As the end of the new “American Idol” draws to a close, only five singers remain from the thousands that auditioned from around the nation.
After the show last week the final five were whisked off to Nashville where they spent time with season four winner Carrie Underwood. The show opens with a group performance from the final five with Underwood.
On this Mother’s Day, the singers will perform music to honour their mom’s – including the open from host Ryan Seacrest’s mom – and songs from Carrie Underwood’s catalog.
It’s the semi finals and only three will advance to the finals next week…and the home town visit.
Michael J. Woodward kicks off the competition with the Carrie Underwood song “Flat on the Floor”. His mom is in the audience for the first time. A standing Lionel said that Michael’s got it; adding that it is was all about the attitude and performing. Lionel said that Michael got the night started off on a grand scale. Saying that there is not one like Michael, Katy called him so special; adding that he separates himself with his stage presence and personality. Luke noted that Michael was very deliberate with his delivery; adding that he made the lyrics believable.
A star struck Gabby Barrett performed the Carrie Underwood song “Last Name” and brought the judges to their feet. Katy noted that people are talking about Gabby; adding that Gabby is making an impression. Luke called Gabby a reincarnation of Carrie Underwood on the stage. Lionel said that the performance was just fabulous. Ryan said that it was a nice way to get started off.
Rocker Cade chose the Carrie Underwood song “Undo It”. Saying that he was smiling and watching Cade deliver, Luke said that Cade made it his song. Lionel noted that Cade has grown so much since they first saw him; adding that Cade showed his authentic self and Caderized Carrie. Katy noted that Cade has more than just one lane to his voice and advised him to explore the other lanes in his voice.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson said that he was terrified of doing one of Carrie’s songs. He sang “So Small”. Lionel said that Caleb is about as real as it comes; adding his voice is authentic to who Caleb is. Lionel said that Caleb doesn’t need dancers; saying that Caleb is exactly who he is. Saying that she is a big fan of authenticity, Katy noted that Caleb has an amazing sense of humour but needs to work on working the crowd. After saying that his fellow judges said everything he wanted to say, Luke told Caleb that his voice is his own and that he doesn’t sound like anybody else; adding that Caleb should embrace that.
Finishing out the Carrie Underwood round, Maddie Poppe sang “I Told You So”. Katy said that she felt like she was in Maddie’s world and at one of her concerts; adding that she wanted to Maddie to hurry up and make a record so she could hear it. Luke said that Maddie doesn’t need to worry about her singing because she tells a story perfectly; adding that he was ready to go to a honky tonk and drink a beer. Noting that Maddie suffers from the same thing all performers do, Lionel told Maddie not to over think because she has it.
Carrie Underwood takes the stage to perform her new single “Cry Pretty”.
Gabby kicks off round two – songs for their mother’s – with “I Have Nothing”. Luke decided that he was just going to shut up. Katy wanted to know what she did with Gabby; adding that where ever it came from…do it again. Lionel noted the difficulty of doing a Whitney Houston song; adding that Gabby took it to the next level.
Cade sang “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd for his Mother’s Day dedication. Cade traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic guitar for this performance. Lionel said that he was just going to make an announcement – for all of you who missed the sixties and seventies…that was it. Saying that she loved the dynamics in the performance, Katy noted that it was nice to see a grown man show some vulnerability. Luke noted that they were finally seeing what Cade was all about; adding that it was perfection. Luke said that Cade was showing who he was at the right time.
Michael J Woodard sang the Yolanda Adams song “Still I Rise” and brought the judges to their feet. An emotional Katy called Michael anointed; adding that what she just saw was so beautiful. A speechless Luke told Lionel to talk and Lionel noted that it was obvious that they loved Michael; adding that he was anoined.
Caleb’s Mother’s Day song was “Stars in Alabama”. Luke said that it was so fun hearing Caleb in his wheelhouse; adding that he could see Caleb’s future in that song. Lionel said that when he can close his eyes and know in two notes it’s Caleb…that’s stardom. Katy said that Caleb’s parents created something special; adding that in two years when Caleb is 21, she wants to have a beer with him.
All of the moms were in the audience for the show…except Luke’s who sent a video and she surprised him with a visit.
Maddie Poppe finishes out the performances with the Beach Boys song “God Only Knows” and was emotional at the end of the song. Speaking as Papa Lionel, Lionel noted that Maddie has grown; adding that they have five different artists who all have their own wheelhouses. Lionel said that he is proud of them all and urges fans to vote. Katy noted that she wished she had written the song – it was a hit before she was born -; adding that Maddie has impeccable taste and did the song justice. Noting that the song is a tough one to sing, Luke said that he loves Maddie’s personality.
After all of the performances, it is time for the results…saying that nearly 20 million votes were cast; Ryan named Caleb Lee Hutchinson as the first person in the finale.
Gabby Barrett is also in the finale.
The last person moving on to the finale is…Maddie Poppe.
Cade Foehner and Michael J Woodard were eliminated from the competition.