It was Prince night on American Idol 2018 and there were a few really good performances, but there were also some definite duds for the night.
Each contestant sang two songs, one from the Prince catalog and one from the year they were born. As always, I will be reviewing each performance and assigning the letter grade I think each deserves. And don’t forget to get all the way to the end to find out which contestants went home and which made it into the American Idol 2018 Top 5.
Jurnee, “Kiss.” First of all, Jurnee looked incredible. She looked like a star. There were times I thought she even reminded me of Beyonce. I will admit it’s weird to hear anyone sing a Prince song that isn’t Prince, so this is going to be hard to judge. But I liked her performance and thought she handled it very well despite seeming a bit disconnected. Grade: B+
Gabby Barrett, “I Hope You Dance.” Well that was nasally and performed completely in her head voice, so I wasn’t a fan of it. And the band is just way too extra so it’s often hard to hear the singer. They really need to work on their sound. Fix it, ABC! Anyway, I don’t know what the judges heard, but I don’t think those of us at home heard what they heard. I’m really confused by them saying it was the best vocal ever. Grade: B-
Michael J. Woodard, “I Would Die 4 U.” I loved his energy and I loved his styling. I also liked that he managed to change up a Prince song just enough to make it less than an impersonation. It wasn’t Michael’s best performance, but he’s always so good it didn’t really matter. I just love how modern he made the song seem. Grade: A-
Cade Foehner, “Who Will Save Your Soul.” I liked the arrangement for this song, but I didn’t think Cade’s vocals were quite there at the start. And once again, the sound was off, so it was really hard to hear him at the beginning. By the middle, though, it got really good and he owned it. It went from about a C+ to an A+ so that averages out pretty well. Grade: B+
Catie Turner, “Oops! I Did It Again.” I hated this arrangement. It was cheesy and actually made me feel embarrassed. And after hearing how well she can actually sing last week, this just really disappointed me. I appreciate her confidence and love that she had so much fun, but I hated this. Grade: C-
Caleb Lee Hutchinson, “Amazed.” Caleb seemed confident and completely comfortable, and his vocals were solid, but the song choice was pretty boring. There was nothing wrong with the performance at all, though, I just thought it was just kind of there. It was a thing. Grade: B+
Maddie Poppe, “Nothing Compares 2 U.” OK she gets bonus points for playing the piano. And then she gets a few more for picking this song. And then she gets all the points for the vocals, emotion and vulnerability she gave us with this. This was a perfect performance. Grade: A+
Michael J. Woodard, “My Heart Will Go On.” This was a smart song choice for him. People love this song and they should respond well to it. Especially when you take into account how he performed it. He turned this Celine Dion song into a Michael Woodard song. What a fascinating arraignment and performance. Grade: A
Cade Foehner, “Jungle Love.” This was a fun performance. It was better for Cade than the first song, for sure. And his energy and confidence seemed better as well. This was definitely his better of the two. Grade: A
Gabby Barrett, “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore.” Every time Gabby doesn’t try to sing country, it’s better in my opinion. I don’t know why she’s insisting on being a country singer when she’s so much better at pop. This was much better than her first song and I don’t even know this Prince song. Grade: A
Jurnee, “Back At One.” This was smart of her to go slow after doing an upbeat song the first time. I just wish people were voting on vocals from tonight and not just how their favorite performer is. Jurnee is the best vocalist in this thing, but I think this is her last week. We’ll find out soon. I did think this arrangement was a little weird, but her vocals were good. Grade: A
Catie Turner, “Manic Monday.” She blew the words right away and never recovered and that deserves no more of my time. Grade: F-
Maddie Poppe, “If It Makes You Happy.” Maddie knows exactly who she is and tonight’s performances were fantastic. She’s a total artist. She’s unique and confident and she is doing exactly what she needs to be doing. I love her. Grade: A+
Caleb Lee Hutchinson, “When Doves Cry.” This was like four notes. It was like “Dun dun dun dun dun.” It was just a strange arrangement. I didn’t like it at all. Grade: C
Eliminated: Jurnee and Catie Turner
What do you think of the results? Did the right contestants make it into the American Idol Top 5?
American Idol Network’s Best Performance of the Night: Maddie Poppe, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’