‘American Idol’ Top 7 Celebrate Mother’s Day and Take on Coldplay Songbook (RECAP)

Casey Bishop
ABC/Eric McCandless

American Idol celebrated Mother’s Day by opening up the Coldplay songbook. The Top 7 not only put their spin on one of the most successful bands going today. They also each picked a song dedicated to the mom in their lives. Lead singer Chris Martin mentored the contestants and took the stage with the rest of Coldplay for a worldwide exclusive performance of their recently announced single “Higher Power.”

Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie gave their insight before America’s vote decided which Idol hopefuls made it to the final five and work with music producer Finneas next week. Host Ryan Seacrest revealed that Hunter Metts and Arthur Gunn would not be moving forward.

What did you think of the results? Here’s how the night panned out.

Casey Bishop

Chris talked Casey through her anxiousness by telling her to “exist within the song.” He felt her choice of performing “Paradise” was perfect because the tune is about a young woman who could be Casey. Katy liked seeing her let loose, but wants “more tornado.” Luke said she keeps delivering. Lionel felt she was flying. The 16-year-old followed up with “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette as a tribute to her mom Danielle. Luke felt it was great and that she looked comfortable back in the rock space. Lionel thought it was the perfect song choice. Katy wants her to keep bringing the same kind of stage presence.

Chayce Beckham

Chris exchanged guitar chords with Chayce and enjoyed playing alongside him. He also gave the emerging artist a future business idea: selling “Chayce Paste” because his hair is never out of place. The cool rocker sang “Magic” from the Coldplay catalogue. Luke liked to see him having fun. Lionel added that he has a signature voice and to enjoy the ride. Katy said he had that “Chris Martin magic.” Chayce then opened up on a personal song he wrote during “Hollywood Week” in “Mamma” for his mama Windie. Lionel told him to put that song out now and it would be a smash record. Katy felt the sensitive, vulnerable, heavy machinery operator deserved an A+. Luke said it was the right song on the right night.

Willie Spence

Chris and Willie bonded over both starting out singing in church. Willie chose “Yellow” because he felt it speaks to others who are insecure. Lionel felt he owned the song and that it was a religious experience. Katy felt he was back into his sweet spot when it comes to connecting with the audience. Luke said Willie will cherish forever all the time watching him perform. Willie earned some son points by choosing “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker for his Mother’s Day dedication to mom Sharon. Katy has never heard the song sung quite like that and that it came straight from the heart. Luke feels he is remarkable to watch. Lionel appreciates how he navigates the notes and “Will-erized” the song.

Caleb Kennedy

Caleb enjoyed the opportunity to show Chris his songwriting ability. He admitted to not listening to Coldplay before, but the country crooner decided upon the British band’s first song ever in “Violet Hill”. Katy said the performance scared her but in a good way because of how good it was. Luke felt he needs to channel that confidence in the first 20 to 30 seconds. Lionel encouraged Caleb to bring himself to the table in every outing. Caleb then sang the original “Mama Said” for his mother Anita. Luke described him as a true anomaly to be so young, connect and be able to write songs like that. Much like Chayce, Lionel told him to put the record out and it would be a smash record. Katy feels as a new mom that wearing his heart on his sleeve looks good on him.

Arthur Gunn

Chris talked to Arthur about his decision to change chords of the early Coldplay song “In My Place” He liked Arthur’s free spirit. Luke loved his vocal. Lionel said he is dead-on with his artistry. Katy felt he sounded good, but sometimes he has to play along a little bit. She wanted to hear that melody taken away from the original. Arthur went with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” for his dedication to mom Maiya. Lionel called him a stylist and that he can sing the phonebook and make it good. Katy thought the song was great for his voice. Luke told him to be sure to fight every time he is up there because the competition is so strong.

Grace Kinstler

Chris helped Grace navigate between choosing “Hymm For The Weekend” or “Fix You”. She went with the later, showing a rare vulnerability in her eyes. Lionel tells her the vulnerability makes the entertainment entertaining. Katy felt she has arrived. Luke mentioned how he almost said a terrible word on live TV because of how good the performance was. Next Grace tore the house down with one of her mom’s favorite songs: “When We Were Young” by Adele. Katy said she stepped up and was proud of her, especially tonight. Luke called it a magical performance. Lionel felt her delivery was on point.

Hunter Metts

Hunter told Chris there were two CDs he first owned as a kid: the “Chcken LIttle” soundtrack and Coldplay’s debut album “Parachutes” He decided on a later song “Everglow.” Katy liked seeing Hunter to get his confidence and let him know he is loved. Luke says Hunter can hang his hat on to the uniqueness of his voice. Lionel feels the sky’s the limit for him. Hunter choose to perform a song he wrote called “The River” for his mother Janie. Luke gave it a 10 out of 10 and called it a musical experience. Lionel said he reached pro status. Katy applauded the original songwriting and being in the driver seat of your own message.

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