‘American Idol’ recap: Top 7 sing Coldplay and Mother’s Day songs in hopes of making Top 5 [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

American Idol” is getting down to the final few shows of season 19. On Sunday, May 9 the T0p 7 are set to perform two apiece: one from the Coldplay back catalog and the other in tribute to Mother’s Day. This two-hour show will air live nationwide on ABC and will conclude with Ryan Seacrest revealing the Top 5.

Of the lucky seven contestants, a half dozen are drawn from the regular competition —  Caleb Kennedy, Casey Bishop, Chayce Beckham Grace Kinstler, Hunter Metts and Willie Spence — while the final finalist, Arthur Gunn, was the winner of the Comeback Special, which aired on April 19. Gunn, who was the season 18 runner-up, has an early lead in our poll of viewers making their “American Idol” season 19 winner predictions.

Below, follow along with all the action in our live blog recap of Night 17 Season 19 episode of “American Idol” and find out which two contestants were eliminated.

8:00 p.m. — Following two performances from each contestant, viewers at home will decide the Top 5. Chris Martin steps in to mentor the Top 7 as they tackle some of the frontman’s best Coldplay songs. Let’s get started!

8:08 p.m. — Casey is up first and she admits to getting more anxious about her performances as the weeks go along. Chris talks to her about staying in the moment and thinks she has a “perfect singing gift.” The teenager is performing “Paradise” and should be more comfortable getting back into the rock lane after departing the past two weeks. But as I watch her, it doesn’t seem to be the case. Casey looks extremely nervous to me and although the judges are smiling from ear to ear as they watch her, the youngster sounds completely offkey to me. Regardless, a standing ovation ensues and Katy loves how Casey “let loose.” Luke says Casey has never hit a bad note throughout this whole competition. I feel like I watched a completely different performance.

8:15 p.m. — Next up is Chayce, who is a little star struck as he jams out with Chris. The rock icon advises Chayce to pull down a sexy bang from his slick-backed hair, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening. Chayce is singing “Magic,” which is a nice song that fits perfectly within his range. It’s a little too low key for this moment in the competition for me. Anyone who already likes Chayce will appreciate this performance, but it’s definitely not a “moment” for him that will propel him to the winner’s circle. Luke is pumped about Chayce having fun. Lionel compliments his signature voice and tells him to enjoy the ride. Katy says Chayce has “Chris Martin magic” and only wishes he would have taken the advice to pull down a strand of hair. Some really unhelpful critiques tonight from the judges so far.

8:25 p.m. — Willie was just one year old when “Yellow” was released, but that’s the Coldplay song he’ll be singing tonight. The gospel singer was shocked to learn Chris started his musical journey in church as well, so they bonded a bit over that. Chris wants Willie to strip things down because if you can sing that well you don’t need much help. Taking center stage, Willie starts with a brief acapella before a quiet piano joins in. Chris was absolutely right about stripping this down because Willie’s voice sounds magical with this beautiful melody. More instruments kick in at the climax as Willie belts out the final chorus and takes this song to the next level. This is what we expect from Willie and I was hoping he’d change things up a little bit this week, but there’s no denying this is the best performance of the night so far. Lionel calls it a “religious experience.” Katy commends him for being “connected” between heaven and earth. Luke will always cherish watching Willie sing from 20 feet away.

8:30 p.m. — Caleb gets a chance to share one of his original songs with Chris before getting into rehearsals. Chris tells Caleb to never take credit for writing any songs because they are gifts from above. Chris thinks Caleb could be a superstar country artist, but tonight he’ll be covering “Violet Hill.” It kicks off really cool and Caleb greased up his mullet for the occasion to give himself more of an edge. But in the middle of the performance, Caleb looks a little lost as he starts playing his guitar. Perhaps he should have gone without the instrument when he’s taking such a departure from his normal style. This could have been a great moment, but it turned out just being okay. Katy says it scared her in a good way. Luke says the first 20 seconds were fantastic (I agree) and he wishes he would have kept that confidence all the way through. Lionel agrees that Caleb’s confidence dipped halfway through the performance and tells him to remember that viewers don’t come to rehearsal.

8:40 p.m. — Arthur is up next and he looks thrilled to meet Chris. He came up with his own arrangement of “In My Place,” which shocked Chris who always thought the melody was the best thing about the song. After helping him with some cord changes, Chris encourages Arthur’s choice to rework his song and thinks it’s a brave move. There’s a soothing, almost reggae vibe about Arthur’s rendition and it might be his best performance this season. Luke loves that Arthur walks to the beat of his own drum and praised his vocals. Lionel congratulates Arthur on his artistry and his boldness for changing the melody and some lyrics. Katy thinks Arthur should consider “playing along” once in a while and didn’t appreciate his melody change like the other judges may have.

