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American Idol Season 19 - Final Four With FINNEAS


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Our Top 5 want it more than ever. One of these people is your next American Idol. In the end, only 3 will be in your Finale. Who gets your vote? This is American Idol!

Welcome to the show, the race to the Finale is in its home stretch with guest Mentor, FINNEAS. But first, say hello to Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie! 

Caleb Kennedy will not be continuing in the competition, so tonight the Top 4 will be performing: Chayce Beckam, Casey Bishop, Grace Kinstler and Willie Spence. Live voting is now open and we will say goodbye to one idol at the end of the show. Each idol will perform their new singles, reprising a favorite past performance, but first, they are taking on songs from their favorite Idols, mentored by multi-Grammy-winning artist & producer, FINNEAS.

We start with Chayce Beckam and FINNEAS. Chayce playe 23 and FINNEAS says he has a great tone, really earnest. For his Personal Idol song, Chayce chose Colder Weather (Zac Brown Band). FINNEAS cautions him that even with a full band, he needs to keep his voice forward. Chayce plans to focus on the lyrics and put down the guitar for this one. 

Singing Colder Weather (Zac Brown Band), this is a pure ballad vocal, soft with just a bit of edge, slow and steady, centered and in front as the band picks up the beat and adds volume around his voice, which rises to the occasion, pounding the climax. Katy says you were born on American Idol and I knew you when, you obviously decided to play the guitar anyway but it looks good on you, it's your ammunition and I love how you use it, you look good up there. Luke says you are real and everything you give us feels real and that will take you so far, people love artists being genuine and authenticity. Lionel says the answer to the question of do they like you is they do, they fell in love with not only your voice but who they are.

Casey Bishop is singing FINNEAS's sister's song, Wish You Were Gay (Billie Eilish). She says she doesn't feel alone when she listens to herBillie Eilish's music. Co-written by FINNEAS, he says she has a beautiful instrument with a rich tone and advises her to sound spontaneous, as if finding the lyrics for the first time. He tells Casey that Billie is honored she is doing her song.

Singing Wish You Were Gay (Billie Eilish), Casy's voice is light and casual, filled with internally emotional drama and longing. Bouncing with energy, her vocal floats up and down with the excitement of passion unrequited. She lets out a little giggle at the end, as if to say did I do that? Luke says that was crushed, you just crushed every aspect of that whole thing, your best, the perfect song, you had so much fun. Lionel says you now owns your persona, your voice, the way you were looking around, you were in a moment that made us wonder what you would do next. Katy says you found your stardust and you're rolling around it it, it's in your hair, it's instant identity, you are going to be your next hero.

2018 American Idol winner Laine Hardy returns to the Idol stage to talk about his new single, Memorize You, with an album coming out next Fall.

Grace Kinstler is next to meet FINNEAS to sing A Moment Like This (Kelly Clarkson). Kelly is a successful woman in the industry who doesn't fit the mold. FINNEAS says she will rise to the challenge, and wishes he sounded that good when he was nervous. The voice is already there and the voice is already great, so just spend 3 minutes loving it. Grace says she is blessed to be able to spread the message she wants in a moment like this.

Singing A Moment Like This (Kelly Clarkson), Grace stands alone on the stage, her voice even and insistent, full of volume, flowering and crescendoing into a big chorus, then giving way to a huge power note, as if opening doors with her voice. When she suddenly dials it back for a tender conclusion, you could hear a pin drop. On his feet, Lionel says you waited a lifetime for a moment like this, I couldn't help it. You have thought of yourself as trying to be unique, but you are your normal and that is totally fresh to the rest of the world, and that is what makes you a star, your sound, your confidence, so many ladies just need you to tell them it's OK to be you. Katy says it is a pleasure when you "grace" us with your voice; my cousins want you to win, and they are at home dialing. That was a cool song choice, you are a lot like Kelly and she is a bonified mega star. Luke says you are all massive stars and you are a superstar with a confidence that is amazing to watch, your voice is vocal pyro. Katy asks if there were 3 different key changes, and Grace says the chorus modulates and then they did a key change. Ryan says you gave us chills. He notes she was 1yrs old when Kelly sang that song on her Finale night, and he was 26 and now he's filing for AARP.

Next, Willie Spence takes on Glory (John Legend & Common). FINNEAS starts out telling Willie he has one of the best voices he's ever heard. A song about not giving up without a fight, Willie says he likes American Idol better than The Voice (where John Legend is a coach). FINNEAS says he should start out like there's someone in another room sleeping then wake them up and forget about them. 

With his soft, passionate voice, Willie sings Glory (John Legend & Common) with a trio backup choir, delivering a history sermon vocal that reaches out for the sky and brings it down for the listening ears. Taking the mic, he walks forward, swimming in beams of light, belting out praise and promise and a future delivered. Katy says I am glad you took us to church, bought a Toyota, should have bought a Hyundai. It was amazing, connected, spiritual, it's in God's hands now, I can't choose, I am speechless. Luke says I cannot tell you what that performance just did to my soul, you are going to save lives with that voice, you are going to bring people back out of the dark with that, they will walk up to you and tell you how you saved their lives. So true, agrees Lionel, you have such a presence and aura, your presentation is stellar but most of all, you are uplifting, you move us to that next place, chills.

