Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, Ryan Seacrest
The time is now, people! Impress the judges, or be cast aside like Bebe Rexha and Colbie Caillat (who apparently both auditioned for and got rejected by American Idol) before you! Katy, Lionel, and Luke have seven spots to fill and there are 12 contestants left, with one last chance to prove themselves. Whew! That’s a lot of math.
Let’s see how this group of 12 handles a (mostly) new batch of celebrity partners for the duet round.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson with Bebe Rexha“Meant to Be”One might think taking, as Luke calls him, “the aw shucks country boy” Caleb Lee Hutchinson and pairing him with pop star Bebe Rexha makes no sense — but as luck would have it, Bebe has a mega-hit with country group Florida Georgia Line. The whole performance still feels a little off, unfortunately. The judges, who cannot hate anything, apparently, still love it with all their hearts. Katy thought it was fun to see Caleb having fun. Luke calls Caleb solid. Lionel enjoyed it. Jeez, calm down, judges! We haven’t even made it to America’s Vote, yet!
Ada Vox with Lea Michele“Defying Gravity”Take in those words you just read for a second. Ada Vox. Lea Michele. DEFYING GRAVITY. No matter what else Idol does this season, this moment is Idol‘s gift to us mortals. Divas singing a song built for a diva. Lea and Ada crush it, obviously. Their voices blend together like they were made for each other. Luke loves that we’re seeing Ada switch it up and do Broadway (was Ada Vox born for Broadway? I mean, yes, right?). Katy would buy a ticket to this show. Get in line, lady!
Maddie Poppe with Colbie Caillat“Bubbly”Was it just me or was it almost impossible to tell Maddie and Colbie’s voices apart? This was a great vocal pairing. Unfortunately, Maddie is right to worry about her stage presence. It’s a quiet, light song, and the performance doesn’t do much to evoke some excitement. Maddie is very talented though, and the judges love her — she’ll have no problem nabbing one of the seven remaining spots. Still, I’m excited to see her do her own thing again on stage.
Ron Bultongez with Banners“Someone to You”It’s Idol‘s theme song come to life! Ron is nervous since this song isn’t really in his wheelhouse and he’s having trouble remembering the lyrics. You guys, how sweet is this Banners person (sorry not sorry, I’m an old person)? He calms Ron down and gives him permission to mess up his lyrics. Like, maybe don’t forget the lyrics, but at least the pressure from the artist is off. This pairing doesn’t totally work and you can see Ron is a little uncomfortable. His voice is still great and the judges still give him all the silver lining critiques a person could want.
Amelia Hammer Harris with Bebe Rexha“Me, Myself & I”Yeah, these two sound great together. This is a good, fun song for Amelia to tackle, and both her vocals and performance are top-notch. However, there’s something about the judges’ critiques that are worrisome. Katy “hopes for more time” with Amelia and Lionel goes on about this show not just being about the win, but “about the platform.” Could Amelia Hammer Harris and her lime green leather pants be casualties tonight?
Shannon O’Hara with Cam“Burning House”Hello, a public service announcement: Have you listened to Cam’s first album Untamed? Please go do it now. You’ll dance! You’ll cry! You’ll dance while crying! Anyway, this is an excellent matchup. Shannon has a natural storytelling voice, so sticking her in country music is a great choice. The ladies sound amazing together. Those harmonies? Yes, please! Like Katy, I keep forgetting that Shannon is only 17. (Recap continues on next page)