8:50 p.m. — Grace was struggling with her song choice this week. After performing “Him for the Weekend,” Chris says he doesn’t think the song is good enough for her voice. Coincidentally, Grace didn’t think her voice was good enough for “Fix You.” Chris reminds her that vulnerability is everything and he could never win a singing competition, but he’s popular because he’s vulnerable in his musical choices. Grace hits the stage with “Fix You” and I’m happy she chose this song, but she does look a bit uncomfortable letting her emotions go without any big notes. As the song picks up and she starts belting out bigger notes, she seems to hit her stride. It was a really good vocal, but her discomfort in the quiet moments left me unable to connect to this song at all. Lionel says Grace needs to understand her flaws are her magic. Kay thinks Grace finally arrived with that song. Luke is pumped about what he just witnessed and almost swore on live television.

9:00 p.m. — Hunter will close out the first half of this two-hour episode. One of the first albums Hunter ever received was “Parachutes” so he’s excited for this week’s mentor. Chris pushes Hunter to up the key on this week’s song and thinks the aspiring pop star is a true talent. Hunter is singing “Everglow” tonight and he looks relaxed as he strums the guitar and flows in and out of falsetto. He’s missing notes here and there, and it seems like the more off key the singers are tonight the more the judges smile with approval. I didn’t care for this performance. Katy says Hunter is beloved by the world and she gets texts about him all the time. Luke says Hunter can always hang his hat on the uniqueness of his voice. Lionel says Hunter is a storyteller with a unique voice so he should have no problems.

9:10 p.m. — Coldplay gives a halftime performance of sorts with their new single “Higher Power” before the contestants change their focus to Mother’s Day. Casey is up first with “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette, which is an interesting dedication but a perfect song choice for her nonetheless. This is the Casey I have missed the past couple weeks and in tonight’s earlier performance. She’s having fun, working the stage and embracing her love of rock music. The judges are overcome with joy throughout Casey’s performance, but I’m a little worried about her making the cut tonight. Ryan says he just checked in on the pending results it’s “really tight.”

9:20 p.m. — Up next, Chayce is performing a personal song he wrote for his mother, appropriately titled “Mama.” It’s basically an apology to for all the hard times she faced, how it wasn’t her fault and that he will do anything he can for her from now on. It was a heartfelt vocal that I think the audience will really respond well to. Lionel says Chayce needs to put that song out “now” and had him in tears. Katy gives it an A+ and is screaming about the heavy machine operator crying on stage. Luke says it was the right song on the right night.

9:30 p.m. — Willie is next singing “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker for his mom and he’s bringing all of those churchy key changes to this that I love. I complain that Willie has done nothing but sing ballad after ballad all season, but this one is totally worth it. I got goosebumps and Willie’s mom is sobbing. I only wish this performance was longer! This was the best of the night. Katy says she has never heard the song sung that way. Luke says Willie has remarkable qualities in his voice. Lionel says the way Willie navigates the notes is unbelievable.

9:35 p.m. — Caleb is singing his own original called “Mama Said” while sitting on a stool and strumming his guitar without a hat. We finally see Caleb’s face as he belts out this tune, that I must say, is lyrically more impressive than Chayce’s. This sounds like a radio hit to me as he reiterates, “You don’t know the time that you got left, that’s what mama said.” Luke calls Caleb a true anomaly to write songs like that at 15 years old. Lionel says “put that record out” and calls it a “smash record.” Katy thinks Caleb wearing his heart on his sleeve looks really good on him.

9:40 p.m. — Arthur’s dedicating his performance of “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd to his mother and all the other “super moms” out there. This is a classic song that sounds great with Arthur’s gravely tone soaring behind it. It was a nice performance, but something a bit expected from Arthur. Lionel once again calls Arthur a stylist and calls it a great performance. Katy thought the song was great for his voice. Luke tells Arthur to fight for this competition every chance he can. I think what Luke meant to say is that Arthur looks like he’s been phoning this thing in all season. But Luke doesn’t want to get boo’d again.

9:48 p.m. — Grace is next singing “When We Were Young” by Adele, giving us the diva treatment in a long red gown. This is a much better fit for her voice than her first performance tonight and I think viewers will get behind this. She stretches her voice at the end and hits those big notes that everyone goes crazy for and we’ve come to expect from her. Katy says she is so proud of Grace and the way she stepped up her game. Luke thinks Grace has a magical look and gave a magical performance. Lionel called it perfectly done.

9:52 p.m. — Closing the show with a special request from his mother is Hunter, singing his original song called “The River.” This is a nice song and I commend Hunter for writing it, but I’m not impressed by the vocals. Luke calls it a 10/10. Lionel says Hunter drifted over to “pro status” and amateurs are out. Katy applauds all the original songs and says it’s impressive for him to step into the driver’s seat of his career. And that’s a wrap for the performances. Who will America vote into the Top 5?

9:59 p.m. — It’s the end of “American Idol” for two contestants, but which ones? Dim the lights! Ryan reveals that the Top five are Casey, Grace, Chayce, Willie and Caleb. That means Arthur and Hunter have been eliminated. That’s a wrap!

SEE ‘American Idol’ Winners: Where Are They Now (Seasons 1 – 18)?

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