‘American Idol’ Wild Card Revealed as Top 10 Celebrate Disney Night (RECAP)
After a week off due to the Oscars, the music continued on American Idol. The Top 10, including the comeback contestant, took the stage for the iconic “Disney Night.”
Host Ryan Seacrest revealed that Season 18 wildcard Arthur Gunn earned his second chance in the competition. The other nine ventured to Walt Disney World in Orlando for an onsite mentoring session with Big Shot coach John Stamos.
Academy-winning pianist/singer Jon Batiste sprinkled a little Disney magic of his own performing “It’s All Right,” from the new Oscar-winning Pixar movie Soul. Disney Channel staple Sofia Carson got the show started right with “A Whole New World” from Aladdin alongside the Idol hopefuls.
It wasn’t all fun with some serious business at hand. Judge Katy Perry (or was it Tinker Bell?), Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan lent their critiques to the hopefuls, knowing America’s vote narrowed the field down to seven. Unfortunately, Alyssa Wray, Deshawn Goncalves, and Cassandra Coleman saw their Idol journeys come to an end.
Did your favorite live to sing another day? Let’s take a look at how the night shook out.
John made Caleb think about making more eye contact with the judges on certain lyrics. The actor and all-around entertainer also dug his mullet (Uncle Jesse is an expert in the hair department). Caleb got to enjoy some of the Disney parks with his mom. The country boy gave a rockin’ rendition of “Real Gone” from Cars. Katy felt things were really Peter Panning out for him. She liked his song choice. Luke felt it was a glimpse of Caleb, the artist. Lionel loved his energy and that he even got a hint of a smile.
John spoke to Willie about losing his late grandfather and the meaningful song choice “Circle of Life” from the Lion King. The last time the 21-year-old stepped foot in the theme park it was with his grandfather when he was around age 5 or 6. Luke felt Willie had the magic, especially hitting the big notes. Lionel feels he can sing the phone book and make it his own. Katy said the arrangement was sparkly and magnificent.
John wanted Deshawn to sing out or break out of his timidness. Deshawn got his first taste of Magic Kingdom and even met Pinocchio before taking on “When You Wish Upon a Star.” Lionel could see him nailing down the show business aspect. Katy felt he reached a whole other level. Luke liked watching Deshawn’s transformation and witnessing him come out of his shell.
John found Casey to be so sophisticated at age 16 and gave the advice of singing “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2 in a higher key. The change made all the difference in her eyes. Katy said those vocals on the ballad will take her to infinity and beyond. Luke had chill bumps. Lionel can see she naturally has the stage presence, poise, and delivery.
It was Chayce’s first time at Disney World. John gave him advice to start “Baby Mine” from Dumbo slower, really letting those vocals shine through. Chayce recalled family affectionately calling him the beloved elephant because of his own ears. Luke felt it was awesome on the ears, complimenting his guitar skills. Lionel told him to enjoy the moment. Katy mentioned how he somehow finds a way to make this 1941 lullaby, sung by the likes of Bette Midler, sound cool. She said all he needs right now is a little bit of pixie dust.
Alyssa reminisced about dressing up like the Disney princesses growing up, so it was a highlight for her to go to the castle for the first time and meet an OG in Cinderella. John gave Alyssa about connecting with the audience before dazzling on “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” Lionel liked how she held the true power of her voice and those bigger notes until the end. Katy also complimented her control and that she will never turn into a pumpkin. Luke felt Alyssa was a work of art to watch. The dress she wore was, as Lionel put it, “fire.”
The comeback kid met with John virtually since he didn’t get to go to Disney. He told Arthur he was blown away by him. The Idol alum changed the arrangement for a reimagined rendition of “Remember Me” from Coco, a movie he admitted to John he had never seen. Arthur ended up honoring the feel of the original while putting a different spin on it. Katy said it was one of his best performances. Luke likes his style and vocal tones. Lionel told him to continue owning his voice and who he is.
Cassandra was in her element at the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park inside Hollywood Studios. John thinks she is a natural performer. The 24-year-old brought the newfound confidence to the Hercules anthem “Go the Distance.” Luke felt it was her most solid vocal. Lionel could hear the clarity in her voice. Katy liked how she leaned into the theme and said her confidence went from zero to hero. Love these Disney puns.
John told him not to feel haunted by forgetting the lyrics in his past performance of “Falling Slowly” from Once and gave words of encouragement. He sang “You’ll Be In My Heart” from Tarzan, a favorite of his mom. Lionel told him to enjoy the stage. Katy liked seeing his smile and that he sounded great. Luke said his voice is so recognizable that if he keeps branching out, he’ll be undeniable.
Grace was feeling like a kid again, connecting with the strong female characters in the park. She told John she chose “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2 because it sums up her Idol experience. The 20-year-old then channeled her inner Elsa to close out the night with a sparkly showstopper. “Oh my goddess,” raved Katy. Luke saw the eye of the tiger and slayed. Lionel agreed.
American Idol, Top 7 tackle the Coldplay songbook, May 9, 8/7c, ABC