The first “American Idol”

; live performance of 2021 proved vital when Paula Abdul returned and front-runner Wyatt Pike dropped out.

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The last four “American Idol” contestants left everything on stage, even though one of the contestants was not on this week’s episode.

On Sunday’s show, which was broadcast live from coast to coast, the remaining four singers were sung by their own personal idols, guided by guest mentor Finneas O’Connell, the singer-songwriter. Song and record producer with the pen name Finneas, contestants later return to sing the original, followed by the songs they previously performed on their “Idol” journey.

Though now slated for the final five, 16-year-old Caleb Kennedy left the race last week after his controversial video appeared on social media. Host Ryan Seacrest was hardly aware that Kennedy was not on air, saying at the top of the list that a high school student. “Will not participate in the next competition” despite being in the top five

In a Snapchat post, Kennedy appeared alongside a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan hoodie.Kennedy’s family said the video was recorded when he was 12 and his mother, Anita Guy, said the video. “It was taken after Caleb watched the movie ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’ and they copied the characters.”

“Caleb has no racist bones in his body,” she added.

Judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan give their thoughts on the controversy in the post-show virtual questions and answers. “First of all, as judges and as a jury, we love these kids and we are emotionally involved,” Brian said. “We hope nothing but the best for Caleb and it makes for a week. Challenging and very sad. “

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Richie added that he hopes this will be a learning experience for teenagers.

“We grow up and we make mistakes, and we look at our life behind us many times and we say, ‘We are going to make a difference. ‘God, what was I thinking when I did that?’ This was one of those situations, ‘he said.

As usual, Brian Richie and Katy Perry made a suggestion when fans voted at home on who they would like to see in the last three.

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Chayce Beckham

Heavy equipment operator Chayce Beckham, 24, performs with “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown Band.

Although Beckham was considering ditching the guitar to focus on the lyrics. But he changed his mind with the acoustic guitar.

And the decision worked in his favor, according to Perry.

“You were born on the” American Idol “show,” she said. “I knew you when Chayce, when did I know you?”

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According to Brian Beckham in the top four because he is authentic and authentic. Richie agrees, telling the singer that fans “don’t just fall in love with your voice. But who are you?

“That’s the real quality of being a star,” Richie added.

Later in the show, Beckham returned to his original song “23”, followed by Chris Stapleton’s “You Should be Out”, which he sang during the Hollywood Week.

After pointing out that “23” dominated the country music charts after its release, Perry told Beckham that he was already a rock star.

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Casey Bishop

Casey Bishop’s personal idol is well known to Finneas, Billie Eilish, his sister and collaborator, 16-year-old Eilish’s “Hope You Are Gay”, co-written by Finneas.

“The greatest honor as a songwriter was hearing this song, and Casey had an amazing instrument,” said Nanny.

Brian told the Bishop that she “Crushed every aspect” of her performance. “In my opinion, it’s the best of you,” he added.

Richie praised the bishop for making the audience stand on their toes.

“You are in the moment that makes us wonder. ‘What are you going to do next?’ ”He said.“ You killed it, my dear. ”

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Later on the show, Bishop killed it again with her original songs “Love me, Leave Me” and Mötley Crüe’s “Live Wire”, which she sang at the first audition. But unlike her auditions, the teenagers had to go to a live band instead of singing acapella.

Perry is amazed at the versatility of the high school student.

“I can’t believe you could sing ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ a few episodes gracefully and then kneel down to perform ‘Live Wire,’ said Perry. “You checked all the boxes, you are ready to party.”

Grace Kinstler

College student Grace Kinstler’s personal idol is also “American Idol” Kelly Clarkson, who won the first season when Kinstler was just a year old.

Like Clarkson, Kinstler said she wanted to be a role model for a girl who felt different. She sang “A Moment Like This”, which Clarkson came out at the end of season one after winning the show.

“You used to think of yourself trying to be something unique,” Richie said. “You’re normal, it’s fresh to everything in the world, that’s what makes it a star.”

Perry revealed that her cousin was rooting so hard for Kinstler to win. “You’re a lot like Kelly Clarkson and she’s a very famous star,” the judge added.

After that, the college student resumed her original song “Love someone” followed by Demi Lovato’s “Father”, which she sang during the show.

“All of our birds are leaving the nest,” Richie said. “Artistry, check star power, check your future, check.”

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Willie Spence

Moderator Willie Spence, who Finneas said “is one of the best voices I’ve ever heard,” performed “Glory” by Common and John Legend, Spence’s personal idols.

As usual for Spence, his performance was praised by the judges.

“I’m so glad you brought us to church,” exclaimed Perry. “It’s connected, it’s spiritual … I’m speechless.”

Perhaps the highest compliment comes from Brian. “You’re really going to save people with your voice,” the judge said as tears flowed down Spence’s face.

Spence returns for an equally powerful performance in his original songs “Never Be Alone” and Beyonce’s “I Was Here”.

Perry said Spence proved he had. “The connection with the next land”

Who came home?

At the end of the episode, Seacrest revealed Beckham, Spence and Kinsstler made the top three, meaning Bishop was eliminated.

After the show, the teenagers reflected more confidence through their “idols” before the auditions. Much of the bishop’s singing experience came from threading it into a comb at home.

“I’m proud of myself and everyone else,” she said. “Before, during the show, I wasn’t very comfortable, and I thought it was clear and now I am.”

The season finale of “Idol” will air at 8pm ET next Sunday when Spence, Kinstler or Beckham will be announced as the winner.

Contributing: Ashley Dill, Herald-Journal

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