The American Idol Top 7 perform TWO songs. One is dedicated to their mothers and mother figures on this Mother’s Day. Additionally the remaining contestants pick a popular Tik Tok track. Producer and Black Eyed Pea will.i.am mentors.
The episode once again is LIVE COAST-TO-COAST. That means the show will air simultaneously across ET/CT/MT/PT time zones. VOTING begins at 8 pm ET and ends after the last comercial break. At the end of the show, host Ryan Seacrest will announce the FIVE singers moving on to the next round. Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan serve as host.
Go to ABC.com or the American Idol app to vote. Fans can also text their votes. Voting rules and text numbers at the link below:
At the top of the show Ryan announces that TWO CONTESTANTS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID 19 OH NO OH NO. The show will air Fritz Hager’s rehearsal footage from yesterday. Noah Thompson will perform from his HOTEL ROOM.
Noah tested positive a few days ago, while Fritz tested positive Sunday morning. Dang.
Tik Tok songs with william are first. Ryan clarifies that the song can be either a TikTok trend or the contestant’s favorite song that they posted. LOTS of leeway there.
Electric Love by Borns – Leah is without her guitar this week. Her stage presence is really good. She expresses the joy of the song through her facial expressions and stage movements. It’s not one of Leah’s best vocals, but it’s still a solid performance.
“Who are you!” asks Lionel. Will.i.am had urged her to move around the stage. And that was advice well taken.
I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston – The song turns up on animal videos, according to Jay. I watch a lot of animal videos…never heard Whitney on one. When Jay has trouble with the high notes, Will suggests he sing it in a lower key. This song choice is, uhm. Interesting. His version is decent, but he’s phrasing it just like Whitney did and it’s unremarkable. After gaining momentum with great song choices the past two weeks, he’s going backward.
Katy calls his runs “unique and artistic…you did justice to a Whitney Houston song.” Wow. A lot to get through tonight. Not much commentary from the judges. Not mad about that at all, however.
All My Friends by Fritz Hager – The song is from Fritz’s new EP and it’s VERY GOOD. “All My Friends’ is the “single” and the best track on the set, which charted on iTunes a few weeks ago. Wish he was well enough to perform it live. While Fritz promoted the heck out of the EP when it dropped, comparatively speaking, he hasn’t blown up on TikTok….yet. Will remarks that Fritz has a “high emotional IQ.” He pushes Fritz to lean into his weird side. Sometimes a singer will hold back in rehearsal, saving the best for the live performance. But thankfully, Fritz is delivering a full throated performance. Hopefully his fans panic and VOTE VOTE VOTE this week.
Fritz beams in from his hotel room. He’s feeling good, but feels like he’s in prison. Luke calls it “amazing…you got all the tools,” he says.
Lonely by Justin Bieber – He posted the song to Tik Tok himself, but didn’t like it and took it down. Will helps him to connect to the emotion. “Own the vulnerability,” says Will. Christian took the song down, because it didn’t feel original. Will helped him craft the song to his individual style, and he’s acquiting himself quite well.
Lionel assures him that he’s unique, not broken! We’re not broken. “You are unique unto this planet…stay on course,” he says. Michael Buble is in a clip, and invites Christian to duet on the finale. Christian is VERY VERY VERY excited about that.
You Broke Me First by Tate McRae – Will calls her voice a “perfect recording voice.” Convey all your emotions, Will advises, before giving Hunter’s Nana a shout out. Hunter puts a country spin on the song. But not too much. It’s about as country as a Taylor Swift song. But the singer’s crystalline tone is as beautiful as ever. She takes Will’s advice and pours herself into the song. The performances so far have been incredible. Anything could happen.
“You are such a natural on stage,” says Katy. She appreciates that the singers are all using the stage tonight. Hunter’s Nana invited Disney mentor Derek Hough to Sunday supper. Heh.
Like last season, the Top 7 recorded original songs with Top notch producers! The tracks out on Friday May 13.
Painted Blue by Sunday Best – Noah admits that he’s not good with social media. His friend Arthur uploaded a version of this song, unbeknownst to Noah. Will keeps on the theme of vulnerability and emotion. Interestingly, Noah is NOT disadvantaged performing in a hotel room. The intimacy of the song works well in a small setting. Maybe better than it would on the big stage. Noah kind of whiffed last week, singing a jaunty Disney song. He’s at his best with emotional acoustic songs.
Luke calls him a star, despite sitting in a hotel room with Covid. “It sucks,” says Noah. “One of your best performances!” says Luke. That’s actually not hyperbole.
Alone by Heart – Nicolina uses Tik Tok a lot. This theme is a natural for her. Will followed her on the platform! She did an “I Got a Feeling” Tik Tok challenge with Will at one point. Her phrasing is interesting. She doesn’t power her way through the song like most vocalists do. The first verse is soft and vulnerable, and then she GOES for it. Very dramatic. Nicolina has been coming on strong lately.
“Star in control,” says Lionel. “You got it, you’re there,” he says.
Mother’s Day dedications are next
The video packages features the Top 7 and their moms or mother figures for tear-jerking segments.
