Tonight, the American Idol 2019 Top 10 sing for YOUR votes. For the FIRST TIME this season, American Idol goes LIVE coast to coast. Viewers across the US will watch and vote simultaneously. At the end of the episode, TWO contestants will be eliminated.
The Top 10 contestants will sing Disney classics in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. The finalists will be mentored by actress Rebel Wilson. Additionally, the Top 10 will join Glee star Lea Michele for a fun group number. AND, Idol sweethearts, Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson–the 2018 winner and runner-up respectively–will return for a special duet.
Here is how to VOTE. Y’all can start voting AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW:
Song Spoilers below! NO SPOILER DISCUSSION ON THE LIVE BLOG. Keep spoiler talk under the spoilers posts, please.
The judges goof on the classic “Heigh Ho” at the top of the show.
OH BOY. Katy is dressed as Ursula, complete with purple makeup. OK then. host Ryan Seacrest declares “THIS is American Idol” flanked by Minnie and Mickey.
THE JUDGES SAVE IS BACK OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY. Same rules. The judges can save ONE contestant. They’ve got 3 weeks to use it.
Uche – Eye to Eye from A Goofy Movie – Uche heads off to Disneyland with his mother who is so so proud of him. In his mentor session with Rebel she notes his natural confidence. She thinks the song is a bit obscure, but if he brings the energy, he’ll crush it. I have never heard this song, but it has Prince-like overtones and suits Uche very well. His vocals are a little sloppy. But, he continues to be a joy to watch. TOTALLY FIERCE. Katy doesn’t know the song. She loves his magic, but…”I’m waiting for a little more voice.” Uche says, “I don’t know what that means.” Neither do I? Lionel doesn’t care! Uche is a performer. That’s what’s important. Luke says, “You make it an Uche song.” Katy could have been more precise and constructive when attempting to criticize Uche’s vocals. Goofy joins Uche and Ryan on stage for some hijinks.
Laci Kaye Booth – I See the Light from Tangled – Laci LOVES Rapunzel. Rebel wants her to belt a little more. Do you ever fight with your mum? She asks. She suggests Laci belts to her mother’s face. Hm. This song is boring, and Laci isn’t bringing much life to it. I understand why Rebel wanted her to “belt.” Her interpretation needed more dynamics–raise the heat on the last verse and chorus. Luke thinks she’s becoming a “Disney princess.” He calls her subtle delivery “real and honest.” Lionel calls it a “perfect song….you are on a roll.” Katy feels she made the song her own.
Uh. Katy is chomping on a giant crab leg. SOMETHING was bleeped out.
Alejandro Aranda – Remember Me from Coco – Alejandro brings a music pal to Disneyland. In his session with rebel, he confesses that he doesn’t know the lyrics. Look at Alejandro dancing with Rebel. He does have a sense of humor. Note: Apparently, Alejandro got sick this week. He sounds under the weather. Still, he delivers the song with a sweet, touching vulnerability. I like the arrangement a lot. Lionel says he embodies “true artistry.” Katy loves him so much, she feels the emotion coming from him. “Trust the universe,” she says. Luke notes that the show is pushing him out of his comfort zone, and it’s a good thing.
HI CARRIE UNDERWOOD. She congratulates the Top 10 for putting on an “amazing show.” She can’t appear because her tour begins May first. She’s at rehearsal. So cool that she took the time to tape a video.
Alyssa Raghu – Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas – Her Dad and little sisters flew out to surprise her. One lives with her mother in another state. I remember Alyssa hinting last season at some family drama. Part of Rebel’s mentoring strategy is tossing around cotton candy–to teach Alyssa to stay focused during a performance. Rebel can’t understand why America didn’t vote for her last week. “I felt a connection.” Alyssa delivers a sweet, if pageanty performance of the ballad. There’s even a strategically placed arm spread. But consider what she’s got to work with–a really dumb song. “That was so beautiful and elegant…I am so happy you tried on a few new notes.,” says Katy. Luke compliments her for continuing to fight. Lionel says, “We have come a long way with your journey.”
Lea Michele is next. She’s performing the lead role in “Little Mermaid” at the Hollywood Bowl this summer. She sings “Part of Your World” as a preview. You know. Lea can sing Broadway. The Top 10 perform backups. Well, that performance was short (actually, a minute and 39 seconds–just like an Idol performance!)
Wade Cota – You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story -Rebel relates to Wade as one big person to another. The singer takes his mom, of course, to Disneyland. Randy Newman is a treasure! Also a better singer than Wade. But the rasp is similar, which makes this song the perfect choice for him He lifts his foot and “Andy” is written on his sole? Don’t kill me. I’ve never seen Toy Story (although I probably did know at one point the little boy’s name was Andy). The judges are swaying in the background as he sings. Luke feels we got a glimpse Wade’s future as an artist. “You’re a star,” says Lionel, “You have that identifiable voice.” Katy says, “It was fantastic…fantastic song choice…so relatable.”
