‘American Idol': Season 18’s Top 7 Revealed
American Idol's Season 18 has been weathering some wallops lately...well, basically one big wallop, in the form of the coronavirus pandemic which forced production to move all filming to socially distant-appropriate locations (i.e., the judges' and contestants' own homes). Luckily the show has been able to pull off this feat and provide America with quality entertainment while waiting for stay-in-place orders to be lifted.
On Mothers' Day 2020 (May 10) the top 7 contestants were revealed, performing Disney classic songs in the show's time-honored "Disney Night" tradition, as well as tributes to the mothers in their lives. All of this was done from each contestant's home, of course, and host Ryan Seacrest upped the ante by letting viewers know that their further voting would determine a top 5 that will advance to the finale.
Some big stakes at hand, no? Probably the most dramatic reveal of the top 7 was "spiritual cowboy" Dillon James, the handsome singer-songwriter from Bakersfield, Calif., who took the coveted seventh spot. "Spiritual cowboy for the win," approved judge Katy Perry, while James himself was overcome.
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"Ahhhh! Thank you so much," he sputtered. "Thank you, America. I'm speechless. My heart's on the ground." He gathered himself together quickly enough to sing a steel-guitar-tinged "Our Town" from Cars, giving it even more melancholy than the James Taylor original, all with a contrastingly cheerful Mater cartoon ushering in the tune.
The judges were quick to praise the interesting approach to the Disney song. "I think you took everything we said last week and you applied it magnificently," Perry noted. "I was engaged with your performance. You were making love to the camera. It was so sincere. It was so beautiful. I'm proud of you."
Meanwhile, judge Luke Bryan observed, "It just felt great from top to bottom," and Lionel Richie gushed, "You were a storyteller. I wasn't thinking about the notes. I was watching you tell us a story. You are a true artist."
Dillon may have come as a bit of a surprise, considering that he knocked out country favorite Grace Leer, as well as Jovin Webb, Makayla Phillips (who blistered with an unexpected Miranda Lambert cover last week and won the judges' sole save), and Sophia James. He joins Arthur Gunn, Francisco Martin, Jonny West, Julia Gargano, Louis Knight and Just Sam in the top 7, soon to be whittled to five.
Which of the contestants are your favorite? The Season 18 finale is slated for May 17, and all contestants' performances will again be coming from home. "This next round is all about connection," stated show mentor Bobby Bones. "They're singing songs that mean something to them about people that mean something to them, so in the next round, they have to really connect and make sure we feel that."
The finale will also include some treats, such as a performance from Bryan, so be sure to check in from your own homes.
See the Top 20 Finalists on American Idol, Season 18:
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