. Voting will be open throughout the show and won’t be cut off until the very last second. All the way through the commercial break before the elimination takes place at the end of the show.
Next, Ryan introduces mentor Idina Menzel. She meets the contestants in an apartment at Disney that used to belong to Walt and his family. The Top 10 spent a few days at the Disneyland Park while they were mentored. Each singer had a special guest along during a few days of work and fun in the park.
Maddie Poppe – The Bare Necessities (Jungle Book) – Maddie, who has never been to Disney, is joined by her best friend. In her mentoring session, Idina helps the young singer hit some higher notes. Maddie confesses that she plays it safe with her range because she’s afraid her voice will crack. Maddie delivers a charming performance while strumming a ukulele. On the bridge she finally shows off her voice a little by slowing up the tune. However, the song doesn’t really highlight what she does best. The song itself is a little forgettable. Still love Maddie! Lionel says she’s coming of age right in front of his eyes. Katy is using a really annoying “princess” voice. PLEASE STOP THAT. “You did a great job sweetie!” she says. “Your voice just feels timeless to me,” says Luke, Text “10” to 21523
Hm. I wonder if there’s a reverse pimp spot deal going on with this real time voting. A contestant that performs early has a longer voting window. Notice that the heavy hitters are starting first.
Jurnee – How Far I’ll Go by Auli’i Cravalho/Alessia Cara (Moana) – Jurnee spent her time at Disneyland with her mom. She really appreciated the support! It’s special because growing up, there was no time or money for swank vacations. In her mentor session, Idina stresses the importance of vulnerability. “Don’t overthink it,” she says. A+ on Jurnee’s makeup. Her eyes are all sparkly! So pretty. As far as the performance is concerned, Jurnee’s timing was a little off at times? I think she was a little nervous. Nevertheless, good song choice for her. She really hit her stride during the chorus, immersing herself in the song’s emotional message. Katy says, “You seem vulnerable.” She wonders if spending time with her mom helped. Katy says she spent the weekend with her mom too (in Rome meeting the Pope!) Luke reminds her not to get too upset about America not voting her through. Lionel says stage presence is something they can’t give her. But this week, she was singing from her heart and not her head. Oh, her wife Ashley was just deployed to Afghanistan. How scary that must be for her. – Text “11” to 21523
Next, it’s an little interlude from the new Disney Acapella group, D’Capella. GET IT?
Cade Foehner – Kiss the Girl (The Little Mermaid) – Cade’s sister is his special guest. She admits they were both “chunky” children, so it’s hard to view him as a heart throb. “Grown women are fawning over him!” she exclaims. Oh gosh. The photo from Cade;s childhood–he was indeed a chubby little thing.
As far as the song choice is concerned, the singer says, “I have a soft Cade inside of me.” Idina hates being called ma’am. And she notes he might be a little flirty. Cade won’t be rocking up the song. Playing an acoustic guitar, he turns the song into a soft power ballad with a decidedly indie feel. He’s leapfrogged a couple of decades ahead from the 70’s to the 90s! I like it. And so smart to switch it up this week. The power chords were seeming redundant. The votes should be pouring in as we speak. This is my favorite Cade performance so far. Luke goes on about how Idina was flirting with him EYES ROLL. “Way to show us another side,” he says, ‘You could bring the rock n roll genre back MAN.” (Drink every time Luke says “man” and you will become very drunk) Lionel says, “You have brought Instant Identity to the table.” – Text “8” to 21523
Katy is fanning herself. “Whoever she is or will be. She’s the luckiest. I never knew you had that in you.” Cade hints that he was thinking of SOMEBODY as he sang. OMG THEY CUT TO GABBY AND SHE’S HIDING HER FACE. Oh boy. Now the cat–Cade and Gabby were are an item–is really out of the bag. Katy is screaming HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON. Sleeping Beauty has just turned into the Evil Queen. She threatens to overturn the judges table. I think Katy might be a little jet lagged.
YEP. Frontloading the favs at the top of the show.
After the break…more from D’Capella. Goofy and Mickey join “Sleeping Beauty” at the table.
Ada Vox – Circle of Life by Elton John (Lion King) – Ada calls Idina “a Disney Queen.” During the mentoring session Idina suggests that Ada lower the key, impressed with the singer’s lower, warmer tones. The lower notes is where Idina “feels the pain.” Good advice. Ada is joined at Disneyland by his boyfriend. On stage, Ada’s hair is a glorious golden mane. She pulls the microphone of the stand for the key change. She hits those big notes in a very dramatic fashion. The crowd goes wild. “You are a movement on to yourself,” says Lionel. “Keep it up my dear.” Katy remembers her first audition. “You keep dropping the mic! Tonight I feel like you really embodied Ada Vox.” Luke appreciated her taking a more subtle route. That was subtle? Ha. Text “6” to 21523
Michelle Sussett – Remember Me (Coco) – Idina and Michelle chat about her family in Venezuela. Her aunt, who helped when she first hit the American shores, joins her Disneyland adventure. Michelle starts the song off acapella, which is a hard thing to do. There’s a vulnerability to her vocal here that’s appealing . By the time she breaks out the Spanish the band joins her and as she shifts into performance mode, she kinda loses it. She doesn’t have the vocal chops to belt out high notes. If she picked a song in her range, and emphasized her tone and charisma, she’d have a winning performance. This isn’t quite it. Katy appreciated that the sound was the priority this week, “You are a star a star a star!” Luke says, “You nailed it perfectly. You really are a singer.” Lionel says, “Your true identity just came through.” – Text “2” to 21523
So I guess the judges aren’t going to say anything critical this week? Ryan says we’re up to 8 million votes. Also “Disney Night” was trending at #3 on twitter, now at #5. “Snow White” at #9!!! “Jurnee” at #15 and “Circle of Life” at #17.
