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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 30 year old lawyer living in Ottawa. Besides legal jargon, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and room escape strategies. Andrew is also happily in a long-term, long-distance relationship. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

3 of the Best Moments From the ‘American Idol’ Live Top 10 Disney Show

It was a night to remember as American Idol transported us to the world of Disney during Sunday night’s show. After visiting the theme park in California, the contestants were mentored by Frozen star Idina Menzel before performing the Disney song of their choice. Judge Katy Perry even spent the night dressed as Snow White.

But the tension was high as the show aired live across the country and the audience could vote from the moment the show started until the last commercial break. By the end of the broadcast, the three contestants with the lowest number of votes were sent home. But did America make the right choices based on their performances? Let’s break it down and find out who created a little Disney magic…

Play to Your Strengths

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Katy Perry dressed the part for Disney White, spending the night in her Snow White garb [Credit: ABC]

Last week, the judges gave Michelle Sussett the advice to use her Latina roots to her advantage. That advice turned out to be sound when she delivered what was arguably her best solo showing in the competition to date with “Remember Me” from the movie Coco. With the injection of a Spanish verse or two, Michelle felt more comfortable than ever even if she didn’t completely stick the landing with a few strained notes at the end of her performance. Rating: 5.5/10

Rocker Cade Foehner also took the judges advice to show another side of himself as he stripped down The Little Mermaid‘s “Kiss the Girl.” The sensuality he brought to the song was definitely a hit for the voters, but the more keen-eared listeners had some critiques regarding a few of the notes and Cade’s enunciation up to this point in the competition. Still, those complaints may be few and far between given the judge’s glowing feedback. Rating: 4.5/10

Country boy Caleb Lee Hutchinson brought the “aww” factor as he dedicated his performance of Toy Story‘s “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” to his dog after his beloved pet provided moral support for him during hard times. While the performance wasn’t particular offensive, it also wasn’t particularly revolutionary in a way that made Caleb standout and winning, for him, will require a little more fire. Rating: 4.0/10

Putting on a Show

Drag Queen Ada Vox went full lioness with a mane of hair to go with his performance of The Lion King‘s “Circle of Life.” Mentor Idina Menzel gave Ada some great feedback to sit in the sweet spot of his lower register more often, but it felt like Ada got caught up in the moment and ignored that feedback, much to the audience’s chagrin. The result was that Ada’s performance was plagued by the same unpleasant high notes as previous performances, if a little more frequently. Rating: 3.5/10

After earning a wildcard spot in last week’s show Jurnee found her emotional connection this week with Moana‘s hit song “How Far I’ll Go.” Jurnee showed more personality than usual, swaying and smiling during the chorus of the tune, but felt like she had more to give, both vocally and performance wise. We’ve seen her go there before, so perhaps she is held to a higher standard than the rest, but hopefully she can find that connection in the future. Rating: 6.5/10

Last week Maddie Poppe made a run at the title with a hypnotizing performance of one of Simon & Garfunkel’s hits. This week the acoustic guitarist donned a ukelele and showed her fun side with The Jungle Book‘s “The Bare Necessities.” The performance fit her bohemian vibe and with the help of Idina, Maddie even found a way to inject a bigger vocal moment into the performance. Still wish she had chosen a more poignant song to give us a more moving Idol moment, but it’s always good to strike a balance. Rating: 6/10

Focus on the Vocals

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Michael Woodard wowed the judges and advanced to the Top 7 after his take on “Beauty and the Beast” [Credit: ABC]

Speaking of striking a balance, for some contestants the judges have commented that they should devote a little more attention to the song itself and less to the performance. For the quirky Catie Turner, this advice paid off as she was able to indulge in her fantasy of being a princess in Sleeping Beauty‘s “Once Upon A Dream” without neglecting what makes her voice so unique. The lilted, airy tones to her upper register truly gave the performance a dream like quality and was, for me, her best to date. Rating: 7.0/10

Country singer Gabby Barrett kicked off her cowboy boots this week and showed her pop prowess with Pocahontas’s “Colors of the Wind.” It was definitely a welcome change to trade her twang for the rasp of her R&B side and there was even a contrast with the beautiful clarity of her voice at points. However, Gabby struggled in parts to reach the high bar set by Vanessa Williams, who originally sang the vocally challenging song with such ease. Rating: 5.5/10

The judges continued to praise Michael J. Woodard for his ability to cast a spell on the audience every time he opens his mouth. His take on Beauty and the Beast‘s theme was dynamic, to say the least, floating along like the waltz of the main characters in places and exploding with the power of his voice at just the right moment. It’s hard to deny that he might have taken top grades among this talented group, but may need to mix it up next week to stay relevant. Rating: 8.0/10

Last to take the stage was young father Dennis Lorenzo. His choice, to sing Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from The Lion King also gave his voice the chance to shine and remind the audience why the judges gave him one of the coveted wildcard spots last week. Dennis may, however, have gotten the short end of the stick as the voting cut off just mere minutes after he performed, which didn’t give the audience much time to rally for him. Rating: 7.0/10

After all was said and done and the votes were tallied, CadeCalebCatie, GabbyJurneeMaddie, and Michael advanced through to the Top 7 while AdaMichelle, and Dennis were sent home. Maddie said it best just before the last commercial break when she said there wasn’t really a terrible performance tonight, so it was hard to know how the votes were stack out. The Disney songs gave the younger contestants a chance to channel nostalgia and give the performance the attention it deserved, which resulted in a better-than-average group of performances.

Now that the Top 7 has been revealed, they will perform songs from Prince’s legendary catalog next Sunday and, again, the audience will vote live before two are sent home by the end of the night. I will see you next Monday with a recap of that show!

What did you think of American Idol’s first Disney night? Which performances made Disney magic for you? Did the voters send the right three people home? Let us know in the comments below!

Header Image: ABC
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