“I do love the song, but this song is not what I would have chosen for myself,” admitted “American Idol” contestant Shawn Robinson prior to his duet of “Proud Mary” with superstar Elle King during Sunday’s Top 20 episode (watch above). “I feel like this song is gonna be challenging because it’s a very upbeat, fast tempo song and that’s not what I do,” he later added. Shawn and Elle worked together to make “Proud Mary” their own by slowing it down, but there was a lyric flub during the performance that slightly derailed both of them. In the end, judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan voted to eliminate the 22-year-old singer from Atlanta, Georgia.
Following the performance Lionel told Shawn, “So it’s very simple. When things go right they go really right, and when things go wrong no one’s supposed to know. That’s what you do in a duet situation, okay? You and Elle actually did perfectly. You took care of business. Your voice was on point. But more importantly, I love the way you recovered from something we know nothing about — the audience.”
“I loved that intro,” added Katy about the beginning of his “Proud Mary” duet with Elle. “It re-reminded me of why we fell in love with your deep, kind of alto, silky voice. It was so powerful. It was really strong. I mean, you really — you did shine.”
Luke agreed with Lionel’s critiques, confessing that even he is in the “multiple mistakes a night category.” Luke continued, “But you know what’s amazing about it too, even your run at the end was so [good]. I mean, Katy and I were like, what the heck was that? Man, just be proud of what you just did up there. It was a great vocal performance. Good job.”
In his “American Idol” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about Shawn’s performance: “Elle is cool as a cucumber and seems determined to draw any ounce of showmanship she can out of Shawn, but the man has no swag. There was a definite misstep in the middle of the song and I’m not sure whose fault it was, but this didn’t go great.”