American Idol 2021 Recap Top 7 Coldplay/Mother’s Day Top 5 Revealed
Tonight the Top 7 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 5 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.
This week, the Top 7 sing two songs. One song is from the Coldplay catalog. Frontman Chris Martin will be on hand to mentor. Also, the band will perform their new single “Higher Power.” The second is the always sentimental dedication for Mother’s Day. Get ready for tears!
VOTE OPENS AT 8 PM ET ENDS BEFORE THE END OF THE SHOW!
Caleb Kennedy – 1 to 21523
Willie Spence – 2 to 21523
Casey Bishop – 4 to 21523
Chayce Beckham – 5 to 21523
Arthur Gunn – 7 to 2152
Hunter Metts – 9 to 21523
Grace Kinstler – 10 to 21523
The night begins with Coldplay!
Casey Bishop – Paradise by Coldplay
Chris helps Casey learn to think in the moment. After a few lines, Chris calls her vocal perfect. “I can’t teach you anything!” he insists. Chris thinks the song fits her perfectly. He also tells her that the “Para Para Paradise” part didn’t come out the way he liked. She decides to play around with it, a little. Actually, I don’t think this is the perfect song for her. But she comes alive on the chorus, as Casey always does. Her range is on full display. These Coldplay songs are not easy to sing. Katy loves how she let loose and harnessed the energy. “More tornado, but that was perfect!” Luke says she keeps delivering, night after night. She did move around the stage more than she usually has. She’s taking the judges advice to be free on stage. Lionel calls the performance “fantastic.”
Chayce Beckham – Magic by Coldplay
Chayce has loved this particular song forever, and it’s a dream come true to play it with Chris. As they play, Chris almost forgets to mentor! Actually, he does give Chayce some tips on phrasing. And he asks about his hair products (!!!) The two joke around as Chayce pulls down a strand from his slicked back do a la Johnny Depp. For his performance, Chayce accompanies himself on guitar and does his strummy thing with it. Just when I’m thinking more dynamics are needed, he brings it on the pre-chorus. He builds the song nicely. Good job. The judges are on their feet! Luke notes the “artistic signature things” he has and the bigger vocal moments. He loved seeing him have fun with Chris during the session. Lionel calls his voice “signature” and advises that he “enjoy the ride.” Katy thinks he has that “Chris Martin magic.”
Willie Spence – Yellow by Coldplay
Willie sings Coldplay’s very first hit. When Willie reveals that he started singing in church, Chris admits that HE started singing in his stuffy Anglican church. Gee. That’s just the same! Or not. Willie explains that the message of the song is about others, who may have insecurities like he does. Chris instructs the piano player to change some chords. His suggestions are very specific. He jokes that he’s been singing the song wrong all along. Willie turns the song into a beautiful piano ballad. I wondered how he would arrange this, and it’s so pretty. The melody is changed up (with Chris’ help) but not too much. There’s a bridge part where Willie really opens up. No key change this time. But lots of huge notes. Nice. Lionel calls it a “religious experience.” Katy says he’s “back in that connected place…you let go and let God.” Luke says he will always cherish watching Willie sing.
Caleb Kennedy – Violet Hill by Coldplay
Caleb says again that he’s more of a writer than a singer, as he shows Chris one of his new songs. He had no idea about Coldplay before he learned the song. But he did know that “Violet Hill” is a deep cut. Chris notes it’s one of the band’s first songs. He chats a bit about what the song is about. He’s a good mentor. Caleb is wearing a hat, but it’s not pulled down so far over his eyes. He needs to enunciate more. He’s losing the end of the lines a bit. His mic got quiet or something? Then it got louder. Weird sound issues, I think. He’s doing pretty well, considering Coldplay is so far out of his wheelhouse. Katy says the song scared her in a good way. Luke loved the first 20 seconds of the song “You need to channel that everytime.” He’s right. The performance got soggy in the middle. Lionel saw his confidence dip in the middle. “Bring you every time you come to the table,” he says. Caleb begins to leave the stage before Ryan does his numbers. He looks a little upset.
