American Idol 2021 Recap Top 10 Disney Songs, Top 7 Revealed
Tonight the Top 10 will sing for your votes in REAL TIME. American Idol begins at 8 pm ET across ALL TIME ZONES. Viewers will vote together, and at the end of the episode, a TOP 7 will be revealed. The singers will perform for the judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. And for your vote! Ryan Seacrest hosts, Bobby Bones serves as in-house mentor.
After Idol announced the Top 9 last week, the contestants headed to Disney World in Florida, where actor John Stamos mentored them. The group also got surprised by friends and family members before checking out the park.
Also, the winner of the season 18 Comeback episode will be announced at the Top of the show and will join the 2021 Top 9, making it a Top 10.
VOTE OPENS AT 8 PM ET ENDS BEFORE THE END OF THE SHOW! NEW PHONE NUMBERS!!!
Caleb Kennedy – 1 to 21523
Willie Spence – 2 to 21523
Deshawn Goncalves – 3 to 21523
Casey Bishop – 4 to 21523
Chayce Beckham – 5 to 21523
Alyssa Wray – 6 to 21523
Arthur Gunn – 7 to 2152
Cassandra Coleman – 8 to 21523
Hunter Metts – 9 to 21523
Grace Kinstler – 10 to 21523
The show opens with the Top 9 and Mickey at Disney World. The kids do their part to pimp the parks! Next The Descendents’ Sofia Carson performs “A Whole New World” with the Top 9. Basically, they sing backup. I DO MISS CHEESY GROUP NUMBERS.
KATY PERRY IS DRESSED AS TINKERBELL. I know y’all were waiting for that piece of info.
Here we go! Time to REVEAL THE COMEBACK CONTESTANT and it is….the doors open and…there is season 18 RUNNER-UP ARTHUR GUNN! He is so excited to be back. Ryan asks him if he’s making new friends. He answers yes. But I have to wonder what the rest of the contestants REALLY think about the runner-up from last season just landing in the Top 10. Anyway, the result was spoiled a few days ago. But still no surprises there. The guy beat his comeback competitors last year, and then beat them again this year. It’s a logical result.
Ryan introduces a John Stamos video package. The short of it: He stars in a new Disney+ show Big Shots, which is really why he’s here.
Caleb Kennedy – Real Gone from Cars – Caleb is very excited to be mentored by someone who played with the Beach Boys. John encourages Caleb to pick 3 spots to look at the judges. Caleb does have problems connecting with the audience. Next, Caleb is surprised by his mom. He begins crying, he’s so excited. They spend the day enjoying the park. Caleb’s hat is back, the one that shades his eyes. The song is a real S*** kicker, and is very forgiving vocally. It’s probably one of his better performances. One thing, he does a good job interacting with the band, at least. Katy says, “this thing is really peter panning out for you!” She calls his energy infectious, and loved the song choice. Luke calls it “a total Caleb the artist look.” Lionel loved that he “actually gave us a smile.”
Willie Spence – Circle of Life from The Lion King – The last time he went to Disney World was with his late grandfather at age 5 0r 6. He recently passed away. John loves his smile. And that’s his mentoring! Smile as much as you can! Then, Willie’s family appears. to spend more happy memories at the park. By the way, Jennifer Hudson sang this song during season 3, and then was promptly voted off! Willie does his usual job with the song. He builds and builds before throwing in amazing runs and key changes. He’s terrific, but he’s becoming a little predictable. Shake it up Willie. Luke believes “Willie has the magic.” He’s grinning from ear to ear. Lionel says “you could sing the phone book and literally make it your own.” THANKS RANDY! (Because Randy Jackson said that all the time, and it’s a hackneyed critique). Katy says, “You aren’t a lost boy anymore, you’re a bonafide Idol.” She calls the arrangement sparkly and magnificent.
Howard Stern is watching American Idol this season, says Lionel. But he’s an Idol fan from way back.
Deshawn Goncalves – When You Wish Upon a Star from Pinocchio – It’s Deshawn’s first trip to Disney World. He’s so excited. John encourages Deshawn to sing out. I think he’s holding back on purpose, John. Deshawn is planning a jazzy take on the song. It’s an interesting arrangement. But, I think it’s been jazzed up by a few standards singers. Can’t think of any right off the top of my head. But it’s a good song choice and approach for Deshawn, the little engine who could. He keeps going and going and going! The band is amazing on this number. Deshawn also has wonderful stage presence. He bows at the end. Man. Lionel wants to know “who are you really!” But it’s not a diss. He loves Deshawn’s showmanship. Katy thinks she’s met him for the very first time. “You are amazing!” Lionel thinks his family must be so proud of him. “You are not the same person who showed up at audition.
COLDPLAY SONGS NEXT WEEK. Ryan rolls a video message for the singers. They are going to mentor! Plus, they will perform their song “Higher Power.”
Casey Bishop – When She Loved Me from Toy Story 2 – John wonders if the key is too low, so they change it. “She has a couple of sweet spots, and she has to get to them soon,” he says. Her stepdad and brother “appeared out of nowhere!” she says. They ride some rides. She explains, “I’m definitely stripping it down.” Sure, Casey is a great rock singer. But she has an absolutely gorgeous tone, which this song shows off. It’s lovely. DARK HORSE PEOPLE. She hits all the high notes in all the right spots. The vocal is a little shaky in spots, but the emotion makes up for it. Katy appreciates all the colors Casey is showing on the stage, and loves that she can do “almost anything.” Luke calls the 15 year old a “superstar in the making.” Lionel thinks she has grace beyond her years.
