"American Idol" revealed its finalists on Sunday night, while also welcoming back "American Idol" season 4 winner Carrie Underwood. With the ABC singing competition's Top 5 having to cover Underwood's hits as well as perform Mother's Day tributes, who got good news on the holiday and who needed a hug from their mother at the end of the night? Here are the highlights music fans need to know from Sunday's episode:
The "American Idol" season 16 finalists likely didn't surprise anyone who's been watching the show over the years. There's another handsome singer with a guitar in Caleb Lee Hutchinson, plus two female pop artists in Gabby Barrett and Maddie Poppe. It's reminiscent of "American Idol" season 11, when guitar-wielding singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips defeated energetic teenage pop singer Jessica Sanchez. Hutchinson falls in line with the show's past history of winners, but season 14 has already been a bit unpredictable, so this is still anyone's competition to win. Just click the link above to watch Poppe's solid performance of "God Only Knows," which was the best of the night.
Sunday was the last "American Idol" episode for Cade Foehner and Michael J. Woodard. Foehner had surprised some "Idol" fans by making it this far, and while Woodard had shown some interesting song choices and the ability to handle them in past weeks, he wasn't quite on the same level as Barrett, Poppe and Hutchinson when it came to holding the audience's attention. You can watch one of his final performances, covering Underwood's "Flat On The Floor," by clicking the link above. But the theme of the week didn't really suit him, and that's where theme weeks on singing competitions can be a problem - when you need your best performance but you have to choose from material that's not your best fit.
Carrie Underwood was the real star of this week's "American Idol" episode. Not only did she invite the Top 5 semifinalists out to her house in Nashville for some mentoring along their journey (which you can watch by playing the video above), all of the contestants had to sing her songs, and she also performed her new single "Cry Pretty" as part of Sunday's broadcast. ABC hasn't made Underwood's "Idol" performance available online as of Sunday night, but you can watch the "Cry Pretty" music video here. And while she took up a large portion of the show, it was still nice to see her come back to the TV series that launched her now very successful career. She's gone on to a lot of great things since "American Idol" season 4, but she still has all the charm and graciousness she did when she was just a finalist hoping to win.
"American Idol" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. Fans can get your tickets to see the Top 7 live on this summer's "American Idol LIVE! 2018" tour now through AXS by using the links below:
July 19 - Grand Prairie, TX - Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie (Click here for tickets)
July 27 - Saratoga, CA - The Mountain Winery (Click here for tickets)
Aug. 04 - Los Angeles, CA - The Orpheum Theatre (Click here for tickets)
Aug. 16 - Westbury, NY - The Space at Westbury (Click here for tickets)