×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘American Idol’ Recap: Starry Duets and Swift Exits

On Monday night’s (April 9) “American Idol,” celebrity duets brought together hopefuls with their mentors — Andy Grammer, Bishop Briggs, Luis Fonsi, Pat Monahan, Aloe Blacc, Allen Stone and Sugarland, among them — and several of the contestants more than held their own.

“I don’t know how to critique anymore,” Katy Perry said just a half hour into the show. “Everybody is arriving and showing up.” Except, of course, for the five singers who would be leaving the competition.

The show started with a bang as Catie Turner teamed up with Grammer, gushing “OMG, you could be my uncle or something!” There’s something quite endearing about how Turner doesn’t give a damn, even after Grammer warned her about nerves. Their duet of “Good to be Alive (Hallelujah)” was exuberant and fun, earning praise from judge Lionel Richie, who told her, “You killed it.”

Up next was long-haired beauty Cade Foehner, who not only turned judge Katy Perry into a gushing fan girl the night before (April 8), but charmed Briggs as well who was captivated by his “sparkly green eyes” and Southern manners. Their duet of INXS’ “Never Tear Us Apart” was sexy and captivating, and Perry is still very much a fan, telling Foehner, “You really have something special.”

Equally impressive was 16-year old Layla Spring, who managed to charm Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, holding her own vocally as they sang the bubbly “Stuck Like Glue.” Spring is “springing full of joy” on stage, according to Perry, and Richie, who once performed with Nettles, praised her bravery. Judge Luke Bryan was impressed with the teen’s ability to keep up with Nettles.

Aloe Blacc was an excellent duet partner, and said he feels a kinship with Dominique, focused on helping him break out of his desk job to a performer. Their duet of “Wake Me Up” was a very good step in that direction, as Richie noted of his rising to the occasion.

Brandon Diaz had a taller order, pairing with Luis Fonsi for a duet of “Despacitio.” Diaz admits that Spanish isn’t his first language, despite singing to his “Abuelo.” Although Perry was “sold,” the song may have been a tad out of Diaz’s reach.

Train’s Pat Monahan and Kay Kay had some trouble in rehearsal, with the 18-year old struggling to hear herself, revealing that she had never sang with another person before and isn’t used to being accompanied by a band. Still, she managed to get through “Drive-By” (not an easy song), and Richie complimented how she “took care of business.”

Briggs — who is the breakout star of the evening NOT in the competition — drew out the character in Trevor McBane on “River,” who struggled with his lower register.  Briggs tells McBane he is “destined for greatness,” while Perry complements—Briggs. This does not bode well.

Michelle Sussett remains an interesting contestant, as her duet with Fonsi (and their intricate conversation about her family in Venezuela) was captivating before either even took a microphone. Perry is right to point ouf Sussett’s star quality and future as a possible actress. Their coupling on “I Can’t Make You Love Me” showed real chemistry. “I didn’t want it to end,” said Bryan.

The weirdest advice of the night was doled out to Jonny Brenns, as Perry suggested stealth “ballet classes” as an aid to get him into the top five. Brenns was a bit stiff, despite Grammer’s suggestion that he just enjoy himself on “Back Home.”

One of the most gorgeous moments of the night was the pairing of Dennis Lorenzo and Allen Stone, who compared Lorenzo’s voice to a “flock of beautiful doves.” Their duet of “Unaware” was worthy of an awards show, even though Lorenzo brought his guitar with the hole in it. “That was spectacular,” said Richie.

Michael J. Woodward then paired with Pat Monahan for a bit of a strange duet of “Angel in Blue Jeans”—a love song. Monahan says that the two just “make as much eye contact.” Woodward, however, is a ray of sunshine, and his growth since his audition is astounding.

Finally, Gabby Bryant sat down with Nettles for mentoring on the song, “Stay.” Nettles gives her great advice to tell the story, and find a way to connect to the lyrics.  It worked. “I can tell you aren’t getting comfortable,” Perry said. “That’s the key to success.”

Although all did their best, Perry laments in her best Highlander impression that there can only be one American Idol. Spring, McBane, Dominque, Kay Kay, and Diaz were all let loose as Bryan wished them well on their journey.

Through to the next round—Foehner, Sussette, Lorenzo, Barrett, Breens, Woodward, and Turner.

Next week, another twelve will perform with five more eliminated.

American Idol airs Sunday and Monday nights, 8 p.m. on ABC.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Breaking Bad

    'Breaking Bad' Movie Release Date, Title and Plot Revealed

    The “Breaking Bad” movie is coming to Netflix sooner than you might think. The film, titled “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” is now set to be released on Netflix on Oct. 11, according to a report from the New York Times, with Aaron Paul returning as the series’ popular meth cook Jesse Pinkman. Jesse [...]

  • Laurence FishburneNational Memorial Day Concert Dress

    Laurence Fishburne to Produce 'Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur' Series for Disney Channel

    Laurence Fishburne is stepping into the animation game. The “Matrix” star is set to executive produce “Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur,” an animated series which has been given the greenlight at Disney Channel. Based on Marvel’s comic book series, the show hails from from Disney Television Animation and follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • 'The Simpsons' Producers on Disney, Spinoffs

    'The Simpsons' Producers Talk Potential Disney Spinoffs, Confirm Apu Will Remain

    “The Simpsons” has never shied away from lampooning Disney over the years, but maybe that’s no longer the case. Homer, Marge and co. are of course now part of the Disney family and made their first appearance at the Mouse House’s D23 Expo convention, where the show’s producers were asked plenty of questions about what [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content