“As a female artist, it’s really cool to be working with Pat. She’s just such a badass!” declared “American Idol” contestant Kate Barnette about her duet partner Pat Benatar prior to their rendition of “Heartbreaker” with Neil Giraldo during Sunday’s Top 20 episode (watch above). Kate took a huge risk by performing her first-ever guitar solo during the rock song, readily admitting, “One of the main reasons why I came on this show was to challenge myself.” Unfortunately, Kate’s risk didn’t pay off as judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan voted to eliminate this 23-year-old singer from Kennesaw, Georgia.
“Kate, I thought you grew up with that song,” Katy said about the effortless way in which Kate performed “Heartbreaker.” “Wow, Pat sounds amazing. She has teeth in her voice. She’s got that presence and that grit and after all these years it is just so perfect. It’s so amazing. And Kate, I thought you were a really great compliment. It just looked like you were having fun.”
Luke added, “I think the best thing is it just took you out of your comfort zone a little bit. We’ve seen you with your hat the whole time. We’ve seen you kind of really tailor songs for you. So you probably learned some stuff about yourself being up there with Pat Benatar. Good job!”
“It was wonderful to see her on stage and your reaction to her,” Lionel declared about the rock legend singing alongside Kate. “Having someone with that kind of pedigree on stage with you is everything. She was standing still and giving us attitude. She’s there. Follow me? The most important thing is, I can’t teach that to you. You take that, put that into your memory bank and use that for the rest of your career.”
In his “American Idol” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about Kate’s performance: “During the performance, Kate looks like a star but her voice can’t hold a candle to the rock legend’s. In fact, Kate nearly disappeared on stage next to Benatar. Her guitar solo was fun, but didn’t seem natural. While I didn’t care for Kate on this, it was fantastic to see Benatar. Also, to Kate’s credit, she’s not exactly a hard rocker and this song not her sweet spot.”