Sunday night during the first Top 24 performance episode of “American Idol,” 20-year-old Michael J. Woodard sang The Beatles‘ “Golden Slumbers” for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. This Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native works at a bowling alley after recently moving to Los Angeles to explore singing opportunities. Was Michael’s performance good enough to send him through to the Season 16 live shows, which begin April 22 on ABC? Watch the “American Idol” performance video above and then read the judges’ comments below.
“Our precious Michael!” Luke said as the audience screamed and shouted. “So we love this human being right here. What I love about you is you let all your emotions show. We see your nerves. We see your excitement. You’re loving the ride, I feel like. And you know what? Ten years from now, be that nervous, please, for me. Don’t ever be so cool that you just can’t [exhale].”
“I think, Michael, first and foremost, you are so chosen,” Katy declared about the quirky singer. “No matter what happens, how far you go, whether that’s to #1 or not, just keep putting one foot in front of the other because you are meant to be here.”
“Genie in the bottle,” smiled Lionel. “When I say that, you are spectacular in terms of showing us your vulnerability and then at the same time the quality of what you’re giving us. I know, or at least I thought I knew, all of the people inside of you. And now you come with this form. Keep your nervousness, keep all that anxiety, because that’s going to be your character for the rest of your life, my friend.”
The Top 24 artists have been divided into two groups, with the first 12 performing April 8 and April 9. Besides Michael, the other singers in this first group are Dominique, Layla Spring, Catie Turner, Dennis Lorenzo, Michelle Sussett, Trevor McBane, Jonny Brenns, Kay Kay, Brandon Diaz, Gabby Barrett and Cade Foehner. Which artists from this group do YOU think will make it through to the live shows?