It’s another exciting night of American Idol on ABC tonight with an all-new Sunday, May 2, 2021, season 19 episode 16 called “Disney Night” and we have your weekly American Idol recap below. On tonight’s American Idol season 19 episode 16 as per the ABC synopsis, “The results of the comeback show; the top nine travel to Walt Disney World for a one-on-one session with a celebrity mentor; the top seven finalists are revealed.”
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In tonight’s American Idol episode, tonight’s episode is magical as we see returning judges Lionel Ritchie, Katy Perry, appropriately dressed as Tinkerbell, and Luke Bryant, with host Ryan Seacrest as we welcome the top nine contestants this evening. Sofia Carson opens the show performing. “A Whole New World,” from Aladdin, and the top nine joins in towards the end of the song.
After the nationwide vote, the person coming back to perform with the top nine is Arthur Gunn, a singer-songwriter who was the 2020 runner-up finalist on the eighteenth season of American Idol.
This week, the top nine’s celebrity mentor is actor and singer, John Stamos.
We take a look back at Caleb Kennedy with John, and Caleb will be performing, “Real Gone,” from the movie Cars. Caleb says he is going to take a lot of advice back to the stage a lock eyes with the judges. All of a sudden, Caleb’s mom, Anita, is there. The two go ride some rides, seeing his mom, and having a good time, Caleb is really grateful.
Judges’ Comments: Katy: “Caleb I think this thing is really Peter Panning out for you. Every time I see you, you got a little more sparkle. Tonight, you got that firework, every time you engage us, we lean in. The energy is infectious, and the song choice was perfect for you. Luke: “The last couple of times that we have seen you, you have given us a real glimpse of what you are going to be as an artist, that was a total Caleb the artist look. What a way to kick the show off with the energy, that is what live performing is all about.” Lionel: “Dead on, spot-on, for a brief moment you almost gave us a smile. I know you are enjoying this; the energy is what performing is all about, it has to radiate off the stage and it did.”
Willie Spence is up next and he will be performing, “Circle of Life,” from The Lion King. John says Willie is a big teddy bear. Willie thought it was amazing being mentored by John Spence. Willie gets a surprise, his family is there and they go on some rides together.
Judges Comments: Luke: “You just made me feel full of life, you have the magic. I don’t know who screamed behind me but that sound that she made, just get ready you will be hearing that the rest of your life. When you hit those big notes, it is the best sound in the world.” Lionel: “There are some people who just have that voice, you could sing the phone book and make it yours. You are a true stylist as an artist. The delivery was so incredible, God bless you.” Katy: “Willie you are not a lost boy anymore, you are a Bonafede idol, top ten and you just climbed all those mountains with those notes. It was really spiritual, and I can’t want to hear you sing again.”
Deshawn Goncalves will be performing, “When You Wish Upon A Star,” from the movie Pinocchio. This is Deshawn’s first visit to Disney World. John tells Deshawn that he is amazing, everything that he has overcome. Deshawn picked this song because it resonated with him. John finds that he is timid and needs to sing out more.
Judges’ Comments: Lionel: “I am noticing that you are getting more and more revealing with the piano and the movie with the mic. This takes a real digging down deep to get to that character and you nailed it.” Katie: “I don’t know who that was, but I met you for the very first time, you have arrived. You were just giving it to us, a whole other level. It was unlike I have ever seen or heard from you before, a real growth.” Luke: “I was grinning so big watching you and I thought how proud your family must be at home watching you. It is amazing to watch guys like you come out of your shell like that. You are not the same person that showed up at an audition, great job.”
Casey Bishop is performing, “When She Loved Me,” from the movie Toy Story 2. John finds Casey fascinating, she has a great voice at sixteen. Casey is surprised to see that her mom, stepdad, and brother are there to enjoy a fun-filled day on the rides with her.
Judges’ Comments: Katy: “Casey your vocals will take you to infinity and beyond. Since the last time we saw you, you have shown us so many colors of who you are as an artist, how you can sing and deliver. A few weeks ago, you were a rock & roll girl and now you are sophisticated and elegant, with great grace on stage. I love that you can do anything on stage.” Luke: “I just believe that you are a superstar in the making. When you consider you are fifteen years old, rolled into this show not truly knowing what you were, and you were able to perform as you did and give me chill bumps, it was truly remarkable and I enjoyed every second of it.” Lionel: “Your grace is beyond your years. Stage presence, poise, and delivery is something you have to have. You demonstrated tonight you have those qualities.”
Chayce Beckham will be performing, “Baby Mine,” from the movie Dumbo. John tells him that he doesn’t like to see guys more handsome than he is. Chayce is a huge Star Wars fan, he has never been to Disney before and had a blast. Chayce says when he was little, he was nicknamed Dumbo because of his ears, but he grew into them.