WHOOO HOOOOO IDOL IS COMING BACK NEXT SEASON AUDITIONS ARE OPEN SOON!
Arthur Gunn – In My Place by Coldplay
Arthur plays the song for Chris. As he usually does, he changes the melody. Chris exclaims that he thinks the melody is “the best bit….now you’ve thrown it away.” Hoo boy. Chris is being nice about it though. He suggests a chord change, and Arthur actually takes the suggestion. Chris says that Arthur is his own guy, and he respects that. He surrenders. It’s an interesting rendition. Arthur really can’t cover a song, unless it’s absolutely his own. I’m not sure how Coldplay fans are going to feel about the song being turned into a blues joint. Luke again congratulates Arthur for “sticking to his guns.” He loved the vocal. Lionel calls him an artist. Katy admires his stubbornness. But, she thinks sometimes you have to play along. She wanted to sing along, but “didn’t know that melody.” He kinda “ruined” the Disney song last week too?
Grace Kinstler –
Hymn for the Weekend Fix You by Coldplay
She considered singing “Fix You.” She tried it, but she didn’t feel comfortable singing it. She actually tries it on camera. He assures her that the vulnerability is more important than great vocals. Wow. They don’t pick a song during the session! OH and the song that Billboard spoiled last Thursday is incorrect. She ends up singing “Fix You” instead of “Hymn for the Weekend.” And I thought we had escaped “Fix You” for once. Oh well! Grace is afraid of singing a “cry” song, she said. So she goes for it. But she’s doing a nice job with it. Not oversinging at all. Very beautiful, very vulnerable. Lionel says that her flaws are her strength. Katy loved the intimacy. “It was breaking the facade of show business.” Luke was so pumped up, he almost said a very bad word. “It was amazing,” he says.
OOOOH. Producer Finneas, musical partner of and sister to Billie Eilish will mentor the singers next week! That’s a huge get, because this brother sister team is pretty hot right now. Plus the Top 5 will sing original winners singles.
Hunter Metts – Everglow by Coldplay
Chris says he was listening to a lot of Bonnie Raitt when he wrote the song. Hunter mentions that he sang her song “I Can’t Make You Love Me” earlier in the season. Chris suggests that he raise the key. Hunter is game. He wants to connect to the audience in the way Chris’ song connected with him. After his performance, Chris declares, “The angel Gabriel just landed next to me.” Hunter accompanies himself on guitar. His falsettos aren’t landing as cleanly as they could, but they’re still very pretty. His voice sounds tired. But he finishes strong. Katy claims she gets so many texts about him. “You are beloved by the world,” she says. Luke calls his voice unique. “Nobody else has it.” Lionel calls him a “storyteller…the problem you will have is nothing!”
Next, Coldplay performs their new single, “Higher Power.”
Get out your HANKIES. Mother’s Day songs are next!
Casey Bishop – Ironic by Alanis Morissette
At some point, the “Mother’s Day” part of this song pick will be explained? Also, the things Alanis mentions in the song are not irony. So. Nevertheless, Casey is delivering a confident, nearly perfect performance tonight. She’s working the stage with ease, and her voice is hitting on all cylinders. Her phrasing is masterful. She ends with a “Thank you mama.” Luke calls it “awesome.” Lionel calls the stage presence and song selection “right on the money.” Katy says, “way to be possessed by personality.” So, no letter reading or moments with the moms tonight? So, maybe the song is Casey’s mom’s favorite or something?
Chayce Beckham – Mama by Chayce Beckham
Apparently Chayce wrote this song while on the show. It’s very heartfelt and personal. He feels like he owes his mom a lot, because she was there for him when he hit bottom with drug and alcohol abuse. It’s a very nice song, but not as strong if he picked a cover, actually. But he’s pouring his heart into it. He surely loves his mama. Mama, back in Apple Valley, is in tears. “You have me crying,” says Lionel. “Put that song out now. Performed perfectly.” Katy calls him sensitive and vulnerable. She notes Chayce’s vulnerability. A+ she says. Luke says, “Way to go.”