Gabby Barrett – Colors of the Wind (Pocahontas) – Gabby’s sister Gypsy is visiting. They ride the rides! Gabby was very nervous to meet Idina. She gives the singer some tips on how to deal with nerves. When she’s feeling nervous, Idina sings to her son. Gabby sings the song like the big ole Disney ballad it is, setting aside her country stylings this week. To Gabby’s credit she doesn’t blast her way through the song. When she finally does hit some high notes, it counts. Luke says, “You have all the tools to win this thing.” Lionel says, “You’re the package, my dear.” Katy appreciated the difference this week, “You really brought that pop stardom tonight,” she says. Text “14” to 21523
Michael J. Woodard – Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast) – Aw. His grandma surprised him at Disneyland. He feels the song he chose is classic and timeless. By the time he meets Idina, his voice is hoarse. She compares Michael to an angel. “The song is really great for him.” Michael’s weak spot is his enunciation. I can’t understand him! But after a bit of a shaky start, he sails into the song. Hitting a big note at just the right time. A few sweet flourishes near the end helps Michael put his stamp firmly on the song. Lionel loves his “little martian.” Katy says, “You make my heart smile. You fit in between a Michael Jackson and a Frank Ocean.” Interesting comparison! Luke calls him “infectious” and tells him, “You just be you buddy.” – Text “13” to 21523
Katy is trying to fit a glass slipper on her foot. Spoiler alert. It doesn’t fit. Next, she pours water into it and drinks. Lionel is freaked out.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson – You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Toy Story) – Caleb is still getting used to the attention! His friend drops in to hang out in Disneyland. Ha. He thinks of his dog when he sings the song. Idina calls Cade’s bass vocal “sexy.” He performs a very easy, effortless rendition of the song. He’s like a current version of Roy Rogers. I’m waiting for a horse to come sauntering onto stage. Good pick for him! The jaunty tune fits his sweet and friendly personality. Katy says, “You’re such a country singer. Randy Newman would be so proud.” Luke also feels it’s a great song choice. Lionel says, “That voice you have…that smile is so identifiable my friend.” Aw. A photo of his dog Hershey flashes up on the screen. – Text “1” to 21523
Catie Turner – Once Upon a Dream (Sleeping Beauty) – Catie’s mom joined her at Disneyland to ride some roller coasters. Then they met the princesses. Catie rushes into the rom, giving Idina a big hug. During their session, Idina persuades Catie to cut some of the humming. Wearing a pink princess dress, she saunters up to mic ruffling her skirt. No guitar in hand, she sings a very classic version of the song. She does have a very good voice. She probably could do Broadway. She barely changed that up at all, and other than a few pitch impaired moments, Catie acquits herself nicely. Lionel says, “You just took us on a magical, magical journey.” Katy says, “I really see myself in you, but tonight you went from a girl to a woman. BIPITY BOBITY BOO!” Katy took extra crazy pills tonight. Luke says Catie sings from a part of her soul, “It just flows out of you.” – Text “7” to 21523
American Idol is trending on twitter at #1!!! Disney Night at 5, Snow White at 14, Katy Perry at 18.
Dennis Lorenzo closes the show in the not-pimp position.
Dennis Lorenzo – Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John (Lion King) – Dennis sheds tears when his ‘ daughter joins him at Disneyland. He’s crying. Aw. He saw the movie with his parents before his dad was murdered. He strongly identified with Simba–dad was his king. Idina is impressed with Dennis’ versatility. She wants an arrangement for him that makes the song more than a “pretty little ditty.” Dennis performs the first verse on top of a sweet blues lick. This song can be REAL REAL cheesy. But in Dennis’ hands, the tune is soulful. An organ playing underneath gives the arrangement a gospel feel. This performance is definitely worthy of the last spot! Hopefully fans have time to vote for him. “Home run,” says Luke. Lionel says, “I love the way you put a little bbq sauce on the Lion King.” Katy is stress eating an apple. Ha ha. Get it? And that bit was too important to actually give Dennis a critique.- Text “9” to 21523
Ryan heads back to the lounge with Dennis to chat with the contestants. He teases that the votes were “tight for awhile.” Chit chatting, seemingly to kill time while viewers continue voting, he notes that in the past, contestants didn’t always get along. But this group, he says, is “really tight.” How would Ryan actually know? He jumps off a plane from New York City to host a show–when he can fit it in. He missed many of the audition cities, and was barely around for Hollywood week…
Results after the break! Hm. No recap of the performances and numbers just to give viewers a refresher?
Kieran dim the lights! In no particular order: Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett, Michael J. Woodard, Cade Foehner, Maddie Pope and Jurnee are in the Top 7. Ada Vox, Michelle Sussett and Denis Lorenzo are eliminated.
Ryan reveals that the difference between two contestants was .19 %. It’s a meaningless figure unless the slight difference was between No. 7 and No. 8. Ryan does not disclose which contestants came that close to one another. Three contestants…gone in a flash!
It’s Prince Night next Sunday BUT WE ALREADY KNEW THAT. Also…Nick Jonas!
Caleb Lee Hutchinson
Michael J. Woodard