CARRIE UNDERWOOD IS MENTORING NEXT WEEK! The Top 5 will travel to Resorts World in Las Vegas, to work with the season 4 winner. Carrie has been performing at the venue in a residency. Fun fact: Katy and Luke BOTH have residencies at the venue.
Jay’s mom was a single mother. She taught him so much. She scolds him for chewing with his mouth full. Oh mom!
A Song for Mama by Boyz II Men – The song is very sweet. But it’s another boring song choice. Jay has had a couple of high points in the competition, but overall he’s never lived up to is “platinum ticket” status. This performance is a little pitchy and very ordinary.
Katy is ecstatic about his growth. “Instant Identity” she says. Luke thinks he’s “hitting everything perfectly right now.” Lionel says he’s stepping into his own.
Fritz and his mom watch home movies together. His mother’s late mom “Bea” had a beach house where they spent many happy summer vacations. It’s very emotional. He even wrote a song for her called “The Ocean” and he sings it for his mother.
The Ocean by Fritz Hager – Two original songs, and Fritz is stuck in a hotel room tonight! Still, this song is absolutely exquisite. He’s proving himself to be an accomplished songwriter. He’s not holding back any emotion in his rehearsal, thank heavens. So lovely.
Poor Katy is losing her mind. “You look and sound like a pro,” says Luke, “Another amazing performance…please vote everybody.” Lionel says, “My friend, your star has arrived. Katy calls the performance a combination of Bright Eyes and James Taylor.
After the break, the show presents a cake to Lionel celebrating his upcoming induction tnot the the Rock n Roll Hall of fame. The sweet dessert is a turntable with one of Lionel’s records on it. The record is NOT made of cake.
Sanctuary by Charles Esten, Lennon and Maisy – Mom is Leah’s “absolute best friend.” She’s singing “Sanctuary” from their favorite TV show Nashville. Leah shares that her mom nurtured her musical ambitions all the way. In the performance, Leah accompanies herself on guitar and sounds more country than HunterGirl did earlier in the show. She’s giving me total Emmylou Harris vibes right now. Terrific performance from Leah.
Lionel thinks she’s found her center. You can take that for the rest of your life and make the greatest career ever. Katy calls her mature and graceful. “You sound like an Angel.” Luke admires her tone.
OH. American Idol is promoting auditions for NEXT SEASON. Guess it’s renewed!
Like My Mother Does by Lauren Alaina – Hunter and her mom visit the beach and have a picnic. Her mom worked so hard–two jobs. Hunter cries recalling her childhood. This is vintage Lauren, not one of her big hits. I’m not feeling this song choice. And she misses the note right before the key change. She’s a little pitchy, dawg. Mom, however, is very emotional in the audience. and so is Hunter.
“You still deserve the Platinum Ticket today,” says Katy. Luke liked her song choice and performance. Luke thinks she did a “fabulous job.”
After Noah’s parents divorced, his grandmother raised him. There is a story we have not heard yet. She helps Noah take care of his son. He’s performing her favorite song, “Landslide.” Hopefully, Noah’s homelife is stable. Picking up hayseeds and thrusting them into the spotlight hasn’t worked so great for Idol lately. Or the singers involved, who were obviously not ready for the limelight.
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac – It’s another intimate song from Noah this week that works beautifully in an intimate setting. Where is the music coming from? He’s singing to a backtrack maybe. He doesn’t vary from the original arrangement. I wouldn’t call it a “flip” exactly. But as always, Noah pours his heart into it.
“The right vibes are happening” in the room, Luke observes. He’s correct. Lionel thinks the texture is even better, despite COVID. “You nailed it.” Katy thinks adrenaline took over. Noah and Fritz may have tested positive, but don’t seem very ill.
Light in a Hallway by Pentatonix – This dedication has to bittersweet for Nicolina. Her grandmother is taking care of her family right now, as she’s estranged from her own mom. The two talk over Facetime. This is a lovely rendition of the original song, which is performed by a quintet of voices. It’s a simple performance, stipped down but strong. She’s in tears at the end.
Lionel calls the performance “flawless.” Katy calls both performances this week A++. Luke also calls it flawless.
Dear God by Smokie Norful – He and his mom make pizza together, natch. His mom couldn’t be more proud of her son. The song fits the trajectory of Christian’s life. He almost went blind, until a sight saving operation at 13. He’s battled issues with confidence. And here he is competing on Idol. Now, I’m getting Danny Gokey vibes. Gospel music could be a good fit for Christian. Seriously. Also, pulling out the God card this week. Smart. Because he’s up against FIERCE competition.
Katy feels the SPIRIT IN HERE. She says he sang that like a second skin. She calls it one of his best. “It was pouring out of your soul,” says Luke. Lionel calls it “the most incredible felt performance coming out of your mouth.”
In no particular order, the first person to make it into the Top 5 is…Noah Thompson! And next after the nationwide vote is Nicolina Bozzo. Next is….HunterGirl! Joining the others is….Leah Marlene. The person making it into the Top 5 after the nationwide vote is Fritz Hager!!!! Jay Copeland and Christian Guardino are ELIMINATED