(LOS ANGELES) — Sunday night’s episode of American Idol saw the seven remaining contestants performing two songs: one, a Prince song, backed by his longtime drummer Sheila E.; and the other a song from the year each was artist was born, for which they were mentored by Nick Jonas. At the end of the show, two artists were eliminated.
Here’s who America chose to move on: Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett, Michael J. Woodard, Cade Foehner and Maddie Poppe.
Catie Turner and Jurnee were sent home.
During the show, host Ryan Seacrest a 40-plus city summer tour featuring all of the top seven artists, as well as season 8 winner Kris Allen, kicking off July 11 in Redding, California, and wrapping up September 16 in Washington, D.C. Details are available at AmericanIdolLive.com.
Here’s how it all went down:
Jurnee tackled Prince’s 1986 hit, “Kiss.” The judges approved of the performance, including Katy, who told Jurnee, “You look like a snack.” She went on to praise her for moving around the stage the way Prince would have, but urged her to move even more for her next performance. She returned later with Brian McKnight’s “Back at One,” from her birth year, 1999. Katie admitted that it wasn’t her favorite rendition of the song, but she knew Jurnee had that in her. Bryan agreed, as did Richie, who praised her for keeping her cool on stage, in the midst of chaos.
Gabby Barrett performed “I Hope You Dance,” Lee Ann Womack’s hit from 2000 — the year she was born. Jonas, addressing the camera during rehearsals, said her performance brought him to tears, but thought the 18-year-old could “lean into the song” even more. Afterwards, Luke called it “maybe one of the best vocals we’ve heard in this room so far.” “You know what was wrong with that performance,” asked Lionel, before answering his own question with, “Nothing.” For her Prince song, Gabby chose “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore,” which Luke described as a “mic-drop moment.”
Michael J. Woodard delivered a rendition of Prince’s I Would Die 4 You.” Lionel was impressed with Michael’s ability to take the iconic Prince song and “own it.” Sheila E. agreed, calling Michael “amazing,” adding he’s “an entertainer and he sang his butt off.” Woodard returned with a song from his birth year, Céline Dion’s 1997 hit “My Heart Will Go On,” from the movie Titanic. Katie compared Woodard to Idolalum Jennifer Hudson, declaring the 21-year-old could “win an Oscar [and] a Grammy…the sky’s the limit.”
Cade Foehner added a rock edge to Jewel’s 1995 hit, “Who Will Save Your Soul.” During rehearsals, Nick advised Cade to “find a connection to the song beyond just the arrangement. Richie’s only critique was that he could sense Cade struggling a little at the beginning, but added that he eventually “took the song to another place.” The rocker also drew praise from the judges later with his cover of Morris Day and the Time‘s 1984 hit “Jungle Love,” written by Prince.
Once Catie Turner got over her excitement over meeting Jonas, she revealed the song choice from her birth year, 2000 — Britney Spears’ “Oops!… I Did It Again.” Luke urged her to start believing she’s a star, and Lionel agreed, explaining that Catie was bringing a style all her own to the table and for her to “own it.” Unfortunately, Turner kicked off her next performance — “Manic Monday,” the Prince composition, recorded by The Bangles — by forgetting the first few lines. That didn’t faze the judges ,though, who assured Catie that in spite of the glitch she was still a contender in their eyes.
1999 was the year Caleb Lee Hutchinson was born, and he chose Lonestar’s hit from that year, “Amazed.” Nick addressed Caleb’s awkwardness on stage, by advising him to lock eyes with someone in the audience. Afterward the performance, Lionel urged Caleb to do his own thing, instead of letting someone tell him what to do. Caleb’s next performance — a country take on Prince’s “When Doves Cry” — earned praise from all three judges.
Maddie Poppe’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” the Prince tune popularized by Sinead O’Connor, drew a standing ovation from all three judges, including Perry, who praised Poppe as an “artist,” before suggesting that should could even be this year’s Idol winner. Bryan called the performance “mesmerizing.” Maddie returned later with Sheryl Crow’s 1997 song “If It Makes You Happy.” Richie called Poppe a star, regardless of who America voted into the top five.
American Idol returns Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC with special guest Carrie Underwood.
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