This week on “American Idol” the seven remaining contestants take on the music of Prince and perform music from the year they were born.
Pop star Nick Jonas joins Idol this week to serve as a mentor for the singers.
The singers…and judges…greeted everyone with masks of themselves as babies.
With only seven singers left, each one will perform twice and by the end of the night, only five will survive to move on to next week.
And as a big surprise Sheila E. performed the percussion on the Prince songs.
Kicking off the night of music, Jurnee performs “Kiss” by Prince to rousing cheers from the audience. Saying that he was watching her and Sheila, Lionel said that Jurnee took care of business. Katy said that she really appreciated that Jurnee was moving around on the second verse; but wanted to see more of it. Saying that it was a great song choice, Luke said that he had a great time watching Jurnee.
Kicking off the birth year songs was Gabby Barrett with the Lee Ann Womack hit “I Hope You Dance”. Admitting that she often felt she had heard a lot of Gabby’s, Katy said that after tonight, she realizes that there is only one Gabby. Luke called it one of the best vocals they have heard on the show; adding that she did something amazing for herself. Lionel said that there wasn’t anything wrong with the performance; adding that he could tell she was very comfortable.
Michael J Woodward chose “I Would Die for You” for his Prince song. He moved around the stage and danced all through the song including interacting with Sheila and brought the judges to their feet. Luke noted that they need to build Michael up to give him more confidence; adding that Michael has all the tools, he just needs to let go. Lionel noted that Michael owned the song and made it his own; adding that if Michael has the confidence, the sky is the limit. Katy loved the interaction; adding that it felt natural and the lyrics explained who he is. Sheila E called Michael amazing; adding that he sang his butt off.
Host Ryan Seacrest revealed that they had already had over four million votes. Again this week the broadcast was aired live across all time zones with live voting.
Singing a song from his birth year, Cade took on Jewel with “Who Will Save Your Soul” and had the crowd clapping along to the song. Noting that Cade pushes the envelope every time he takes the stage, Lionel said that Cade took him to another place with his powerful rendition of the song. Calling it a really interesting rendition of the song, Katy admits that her mother is obsessed with Cade. Saying that Cade has an iconic look, Luke noted that Cade always finds his zone and he did a great job. Ryan said that he has played the song thousands of times on the radio but the song has never sounded like that.
For her birth year song, Catie Turner sang the Britney Spears hit “Oops, I Did it Again”. She freaked out when she met Nick Jonas. Calling it one of the most interesting versions of the song she has ever heard, Katy said that the performance sounded like Amy Winehouse doing Britney Spears. Luke told Catie to tell herself that she was a star and to come out being that star. Agreeing with Luke, Lionel told Catie that she brings her style to the stage and she needs to own it.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson sang the Lonestar hit “Amazed”. In rehearsals with Nick, Caleb noted how he needed help walking on stage. Luke told Caleb that it took guts to admit when you needed help; adding to take it and roll with it. Lionel said that the screaming girls is what threw him off; adding for Caleb to do the natural thing and be himself. Saying that she loved the song, Katy told Caleb that she appreciated him doing something different.
Finishing out round one, Maddie Poppe played the piano as she performed the Prince song “Nothing Compares to You” and brought the judges to their feel. Lionel loved that Maddie showed her versatility…and the vocal performance. Katy said that there were some artists on the show that were more artists than others; adding whether she won or not, she will still buy tickets to Maddie’s shows. Luke called the performance mesmerizing. Ryan noted that Maddie makes it look easy.
Michael kicked off round two with his birth year performance – the theme from the “Titanic” “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. His performance had the crowd cheering and brought the judges to their feet. Katy compared Michael to Jennifer Hudson, saying that the sky was the limit. Currently on tour, Katy said that at all of her meet and greets everyone asks about Michael. She asked Michael if he wants to go on tour with her. Luke noted that Michael has the ability to pull people in with his performances. Lionel noted that Michael has something that they can’t teach…stage presence; adding that he couldn’t keep his eyes of of Michael.
Ryan revealed that the top seven will be going on tour this summer. Former Idol winner Kris Allen will also be on the tour.
Cade performed the Prince song “Jungle Love” which was made popular by Morris Day and the Time and had the judges on their feet dancing. Luke said that Cade made it his own; adding that they were there to find people like Cade. Saying that Cade made the song his own, Lionel noted that Cade gave them instant identity. Katy was waving cards like fans and talking like the devil.
Ryan announced that so far 15 million votes had been cast and the the voting was very tight.
Gabby sang the Prince song “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore”. Lionel said that’s what you call ownership. Katy called Gabby the person most ready to go on tour; adding that she is the most comfortable on stage. Luke congratulated Gabby on being a star.
For her birth year Jurnee performed the piece that was her parents wedding song – “Back to One” by Brian McNight. While it wasn’t her favourite, Katy said the performance was very cool. Lionel noted that it has been a while since the got to hear the Jurnee stuff. Lionel noted that it was interesting how Jurnee could stay calm on the stage while chaos was going on around her.
Ryan said that so far 16 million votes had been cast and it was very tight.
For her Prince song, Catie Turner performed “Manic Monday” sung by The Bangles. She forgot some of the words and Luke noted that Catie had been a part of the show from the beginning and had never had a glitch; adding that it was ok. Katy said that it was Catie’s night. Noting that they create an illusion, Lionel said that Catie made a fantastic recovery.
For her birth year song, Maddie sang the Sheryl Crow hit “If it Makes You Happy”. Lionel said that it was amazing to watch; adding that she could be anybody right now. Lionel said that Maddie had a powerful voice and has a future in this business. Calling Maddie a true artist, Katy said that Maddie can hold her own. Luke said that he was getting redundant is saying how wonderful Maddie was and was going to go home and find some more words.
The final performance of the night was Caleb’s Prince performance of a Countrified “When Doves Cry”. Calling it a great rendition, Katy said that Caleb has proved so much with his journey. Luke said that he believes Caleb can do anything; adding that Caleb slayed it. Lionel said that he was proud of Caleb.
Ryan announced that the top five were going to Nashville to work with Idol winner Carrie Underwood who would also be performing her new single.
After the nationwide vote, the top five are:
Caleb Lee Hutchinson
and Michael J Woodward
The time has ended for Jurnee and Catie Turner who wer eliminated from the competition.