Judges’ comments: Luke: “First of all, I saw props for bringing the steel guitar to the stage. The whole time, that performance is so you. It is what you are about, your artistry is not about overdoing all of the stuff. It is about you going out and having a solid song and delivering it in your style. It was really awesome on the ears, and you sing it awesome.” Lionel: “Stop thinking OMG I am here at American Idol. You are still amazement in your head, you are probably still wondering how you got here, how did I get this, it is your voice and your style. Enjoy this, it is your moment.” Katy: “You picked a lullaby that I actually sang last year, and it didn’t sound anything like that. You made it like a cool song, you just need faith, trust, and pixie dust.”
Alyssa Wray is performing, “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes,” from the movie Cinderella. Alyssa has also never been to Disney World and when she was little she always dressed up as a princess and she is having the time of her life. John tells Alyssa to get the chatter out of her head when she performs the song live.
Judges’ comments: Lionel: “I will have to go back and watch the movie, I am sure you were in the movie, that dress is on fire. I was praying that you would hold it because you were doing something amazing. The gift is at the end when your personality comes out. It was an amazing performance, I loved it.” Katy: “Lionel is correct, the control was amazing, it was elegant and elevated. You are a permanent princess, you will never turn back into a pumpkin, bippity boppity boo.” Luke: “I love Disney week; it is so fun to watch you guys and yourself turn into this work of art. You held us and then you showed us those big notes and all at the right time.”
Arthur Gunn will be performing “Remember Me,” from the movie Coco. Arthur didn’t get to go to Disney World, but he did get that one-on-one time with John. John calls Arthur the comeback kid, his voice is stunning and he is blown away by him. John says he is going to cry, Arthur’s version is so emotional. John tells him to watch the movie and he will sing that song even better.
Judges’ comments: Katy: “Arthur, obviously we didn’t forget about you. That was one of your best performances that I have ever seen. The delivery, the notes, the annunciation, it was all there. I even heard David Matthew’s band kind of notes. I always like when you do your own thing because you are Arthur Gunn through and through.” Luke: “It was so authentically what we got used to seeing from you last year, you are so authentic in your style and your vocal tones. And like I said, when you got John Stamos telling you to change it up and you stick to your guns, you do it your way.” Lionel: “The greatest part of being a stylist is when you can take any song and make it yours, that is what an artist does. Own your voice and own your sound.”
Cassandra Coleman is next, and she is performing, “Go The Distance,” from the movie Hercules. Cassandra has been a fan of Star Wars her entire life and seeing her sister and brother-in-law there was probably the biggest surprise she has ever had, and she immediately thought, can we go on a ride together. John tells Cassandra that she is a natural performer and she deserves to be there.
Judges’ comments: Luke: “That was probably your most solid vocal from top to bottom that I have heard from you. It was the most comfortable that we have seen you in, in the moment, it showed up in your vocals.” Lionel: “I was just sitting here saying the same thing, the amazing and solid performance you were showing off with clarity of your voice. It was a great performance.” Katy: “Cassandra I love that you leaned into the theme. I think your voice and confidence have gone from zero to hero. Any doubts you have left in the dust, you are going to become the star I believe you to be.”
Hunter Metts will be performing, “You’ll Be In My Heart,” from the movie Tarzan. His last performance was a hard pill to swallow, he was super emotional and messed up the words, in the end, to be in the top ten feels like a dream. Hunter chose this song because it is his mom’s favorite. Hunter’s family surprises him by being there with him at Disney World and he got to spend the day with them.
Judges’ comments: Lionel: “That was what I was waiting on, the thing you were fearing the most was to get emotional, and just by getting emotional, you did it. Enjoy the stage.” Katy: “It was so great seeing you on stage like that with a full smile with your mom’s favorite song. You were solid and grounded, you really swung that one, and I thought you sounded great, especially at the end when you took that big leap. Keep taking those leaps that is what is going to make your voice and artistry stand out.” Luke: “When you started, I felt like you were really reluctant to go there and now we got you going there, and it works. Your voice is so recognizable, when you expand your range and go for it, it is just going to make you more undeniable.”
The final performance tonight is Grace Kinstler who will be performing, “Into The Unknown,” from the movie Frozen II. Grace loves being in Disney World, she enjoyed the princesses the most. John says Grace opened her mouth and just went boom. John tells her to block out everything in her head, don’t let any negative thoughts inside when she sings.”
Judges’ comments: Katy: “Oh my goodness, it was like you had a magic wand and your voice and the smoke was swirling, the energy was moving, then the lights and thunder and it was like you had the whole room controlled with your voice, it was awesome.” Luke: “You walked to the mic with a look in your eyes of I am about to slay this, and there were never any doubts. You had the eye of the tiger and you went beyond all of that.” Lionel: “I think John said it best, just do that.”
Time for results, after the nationwide vote, the first person to make it to the top seven:
Chayce, Casey, Willie, Hunter, Caleb, Grace, and Arthur.
The three artists leaving the competition are:
Deshawn, Alyssa, and Cassandra.