Michael J. Woodard (‘I Would Die 4 U’): ‘American Idol’ Prince night performance sends him through to Top 5 [WATCH]

Sunday night during the Prince-themed Top 7 performance episode of “American Idol,” 20-year-old Michael J. Woodard sang “I Would Die 4 U” for judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan. This Philadelphia, Pennsylvania resident also took on “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion as his birth year song during Sunday’s two-hour episode. America was so impressed with Michael’s two performances that they sent him through to the Top 5 after voting live coast-to-coast. Do YOU agree with America’s decision? Watch the “I Would Die 4 U” video above and then read the “American Idol” judges’ comments below.

SEE Who will win ‘American Idol’ season 16: Gabby Barrett, Cade Foehner, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Maddie Poppe or Michael J. Woodard? [POLL]

Katy Perry: “Wakanda forever! I just gotta say, I loved your interaction. I loved it with Sheila E, it felt so natural. You were really embodying what Prince is all about. And those lyrics, I feel like those lyrics are really explanatory of who you are. I’m livin’ for you, not dyin’.”

Luke Bryan: “Michael, I think what we need to tell you more of is just give you more and more confidence. Every day that you come out on this stage, we need to build you up because we see you growing and we see you wanting to dance and cut loose. Don’t be scared to do that. Let whatever your emotions tell you and just let it free. Don’t hold back, man. You’ve got all the tools.”

Lionel Richie: “I’m just trying to figure out, how in the world were you gonna take a Prince song and make it yours? You actually owned it. You actually kept it at the right vocal range, in terms of your vocal performance. I’m gonna tell you something. If you could just relax and have confidence like Luke said in what you are about, the sky’s the limit, my friend.”

In his “American Idol” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson declared, “I wasn’t sure how this would go, but Michael on stage always brings me nothing but joy. Over the first verse it doesn’t seem like he’s singing much and this song isn’t really one that stretches an artist vocally. And putting the bias I’ve developed for Michael aside, this is slightly awkward.”

SEE exclusive odds: Who will win ‘American Idol’?

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