Chayce Beckham – Baby Mine from Dumbo – Chayce calls John “Uncle Jessy.” Also, Chayce LOVES Star Wars. His aunts used to call him Dumbo because of his big ears. Oh my. John suggests he slow up the arrangement. No family at Disney World for Chayce. They’re at home making fun of his ears, probably. Chayce performs a jaunty, strummy version of the song. But there is a mournful slide guitar in the background. And his gravelly voice imbues the song with longing. It’s another great arrangement. The band gets an A+ tonight. Luke loves that he brought the steel guitar to the stage. He calls the performance “retro cool.” Lionel urges him to enjoy the moment. Katy loves the way he gave the song an alt/rock sound. UH. GRAHAM DEFRANCO IS ZOOMING WITH CHAYCE’S FAMILY THIS WEEK. He’ll be touring the rest of the season. Heh. Chayce admits that he changed his song at the last minute.
Alyssa Wray – A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes from Cinderella – She loves the princesses, Cinderella in particular. She connects to the song. She always felt that she was meant for more. LOL. John uses the segment to pimp his Disney+ show. Geez. Oh she looks so beautiful in a silvery gown. This performance is so pretty and subtle. She sings with a touch of jazz. It’s very different from what’s she’s done so far. She uses her head voice to good effect. She saves her big notes for the very end. She’s listening to the judges advice. In this case, it’s good. Lionel is so happy that she held off going nuts until the end. He calls the performance “amazing.” Katy compliments her control. “You are a permanent princess.” Lionel calls her performance “a work of art.”
Arthur Gunn – Remember Me from Coco – Arthur got mentored by John in Los Angeles. He explains that he changed the arrangement a little. He made it brighter and more hopeful. He’s never seen the movie. John warns him to see it before he performs it. John wants him to sing it more like the original. Arthur proceeds to totally blow off his advice. Which is kinda funny, actually. We know by now what to expect from Arthur, and he’s delivering it. On a night with so many great performances, it’s even more annoying that’s he’ll bump a deserving newbie. No slight to Arthur. but this twist is no bueno. Katy calls it one of his best performances ever. She compares him to Dave Matthews. Luke calls him authentic. The judges are cool with him ignoring Stamos: STICK TO YOUR GUNS ARTHUR.
Recent Oscar winner Jon Batiste performs “It’s Alright” the classic Impressions song covered in the animated Disney movie, Soul. Eventually, the song evolves into “Shout” except it’s “Soul.” It’s a really fun performance. SOUL IS AVAILABLE NOW ON DISNEY+
Cassandra Coleman – Go the Distance from Hercules – SHE LOVES STAR WARS. Her sister and brother-in-law surprise her, and they do a bunch of Star Wars stuff together. John calls her a “natural” performer. She’s flattered and surprised he said that. But, she’s learning to believe in herself. Her outfit is very Florence from Florence + the Machine tonight. I just love her tone, and her vulnerability. Cassandra doesn’t deliver perfect performances. But her connection and passion make up for it. This is lovely. So many personal bests tonight. Luke calls it her most solid vocal from top to bottom. Lionel agrees. He compliments the clarity of her voice. Katy loves that she leaned into the theme. She can see her confidence growing.
Hunter Metts – You’ll Be In My Heart from Tarzan – Hunter says he was super emotional last time because he thought messing up the words would send him home. His song choice is his mom’s favorite. His family surprised him, and it was super overwhelming! The family used to visit Disney World together. Hunter’s performance is sweet and tender. He’s not as intensely connected as he was last time. Maybe he is afraid to let loose and lose control again? But he did go for it at the end. Katy tells him to “keep taking those leaps.” Luke calls his voice “recognizable.”
Grace Kinstler – Into the Unknown from Frozen II – Grace loves the strong female Disney characters and thinks the song is all about taking risks, like she did auditioning for Idol. “What am I going to tell you?” says John by way of advice. “Just do that!” And Grace ends the night with a big song and a big voice. It’s a terrific cap to a terrific night of performances. BEST DISNEY NIGHT EVER. STANDING OVATION. Spectacular. Katy yells “OH MY GODDESS!” She adds, “You had the whole room controlled by your voice.” Luke says, “You had the eye of the tiger and you went beyond all of that.”
Here we go. This is going to hurt this week. After the nationwide vote, the first person to make it through is Chayce Beckham. The second person is Casey Bishop. Next is Willie Spence. And then Hunter Metts. Caleb Kennedy will sing again next week. Grace Kinstler is safe. And now, four singers remain on stage. One more spot. And of course, Arthur Gunn gets it. OK. This is bullcrap. I am not happy that Cassandra is eliminated.
Watch the video below. When it’s the four singers left with one spot, Cassandra, Alyssa and Deshawn instantly put on frozen smiles. I bet they knew what was coming. Arthur looks like a deer in the headlights. The singers who are safe look shell shocked. I’m all for giving last year’s singers an opportunity to perform on the big stage. But bringing back the runner-up to compete again? An Arthur win would be very disappointing.