American Idol 2022 Top 10: Nicolina Bozzo Puts a Villainous Spin on Disney Night
Sunday night was Disney night for the Top 10 on Season 20 of American Idol. This theme is starting to feel tired. But the judges’ fun banter coupled with a number of good performances made this a pretty good night of TV. (Read our Recap)
Toronto native, Nicolina Bozzo, is one of the contestants who made the theme feel fresh. She took on a song that had never been performed on Idol before. Additionally, “Poor Unfortunate Souls” is the first villain song to make an appearance on Disney Night. This song choice was a major risk as the most theatrical song of the bunch. It could have easily been “too Broadway” and had she done some other arrangements of it, there wouldn’t have been enough dynamic vocal moments.
In her package, Nicolina is excited about her first time at Disneyland. Her sisters, with whom she shares a special bond, surprise her. They chat about Nicolina singing Little Mermaid while wearing a mermaid tail around the house. Nicolina impresses mentor Derek Hough right off the bat with the song choice and her vocals. He advises her to use Ursula as an influence for her stage presence but not an Ursula accent. Nicolina is aware of the song sounding too Broadway and wants to find the right balance between pop and theater in the performance.
As the performance begins, the backdrop features Nicolina’s face before the doors open and we see her, with an Ursula-inspired look. The beginning is very smooth and breathy. I have missed the dynamics that Nicolina used to give us, so I was pleasantly surprised when she transitioned into several diva-like belting notes and the performance went from being breathy and theatrical to a powerful pop number. Her stage presence was on fire too! This was quite the performance as she nailed note after note, leading to a spectacular finish. This was her best vocal in the live shows to date.
Katy Perry said, “that was so good, it was scary” and that Nicolina “stole the show” and declared it “the best performance of the night.” Lionel Richie called it the “best Disney night ever” and Nicolina’s performance a “presentation.” Luke Bryan noted his awe-filled face throughout the performance. He said Nicolina took it to another place, and it was “like we weren’t at American Idol.”
After a triumphant performance, Nicolina unsurprisingly sailed through to the Top 7. America is doing a pretty good job with these votes. There were no real surprises with the results. Other standouts of Disney night were Leah Marlene who nailed a beloved ballad, Jay Copeland who continues to reign it in and surprise, and Fritz Hager with his consistent vocals and amazing arrangements.
Will Nicolina continue to sail through? Her being a Canadian makes it tough to predict how high her ceiling is. She is talented enough for the Top 5 as tonight’s performance proved, but I am not convinced she will last another week. Idol has not announced next week’s theme yet. Since it is Mother’s Day on May 9, I expect that to be one of the themes. Top 7 is when we finally get to hear the contestants sing two songs.