Willie Spence – You Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker
I think this song is overrated. I could live my entire life with never hearing a rendition of this 70s classic again. But Willie does his Willie thing with it. The arrangement includes an organ, giving the performance a churchy feel. Again. THE BAND KILLING IT WITH ARRANGEMENTS. Willie, wisely keeps it simple. No key changes or super-duper chord changes. He keeps it pretty and heartfelt he ends with the line “Mama you’re very beautiful to me.” Lovely. Katy thinks the performance is once again “very connected.” Aw. Mama is on Zoom crying her eyes out. Luke calls him “so identifiable.” Lionel was there for the originals but admires that he “willie-ized the song.”
Caleb Kennedy – Mama Said by Caleb Kennedy
His mom was a roadie, says Ryan. NO HAT for Mama. Caleb keeps insisting that he’s more of a songwriter. And he’s not lying. He’s got a raw talent for penning songs. He’s still a teen. And because he’s singing his own song, his vocal and confidence is exponentially better this time. I think he’s securing his place in the Top 5 with this performance. Lionel calls him a true anomaly, wise beyond his 15 years. Lionel says, “Put that record out…that’s a 90 year old man writing that song…so gifted man.” Katy says, as a new mom, wearing his heart on his sleeve “looks good on you.”
Arthur Gunn – Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd
OK. Here’s my problem. I like Arthur, but I’m tired of him? We watched him until the bitter end of last season. Now he’s back with a bunch more performances. I want to see the new talent now. Did he sing Simple Man last season? At this point, it’s all blurring together. Lionel calls him a stylist and a great performer. Katy liked this performance much better than Coldplay because she recognized the melody. “Dig in even more,” Luke advises.
Grace Kinstler – When We Were Young by Adele
Ryan explains that the song is one of her mom’s favorites. Grace floundered around for a few weeks, but now she seems to have found her confidence and her power. She’s definitely got her mojo this week. Katy is “so proud” of Grace. “You’ve really stepped up your game.” Luke says, “Whatever you ate this morning…prayers…it was just a magical performance.” Lionel calls it perfectly done. She really is terrific this week.
Hunter Metts – The River by Hunter Metts
Hunter’s mom requested he sing this original song. His voice rings out. So beautiful. When Hunter is on, he’s on. Performing his own song, he’s immersed in the lyrics. His biggest problem is living inside his head while he sings. That’s not happening here. He’s a gifted songwriter. He deserves the pimp spot tonight. He ends on a cry. His voice breaks a little, but who cares. Luke says, “10 out of 10. That held up. It was a musical experience done by a pro.” Lionel agrees. “The top 10 of this group is just amazing.” Katy also admires his songwriting.
Ryan says the vote was REALLY CLOSE. After the nationwide vote…making it into the Top 5 is Casey Bishop. The second is Grace Kinstler. The next person is…Chayce Beckham. Next is Willie Spence. And Caleb Kennedy rounds out the Top 5.
At this point, Hunter and Casey were my favorites, so I am pretty disappointed that Hunter is eliminated. His second song in particular was just wonderful. But Caleb, as the last remaining country singer, was destined to make Top 5. And Chayce appeals to older fans who watch the show. Though, as an older fan, I would have swapped Hunter for Chayce without a qualm. That’s just my preference. Everybody in the Top 7 is talented.
At least Hunter wasn’t eliminated at the expense of Arthur. The whole Comeback was such an ill-advised idea. Twists that work for The Bachelor franchise and Dancing with the Stars Do NOT WORK FOR AMERICAN IDOL. For reasons. I think I’m going to pen a whole post on that soon.
Good luck to Arthur. It had to be an uncomfortable ride for him. He’s a talented artist. Now it’s time to leave singing shows behind, and build a career.