The April 21 episode of the ABC revival of “American Idol” will see the Top 10 cut down to the final eight artists in contention for the season 17 title. Each of these 10 contestants will sing one song from a Disney animated classic on Sunday’s show. At the end of the evening, host Ryan Seacrest will reveal which eight number among America’s favorites and will continue on in the competition.
Seven of the Top 10 finalists were the top vote-getters based on their performances last Sunday: Alejandro Aranda, Laci Kaye Booth, Walker Burroughs, Wade Cota, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Laine Hardy and Madison VanDenburg.. The other three — Dimitrius Graham, Alyssa Raghu and Uche — were chosen by judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie after singing for survival on the April 15 show. (The four artists eliminated were: Evelyn Cormier, Ashley Hess, Eddie Island and Riley Thompson.)
This episode will be seen live nationwide. Everyone from coast to coast can vote for their favorites. At the end of the two-hour telecast, two artists will be eliminated. For those on the west coast who don’t want to watch live, the show will be repeated in its usual 8 p.m. time slot with a warning that voting is closed.
Below, follow along as we recap all the action on “American Idol” season 17 night 14 in our updating live blog.
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8:00 p.m. – It’s Disney Night on “American Idol,” or as Katy calls it, “the best night of the year!” She walks out dressed as Ursula from “The Little Mermaid,” while Lionel and Luke clearly decide not to play dress-up. There are plenty of costumes Katy could have chosen from, but of course she chose the one with tentacles to make everyone’s life at the judging table more difficult. Tonight America will vote in real time and two artists will be sent packing tonight, but there’s a twist! The judges’ save is back so, if someone is eliminated, and the judges are unanimous, they can save someone ONE time this season. Let’s get started!
8:10 p.m. – Uche’ is up first and after nearly being eliminated last week, he will need to bring his A game. He’s singing “I 2 I” from “A Goofy Movie.” I’ve never heard of of this song before. The fact that the music is drowning out his vocals isn’t doing him any favors. I can barely hear him. He’s doing a great job entertaining the crowd as usual, but the band is just too loud. Katy doesn’t know the song either and she unconvincingly says, “It was good.” Lionel reiterates that he doesn’t know the song and Uche’ is flabbergasted that people don’t know it! Luke says he makes anything an Uche’ song. Goofy comes out to celebrate and at least he likes Uche’s performance! I think Uche’ could very likely be heading home after that. Terrible song choice.
8:15 p.m. – Laci is up next singing “I See the Light” from “Tangled.” This is not one of the most popular Disney songs either, but at least I’m familiar with it. Laci sounds good, displaying her unique, airy voice quite well, but it’s slightly underwhelming. This Disney princess was a little boring tonight, but she’s got plenty of charisma and I expect her to be safe. The judges loved it and believe she made the song her own. Katy adds that Laci looks like a true Disney princess.
8:25 p.m. – Alejandro is up next and he’s singing the song I was hoping he would: the Oscar-winning “Remember Me” from “Coco.” I’m excited to see the guitar in his hands and wait for the best performance of the night, only to be disappointed by his ridiculous arrangement. I never thought Alejandro could ruin this song but he did. The vocals were too high, I hated the arrangement and everything about it is just terrible. Alejandro is an amazing instrumentalist but his vocal tonight left much to be desired. The judges love it and clearly have lost any ability to critique anyone.
8:40 p.m. – Alyssa is next and she’s fighting for her life in this competition after being saved by Katy last week. She’s singing “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas” which is a bit predictable. I’m personally tired of hearing Alyssa sing ballads and this is her third in a row. She surprisingly sounds better than everyone else tonight for the first two-thirds of the song, but then hits a key-change that throws the whole performance off. I’m not sure what’s up with the arrangements tonight, but the band is ruining some classic music. The judges love it and think she’s cute, blah blah, they have nothing of value to say anymore.
8:50 p.m. – Lea Michele stops by to sing “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid” and remind everyone what good singing sounds like. She barely put any effort into it at all and blew everyone else out of the water. Maybe they can learn from her. Or at least the judges will hear what a voice should sound like. I actually think there is a TON of talent this season, but tonight is just not working and the judges should give some constructive feedback for once.
8:55 p.m. – Wade is up next singing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from “Toy Story” and sounds okay as he awkwardly stumbles around the stage. Tonight is so bad. This whole episode makes me uncomfortable. Wade’s voice sounds better than most others tonight and the judges are loving him, but he is such a boring performer!
9:05 p.m. – Dimitrius is up next and he’s singing “You’ll Be In My Heart” from “Tarzan.” After being nearly eliminated last week, Dimitrius needs to find a way to connect with the audience in order to secure some votes and make the Top 8. Dimitrius never sounds like he’s on pitch to me and tonight is no different. He sounds pitchy for a solid 90 seconds and all he has to do is modulate into a gospel belt for the last 30 seconds to send the audience into a frenzy. It was an average performance that you would think was the performance of a lifetime based on the judges’ reactions. I thought he was one of the best so far tonight, but that’s not saying much.
9:20 p.m. – Walker is singing “When Somebody Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2.” He’s keeping things simple at the piano and it’s working wonders. Walker is really coming up in this competition. His sincerity, simple arrangement and consistent vocals were a breath of fresh air. Bravo! Finally someone nailed it. The judges comment on how he captivated the audience and how complex his performance was. Lionel calls Walker a “pro” and says it’s about as close to a perfect performance as it could be.
9:30 p.m. – Madison has been on a roll and she’s hoping to continue her hot streak with “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana.” Madison stays true to the arrangement which I think has been the safer bet so far tonight. Vocally, Madison can’t go wrong and her range is impressive. Luke comments that she makes everything look so easy and Lionel couldn’t believe that last note she hit. I just love hearing someone with the ability to sing with no gimmicks. Great job.
9:40 p.m. – It’s time to “Party with the Hardy” as Laine hopes to give his best “Robin Hood” performance of “Oo-De-Lally.” This is taking Laine back to that country sound we first heard from him and he’s looking relaxed on stage as he jams out with the other members of the band. This performance feels the most genuine and it feels like we are watching Laine in concert. I wasn’t familiar with this song and it was incredibly wordy, but Laine BROUGHT it and made it work. This was the most fun of night.
9:50 p.m. – Jeremiah is the final performer of the night. While earlier performers have had two full hours to secure votes, Jeremiah has about five minutes. That’s a lot of pressure. He’s singing “Candle On the Water” from “Pete’s Dragon.” It feels a bit rushed, but he sounds great as usual and his range is crazy. The judges can’t believe the ease with which he can hit notes. If anyone can handle the pressure of going last during a live vote, I’d say it’s Jeremiah. He should definitely be safe. But who will be forgotten? And will the judges use their only save this season? We’ll find out next.
9:59 p.m. – The voting has now officially closed and Seacrest is naming the Top 8 including: Alejandro Aranda, Laci Kaye Booth, Walker Burroughs, Wade Cota, Laine Hardy, Jeremiah Lloyd Harmon, Alyssa Raghu and Madison VanDenburg. Dimitrius Graham and Uche’ have been eliminated.
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