‘American Idol': Season 18’s Top 7 Revealed
American Idol has weathered the wallop of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic throughout its Season 18 live rounds, most recently with the season's Top 7 contestants revealed on Mother's Day (May 10). The remaining singers performed classic Disney songs as part of the show's time-honored Disney Night tradition, as well as tributes to the mothers in their lives.
With America's votes from the night being used to determine the Top 5 Idol hopefuls for the finale, there was a lot at stake. In fact, perhaps the most dramatic reveal of the Top 7 was that of "spiritual cowboy" Dillon James, the handsome singer-songwriter from Bakersfield, Calif., who took the coveted seventh spot.
"Spiritual cowboy for the win," judge Katy Perry said with approval, while James himself was overcome with emotion: "I'm speechless. My heart's on the ground," he admitted.
James gathered himself together quickly enough to sing a steel-guitar-tinged rendition of "Our Town" from Cars, giving it even more melancholy than the James Taylor original, a contrastingly cheerful Mater cartoon ushering in the tune. The judges were quick to praise his interesting approach to the 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 and Arthur Gunn, Francisco Martin, Jonny West, Julia Gargano, Louis Knight and Just Sam are American Idol's Season 18 Top 17. Country favorite Grace Leer, as well as Jovin Webb, Makayla Phillips and Sophia James were eliminated.
The Season 18 American Idol finale is slated for May 17; 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. American Idol airs on Sundays at 8PM ET.
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