Hi mentor Bobby Bones. He’s backstage giving contestants advice and encouragement. He urges fans to VOTE VOTE VOTE.
Dimitrius Graham – You’ll Be in My Heart from Tarzan – Dimitrius is a big Rebel fan. “I sniffed her, she smelled like strawberries,” he confessed. Thanks for sharing! She encourages him to emote more. Don’t’ be so serious, she says. Dimitrius’ mom surprises him at Disneyland. She had cancer surgery, during Hollywood Week. But now she looks healthy. Dimitrius is in control thi week as he builds the song to a glorious crescendo. This boy can SANG. The high notes are mostly on key. He wobbles a little on the highest–but not a big deal. He drops to his knees at the finish. So much passion! Katy runs on stage to comfort him. “We love you, your journey has been amazing,” says Luke. “You have an incredible instrument,” adds Katy, “You took us on a ride.” Luke says, “We have really picked your voice apart on this show…you didn’t miss a note on a very challenging song.” His pitch wasn’t perfect, but much improved.
Walker Burroughs – When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2 – Walker’s family joins him at Disneyland. After he sings, Rebel calls him a “little cutie.” She helps him with pitch problems. He told Rebel he wouldn’t play piano. But he changed his mind, obviously, as he sits behind a baby grand. His presentation is so earnest. I believe every word. Such as sweet rendition. This might be my favorite from Walker so far. “You really transported me to another time and place,” says Katy. Luke hopes America understands the difficulty of what he just did, noting the difficult piano parts. “We call you in our business, a pro….perfect,” says Lionel.
Sweethearts Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Maddie Poppe sing “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. She’s last year’s Idol winner. He was the runner up. And they’re boyfriend and girlfriend. Well, that was less awkward than last season’s duet. But still kinda (adorably!) awkward.
Madison VanDenburg – How Far I’ll Go from Moana – Madison’s sister Taylor joins her at Disneyland. She marvels at how her confidence has grown. Rebel takes Madison into the suite’s bathtub to rehearse. For the bathroom acoustics, of course. “How Far I’ll Go” is overdone on singing shows, although it suits Madison’s big voice. With her rich tone and impressive range, she really can sing anything. However, I’m waiting for her to break out of the box a little! Luke feels she surpassed every singing show version of that song. “A stratosphere of notes,” says Lionel. Katy believes she’s stepped into her power.
Ryan pimps the big Idol clip show that airs tomorrow (April 22). Feel free to skip it. Just kidding. I’ll probably watch it later this week.
Laine Hardy – Oo-De-Lally from Robin Hood – Rebel coaches Laine to move his mouth more. She encourages him to sing/shout from the balcony at the Disney park peeps below. Laine is easy for the fans at home to connect with, she believes. The song is perfect for Laine’s swampy style, although I prefer him a little grittier. The house band’s lead guitarist plays a few cool licks. Lionel says he “found his wheelhouse.” Katy repeats that he could win the competition. Luke says, “You better be careful, or you might win American Idol.” It’s a thing Luke said at Laine’s audition–last season.
Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon – Candle on the Water – Pete’s Dragon – Ugh. Performing last is not the pimp spot when viewers only have minutes to vote afterward. Jeremiah’s sister Annie surprises him. It’s the first time a family member has attended a show. Hm. Annie hints she wasn’t previously down with the gay. But she’s learning. Another boring song choice! But Jeremiah saves it with a beautiful vocal and sincere emotion. His tone is so pure. OH THAT HIGH NOTE! Katy marvels at his note hitting abilities. “You are a pro pro pro,” says Luke. Lionel declares that Jeremiah is OWNING his talent.
Back from break, Ryan has the results in his hand. KIERAN DIM THE LIGHTS HERE WE GO. The first person through to the Top 8 is Laine! Madison is next. Also America wants to see more of…Alejandro. Singing again for another week..Jeremiah. After the nationwide vote is…Walker! Coming back next week is…Laci. The nation has totally fallen in love with…Wade Cota. Three people left. ALL WILD CARDS PEOPLE. Alyssa Raghu takes the last spot.
Will the judges save Uche or Dimitrius? Will they save one of them twice? Both African American singers were eliminated. For real. THE JUDGES DECIDE NOT TO USE THE SAVE.
I hate to see these two talented singers go. But the judges saved them last week. Chances are, the save would have bought them only one more week. I understand why they didn’t use it. Dimitrius could not have done more to help himself as far as performance is concerned. But perhaps Rebel had a point when she suggested he not be so serious. Dimitrius was a bit of a cipher on the show. It didn’t help that he had less screen time than the others.
But Uche. Dang. He was SO entertaining! I was so looking forward to his Queen performance next week. Uche NEEDS to be mentored by Adam Lambert. Uche was fun, likeable and knew how to work that stage. There are better vocalists on the show, but there are worse too. Alejandro and Wade get a pass from viewers for less than stellar vocals based on their musicality and personality respectively. I believe Uche deserved the same consideration for his performance skills.
Jeremiah Loyd Harmon
Laci Kaye Booth