The Top 4 on American Idol had one last chance to impress viewers and be voted into the finale. Caleb Kennedy exited the competition after an old video surfaced of him with someone who looked to be wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood.
The quartet kicked off the festivities by choosing a song inspired by their own personal idol. This week the hopefuls were mentored by FINNEAS and later put in pairs to perform two of his own creations. The Grammy-winning songwriter, producer, and artist also took the stage for “Till Forever Falls Apart” with Ashe. Idol 2019 winner Laine Hardy and 2018 alum Michael J. Woodard were in the house to watch the current crop of finalists.
In an Idol first, the hopefuls went into the studio with top producers Tricky Stewart, Ross Copperman, and Ian Fitchuk to record original singles, which they sang live on the show. Judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie gave the emerging talent high marks. Luke also showed how it’s done with his latest hit “Waves.”
By night’s end, Ryan Seacrest announced Chayce Beckham, Grace Kinstler, and Willie Spence made into the finale next week. Casey Bishop, a favorite, reached the end of her journey on the show.
Did America make the right decision? Let’s check out the highlights.
Casey tells FINNEAS how much his sister Billie Eilish’s music means to her. It’s why she chose Billie’s “wish you were gay,” which FINNEAS co-wrote, for the idol round. He was impressed by the 16-year-old’s talent, especially at a young age. Luke felt she crushed it, calling it her best performance. Lionel said she now owns her persona and killed it. Katy said she found her stardust and instant identity. Next Casey sang her original “Love Me, Leave Me” and revisited her bedroom audition song “Live Wire” by Mötley Crüe. Lionel was blown away by her range. Katy agreed and felt she checks all the boxes. Luke rocked out.
FINNEAS was feeling Chayce’s tone, describing it as earnest. His advice for Chayce was to focus on the lyrics and the camera while not letting the band overtake him. The 24-year-old performed “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band for his personal idol song. Katy said the guitar looks good on him and that he was born on the Idol stage. Luke appreciates his realness. Lionel wanted Chayce to know that people genuinely like him. In the next round performed his original single”23″ (number one on the country charts) and “You Should Probably Leave” by Chris Stapleton. Luke liked the production specifically on the original. Lionel said he underwent a complete transformation. Katy called him a rock star.
FINNEAS enjoyed hearing Grace’s voice. She picked original Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” as her personal idol song. The 20-year-old called Kelly an inspiration, not fitting in a specific mold. Lionel said there are many young ladies who just need her to tell them it’s okay to be themselves. Kelly thought it was a cool song choice and that she is a lot like Kelly Clarkson. Luke called her voice vocal pyro. Grace performed her original single “Love Someone” followed by “Father” by Demi Lovato, dedicated to her late dad. Luke felt the Demi song was made for her to sing and the melody on the original. Lionel sees artistry, star power, and a bright future. Katy liked the original song and was touched by it.
FINNEAS told Willie that he has one of the best voices he has ever heard. Willie’s personal idol song is “Glory” by John Legend. There was a LOL moment when FINNEAS said, “You know [John Legend] is on The Voice,” Willie responded with, “I know, but I like this show more.” It turned out to be a good song choice in the judge’s eyes. Katy felt like she was taken to church. Luke told Willie that he will literally save people’s lives with his voice, taking them out of dark places. Lionel said he is uplifting to the point of getting chills. He premiered his original “Never Be Alone” along with a cover of “I Was Here” by Beyoncé. Lionel said he is a giant of a voice and presence. Katy said she has that connection and stepping into his power. Luke said he is a teddy bear that flips into beast mode when the cameras are on for him to perform.
FINNEAS told Grace and Willie how he wrote the 2020 single “What They’ll Say About Us” as a tribute to the late Nick Cordero. The two powerhouses went into knowing the important meaning. Later Casey and Chayce took on ”Break My Heart Again” from FINNEAS’ 2019 debut EP Blood Harmony. FINNEAS mentioned he was listening to a lot of Frank Sinatra during that period. Casey and Chayce no doubt closed the jam-packed show on a high note.
American Idol season finale, May 23, 8/7c, ABC