‘American Idol’ recap: The Top 7 take on Disney

It was time to narrow the competition down to seven as American Idol tackled Disney on Sunday’s episode. 

Host Ryan Seacrest, along with judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie, appeared virtually from their respective homes, as did all of the remaining 11 contestants. Once again Katy donned an oversized costume but this time her golden-haired pup joined in on the fun. Both dressed as elephants reminiscent of the Disney classic Dumbo, the “Firework” singer explained that she was “Mrs. Jumbo, Dumbo’s mother.” After the costume clarification, it was time to get down to business. Who did America vote into the Top 7?

Officially making it through to the American Idol season finale and getting a chance to perform a Disney song were:

Arthur Gunn: “Kiss The Girl” from The Little Mermaid

Just Sam: “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella

Jonny West: “Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog 

Louis Knight: “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” The Lion King

Julia Gargano: “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast

Francisco Martin: “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan

Dillon James: “Our Town” from Cars 

The results sent home Jovin WebbSophia James, Grace Leer, and Makayla Phillips.

In one last Disney-themed performance, last year’s American Idol winner Laine Hardy performed “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts from the Cars soundtrack. 

With the Top 7 determined it was time to switch gears. For the second half of American Idol, in honor of Mother’s Day, the remaining contestants dedicated songs to the mother figure in their lives.

Before begining, mother-to-be Katy did a quick outfit changed, showed off her growing baby bump, and alerted the singers that they have a fourth judge paying close attention as well. 

“She’s kicking too,” Katy said of her unborn daughter, adding that the baby also kicks when the performances are good. 

In the same order that they were announced safe in the competition, the American Idol hopefuls each delivered one more song. 

Arthur Gunn took on Bon Iver‘s “Hey, Ma’ Bon Iver with his parents watching from the couch nearby. His performance convinced Lionel that he could sing the phonebook and still make it sound amazing. 

Just Sam shared more about her past and revealed that her grandmother adopted her at 6-year-old due to her mother being in jail. She dedicated a beautiful cover of “I Turn To You” by Christina Aguilera to her grandmother. 

Jonny West left his girlfriend’s house where he was quarantined to head to his parent’s house to surprise his mother for the holiday. He delivered an angelic rendition of “Amazing Grace” as his mother tearfully watched nearby. Jonny showed off his songwriting skills by switching up the traditional lyrics to have a Mothers Day twist and left Katy with no option but root for him to win. 

Meanwhile, Louis Knight, a self-proclaimed “mommy’s boy,” admitted that if it were not for his mother buying him his first piano at age 14 that he would not have made it to American Idol. He performed “You’ve Got A Friend” by Carole King and James Taylor

Julia Gargano and Francisco Martin each delivered covers much more impressive than their Disney performances taking on “Sweetest Devotion” by Adele and “River” by Leon Bridges, respectively. 

Last but not least, Dillon James thanked his mother for always being there for him — even through his past struggle with addiction — with Amos Lee‘s “Hang On, Hang On.”

Next week, the next American Idol will be revealed in the first-ever remote competition finale.

The final episode will a star-studded event with a slew of performances from celebrity guests and past contestants alike. 

Cynthia Erivo, Lauren Daigle, Rascal Flatts, and Doug Kiker are all set to lend their vocal talents to the final episode. As well as judges, Katy and Luke who will each perform a new single. Meanwhile, Lionel will sing “We are the World” with the help of some  American Idol family members including Alejandro Aranda aka ScarypoolpartyGabby BarrettJordin SparksKatharine McPhee, Kellie PicklerLaine HardyLauren AlainaPhillip Phillips, Ruben Studdard, and Scotty McCreery.

The American Idol season finale airs Sunday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET.

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