Please welcome Ashe & FINNEAS, with Till Forever Falls Apart!

This week the idols visited the Sound Factory to record their new singles with producers "Tricky" Stewart (Grace & Willie), Ross Copperman (Chayce), Ian Fitchuk (Casey). Those singles are available now.

Starting round 2, we take a look back at Chayce Beckham's Idol journey. Singing his original song, 23, he channels southern rock with an up-tempo, foot-tapping performance of learning adulting the hard way. He then goes back to Hollywood Week for a reprise of You Should Probably Leave (Chris Stapleton), more country but uniquely Chayce, leading his band like this is just another gig. Luke says how do you find new ways to say amazing, great job? Loved the production you worked on your original, telegraphing the segue into the next song like a professional. Lionel asks who have you turned into? From beginning to now, a complete transformation, you have stepped into your light and I know exactly who you are, your sound, your demeanor, everything is lining up for show business. Katy points out his single is #1 on the country charts, Applevalley Fork Lift boy, you are a star.

Next we take a look at Casey Bishop's Idol journey, culminating with her first ever single, Love me, Leave Me. Sultry and deep, her voice is resigned to powers she cannot control, but she is in total control of her vocal as she rocks out on stage. Going back to her first audition, she reprises Live Wire (Motley Crue) as she explodes her performance, dancing around on stage with her feet and her voice, dangerous, exciting, undeniable. What was that, Lionel asks, you could be so whimsical and right in the middle you drop. the. bomb. It's stardust all over you, front row seats and backstage passes. What was that? Katy says that's my favorite song right now, great way to pick a great first song, how can you sing Somewhere Over The Rainbow then get down on your knees like that? You check all the boxes and are ready to party. Luke says we are 2 miles from all the 80's hair metal bars, let's take Casey and have show, I'm there. 

Next, Grace and Willie team up to sing FINNEAS's song, What They'll Say About Us. He tells them this song was inspired by the juxtaposition of people watching loved ones die from COVID-19 while social justice protests raged. He says the song could have been written for their voices. Their vocals are intertwined in the duet to deliver a singularly beautiful and poignant melody. Grace gets the benefit of the big power moment, but Willie solidly anchors the harmonies. 

Now, please welcome Luke Bryan with his new song, Waves, off the album Born Here Live Here Die Here.

From 2018, please welcome back Michael J Woodard, who was signed by Katy after he was eliminated, and has written 130 songs, but his first single is releasing this Friday, Why You Texting Me.

Returning to this season's competition, we look back at the Idol journey for Grace Kinstler before she sings her original song, Love Someone. Her vocal is casual and there is some audio echo in the theater, but her voice rings out and dances across the stage. With a laugh, she next reprises her Showstopper song, Father by Demi Lovato, an emotion-suppressed vocal discovering the confidence to move on with self-reliance, power notes that blew the doors open. Luke says Demi's song was made for you to sing, and loved the melodic runs on your original, yet another great performance, no holes to shoot. Lionel says all of our birds are about to leave the nest, it is clear you've taken all the instruction, we just gave you the platform to be you. Artistry, check. Star power, check. Your future, check. Katy says great first original song, and your second song really touched you and I felt that and it was beautiful.

We conclude the second round taking a look back at the journey of Willie Spence on American Idol. Singing his original, Never Be Alone, It's a new look and an improved sound as his buttery vocal flows with power, poise, presence and personality. For his bring-back song, he reprises I was Here (Beyonce), not as strong as his original but discovers his true Willie his voice climbs into the chorus and finds its power vocals, with sensitive, nuanced, feeling. Lionel says we have created, I want to see this tour, this is it, you're a giant of a voice and of a presence, and you handle both so well, so calm even as all your soul comes out of your expression. Katy says I got chills in places on my face I thought had I'd got frozen. You will never be alone - you have that connection to the next realm, you come in kind of shy and unsure but you are stepping into your power and walking into the light, it will serve you every time. Luke says you're a sweetheart teddy bear, until the lights come on then you go into performance beast mode and that's what this business is all about.

Before the voting closes, Casey and Chayce take the stage for another duet of the FINNEAS song, Break My Heart Again. FINNEAS encourages them to take melodic liberties. Chayce opens with a conversational vocal setting the theatrical tone of the performance. Casey joins in and you can just picture the split-screen of each on the phone as both voices drip wounded emotion and a bruised, sorrowed sounding performance. 

We are just one week away from the Grand Finale of this epic season, and all four of these faces want to compete for the title, but only three will get the chance. Dim the lights and here we go.

After the nationwide vote coast to coast, the first person to compete in the Finale is...   Chayce Beckam!

The second person voted into the Finale and headed back for a hometown celebration is in the great state of Gerogia is...  Willie Spence!

So we are down to Casey and Grace. One will take that coveted final spot and head home for a hero's welcome. The other's idol journey will come to an end tonight. The final person to compete in the Finale next week live is...   Grace Kinstler! 

That means we say goodbye to Casey Bishop, who I thought had the vocal and performance talents to win it all and expect will not have to wait long to sign with a label and start a career in music and entertainment.

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