The evening boasted former Idol contestant and victor Carrie Underwood as mentor to the Top 5, which included Maddie Poppe, Cade Foehner, Gabby Barrett, Caleb Lee Hutchinson, and Michael J. Woodard. And tonight I think you started off on a grand scale. "Carrie told Gabby there is nobody in country like her and country (music industry) could use her". Barrett's first song was Underwood's "Last Name".
During Sunday's semifinals, the top five visited Season 4 victor Carrie Underwood, now a country music superstar, in Nashville, Tennessee, and they each sang one of the songs from the "Sunday Night Football" theme song singer's catalog. Richie agreed Gabby was "fabulous".
Cade sang "Undo It" by Carrie, and Luke explained how American Idol has really pushed the singer out of his comfort zone.
Caleb Lee Hutchinson tackled Underwood's 2007 hit "So Small". Perry likes his sense of humor but warns him that some finalists are outperforming him, so he's got to "flap those wings harder to work the crowd". I mean, you've got it.
Katy was lost in Maddie's world and noted time stood still during her performance. She said this experience has made everything come full circle.
For his Mother's Day song, Caleb sang Jamey Johnson's "Stars in Alabama".
Gabby Barrett was more ambitious in her second pick, "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston.
The judges raved and went wild over the performance. Perry, who was moved to tears by the song and Michael's pre-performance clip with his mother, joked, "I thought I had my emotions removed", but it was "so attractive what I saw between you and your mother". Until week after week, she's gotten better and better and better. He tested his chops admirably on "Still I Rise" by Yolanda Adams, which had the judges' panel in a flurry of emotions. It's all about you performing, my friend. Ever since she earned the title, the singer blazed her own trail through country music and became a queen in her own right among many other talents in the genre.