“American idol” Contestants rely on faith, confidence and a little pixie dust to advance to the next round.
After taking a hiatus from the Oscars last week, the ABC reality singing competition returned Sunday with a live show featuring the top ten songs from Disney movies.
In a virtual Q&A after the show, Perry talked about the inspiration behind her costume and revealed that she borrowed her prosthetic ears from partner Orlando Bloom, who played Legolas in “Lord of the Rings.”
“I just love that she has a little bit of cheek and a sense of humor,” said the singer of Tinker Bell. “She’s always a bit scrappy, so I resonate with that character. I always want to be playful and believe in magic and find the best in each person.”
At the beginning of the episode, Ryan Seacrest revealed which past contestant earned enough votes after the comeback show to return to the league and complete the top ten. That singer was Arthur Gunn, who finished second last year. (Because bringing back a recent runner-up is total fair to the current participants … right?)
Fans voted during the show, which was broadcast live from coast to coast, for who they wanted to see in the top seven.
Here’s what happened, including which three were eliminated:
Caleb Kennedy held on to his rugged country wheelhouse and sang ‘Real Gone’ from ‘Cars’.
Channeling her inner Tinker Bell, Perry told the 16-year-old high school student that “this thing is really Peter Pan-ing for you.”
“You really have fire on the stage,” she continued. “Every time you engage us, we lean forward.”
Richie said Kennedy’s energy is “what performing is all about.”
“It has to shine off the podium, and that was a brilliant performance,” he added.
Willie Spence, 21, put his powerful voice into a smashing performance of “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King.”
‘You have that voice. You can sing the phone book and literally make it yours, ”Richie told him. “God bless you, man. God bless you.”
Perry offered more Tinker-Bell-inspired support: “Willie, you’re no longer a lost boy. You’re a bona fide idol.”
Deshawn Goncalves, 20, gave a jazzy performance of “When You Wish Upon a Star” from “Pinocchio,” starting with the song by playing the piano and later getting up to break some smooth movements.
All three judges complimented the student on feeling more comfortable on stage.
“That’s show business,” said Richie. “You nailed it.”
Bryan said he “grinned so big” as he watched Goncalves come out of his shell.
“You’re not the same person who showed up at auditions,” he noted.
Proving once again that she’s not a typical teeny bopper, high school student Casey Bishop, 16, baffled by a haunting rendition of “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2.”
The judges complimented the teenager, who performs mostly rock songs, on her reach.
“Your singing will take you to infinity and beyond,” said Perry. “I love that you can do almost anything. You can actually do anything. You just have to believe.”
Bryan added that he definitely believes in Bishop. “I just believe you’re a budding superstar,” he said.
Chayce Beckham, who revealed after the show that he would sing ‘On My Way’ from ‘Brother Bear’ before switching at the last minute, took over the soft ‘Baby Mine’ from ‘Dumbo’ and edged it out with his hoarse voice.
“That performance is just for you,” Bryan told the 24-year-old heavy machinery operator. “It was really great on the ears.”
Perry also praised Beckham for transforming the lullaby.
“Listen, I think you just need a little faith, trust and pixie dust,” she added, throwing some glitter into the air.
Student Alyssa Wray rocked in a sparkly ball gown and dazzled by a magical performance of “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” by “Cinderella”.
Richie and Bryan said they were happy to see Wray save her belt and vocal acrobatics for the song’s end, while Perry called the singer “elegant and lofty.”
“You are a permanent princess,” she added. “You’ll never turn into a pumpkin again.”
To remind “Idol” fans of his vocal prowess, former number two Arthur Gunn sang “Remember Me” from “Coco”.
“That was one of your best performances I’ve ever seen,” Perry said to the 23-year-old musician. “It was great, and I always love when you do your own thing because that’s who you are.”
Bryan complimented Gunn on his authenticity, while Richie said the musician owns his sound.
“It’s the great part of being a stylist when you can take any number and make it yours,” he added.
Cassandra Coleman has been open about her nerves on the show. But the coffee shop manager has channeled her inner hero and slammed “I Can Go The Distance” from “Hercules”.
Bryan said Coleman delivered her “most solid voice from top to bottom” and the “most comfortable we’ve seen you.”
“Your confidence has definitely gone from zero to hero, and whatever other doubts you have, just leave them in the fairy dust,” added Perry, keeping her feedback on the theme.
Before taking the stage, 22-year-old Hunter Metts opened up about his emotional performance on the final episode, where he messed up the lyrics at the end of his song.
“To completely screw up the words, I thought I was going home,” said the software developer, adding that the experience was “a hard pill to swallow”.
After the show, Metts said he was determined not to make the same mistake. “I can’t tell you how many times in the past week I just read my lyrics and wrote my lyrics,” he said. “There’s something about that fear of it happening again.”
The practice paid off – Metts flew through “You Be in My Heart” from “Tarzan” and earned high praise from the judges.
Perry even threw in one more clever pun.
“It was great to see you on stage with a smile on your face,” she said. “You really waved That.”
Grace Kinstler, 20, closed the show with a powerful rendition of “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II.” The student said the song talks about how she feels performing on “Idol” and the uncertainty of entering the music industry.
After the show, Kinstler said she wanted to choose a song that spoke to what she and all “Idol” participants are feeling at this stage of the competition.
“Our performance is really about what I can show our audience about me as a person,” she said. “It was so important to me to sing that song because I feel like that song represents a lot of how we feel entering this industry and taking this path.”
Bryan told Kinstler that she has “the eye of the tiger.”
“You checked the whole room with your voice,” Perry added. “It was amazing.”
Who went home?
At the end of the episode, Seacrest revealed, in no particular order, who was safe. Last place in the top 7 went to Gunn, which marked the end of the road for Wray, Coleman and Goncalves.
The three eliminated contestants reflected on their “Idol” trips after the show, saying that their “Idol” experiences boosted their confidence.
“I came into this game with the idea that I was just not worth anything,” said Wray. “These people, this game, America – they really taught me that I am worth so much more than I ever dreamed of and that I don’t have to do anything but be myself. I just have to do what I love and that’s enough. “
And the singers said you haven’t seen the latter: Coleman plans to release an album, Goncalves wants to win a Grammy, and Wray has her sights set on achieving EGOT status.
“Idol” returns on Sunday at 8pm EST with an episode themed Coldplay and Mother’s Day.