She came, she rocked, she sang everything from Motley Crüe to Judy Garland.
But in the end, it wasn’t enough: After three months of competing on “American Idol,” Casey Bishop’s run on the show came to an end Sunday. Now the Estero teenager is returning home to Southwest Florida.
Host Ryan Seacrest offered condolences and congratulations to the Top 4 singers Sunday, just moments before announcing who would go on to the show’s finale May 23.
“I just want to say that it has been amazing to watch all of you,” Seacrest said. “Probably the best Top 4 we’ve ever had — ever — on ‘American Idol.’
“So congratulations to each one of you. Thank you for what you’ve given us.”
But only three of the night’s singers would get to compete in next week’s finale. And the last of those singers to be announced came down to Bishop and Boston’s Grace Kinstler.
“One will take that coveted final spot and head home for a hero’s welcome,” Seacrest said, referring to planned hometown visits by the Top 3 this week. “And the other’s ‘Idol’ journey will come to an end tonight.
“The final person to compete in the finale next week, live, is … Grace.”
The audience erupted into applause at the news.
“Congratulations, Grace!” Seacrest said. “Which means we have to say goodbye to Casey. Let’s hear it for Casey, ladies and gentlemen!”
The night capped three months’ worth of “Idol” performances for Bishop, who sang everything from Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” and Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” to Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow” and the jazz standard “My Funny Valentine.”
Most of those performances were met with raves from the show’s three judges. That included the four songs Bishop sang Sunday.
Lionel Richie jumped out of his chair and seemed stunned after Bishop’s high-energy performance of Motley Crüe’s hard-rocking classic “Live Wire.”
“What — what was that?” Richie said. “You can be so whimsical, and right in the middle of this whole thing, you … drop … the … bomb.
“I loved it. It’s stardust all over you. I want front-row seats and backstage passes.”
Luke Bryan had a similar reaction after Bishop sang Billie Eilish’s “wish you were gay.”
“That was crushed,” Bryan told her. “I mean you just crushed every aspect of that whole thing. In my opinion, it was your best, it was your best, it was your best. … Great job!”
The “American Idol” finale airs at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 23. Kinstler will perform with Chayce Beckham and Willie Spence.
One performer was conspicuously absent from Sunday’s show: South Carolina’s Caleb Kennedy.
Kennedy, 16, left the competition last week after a controversial video surfaced on social media. The three-second video shows Kennedy sitting beside someone who appears to be wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood. Kennedy has said he was 12 at the time.
That reduced Sunday’s show to four performers instead of the planned five, and there was only one elimination instead of two.
Here’s a closer look at what Bishop sang Sunday, and what the judges said:
Billie Eilish’s ‘wish you were gay’
To get ready for her performance, Bishop worked with producer and singer-songwriter Finneas, brother to pop star Billie Eilish. Each of the Top 4 singers sang a salute to one of their musical idols.
Finneas said he was impressed by Bishop and her voice. “She’s got such a rich tone,” he said. “I can’t believe she’s only 16.”
Bishop performed Eilish’s “wish you were gay” in front of video screens shaped like Polaroid pictures. Afterward, the judges praised her performance.
Richie talked about how the show had pushed Bishop to come up with her own stage persona.
“You now own your persona,” he said. “You were in a moment that made us wonder what she is going to do next. You killed it, my dear. I loved it.”
Casey Bishop’s ‘Love Me, Leave Me’ and Motley Crüe’s ‘Live Wire’
Bishop performed these two songs back-to-back: Her new single “Love Me, Leave Me” and Motley Crüe’s hard-rock classic “Live Wire.”
Bishop and the rest of the Top 4 singers released original songs last week recorded with well-known music producers. Bishop’s pop song, “Love Me, Leave Me,” was recorded with two-time Grammy winner Ian Fitchuk.
After performing that one, Bishop sang “Live Wire” — the same song she’d sung for her “Idol” audition in February. This time, it was full-speed, loud and with a full rock band.
Perry called Bishop’s single her new favorite song.
“I just can’t believe that you can sing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ a couple of episodes ago, so elegantly, and then get down on your knees for ‘Live Wire.’ You check all the boxes. You are ready to party.”
Finneas’ ‘Break My Heart Again’
This emotional duet from Bishop and Chase was the last performance of the night Sunday. Finneas’ pop ballad was released in 2018.
The judges didn’t make any comments.
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