Nicolina’s Disney Night Villain Song Makes ‘American Idol’ History

Sunday was Disney Night on american idol, an annual tradition in which judge and part-time professional cosplayer Katy Perry always makes her wildest Disneyana dreams come true. It’s basically Katy’s very own Met Ball. Katy has really outdone herself this 20th season by curling up (literally) in a fishtail Little Mermaid ensemble, which rolled onto the set around ’78 as Bette Midler—then plunged into the most awkward televised mermaid costume moment since Donna Martin attended that ill-fated Halloween party on 90210

But as funny as Katy’s Ariel act was, Katy had nothing on Sunday Little Mermaid villainess Ursula, aka top 10 diva Nicolina Bozzo — who brutally girded “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and left Katy trembling in her scales. Nicolina really made idol history as the first contestant to ever have a villains song on Disney Night, and she proved that naughty girls finish first. Nicolina delivered a big screen-worthy performance that was actually more like auditioning for a potentially Tony-winning Broadway run, bringing all the spunk, torchlight and drama to Lady Gaga level. This was theater† Nicole. didn’t just chew on the scenery – she devoured the. And it all worked.

“That was so good, it was scary‘, Katy gasped as Nicolina stood there imposingly in her Hot Topic prom night finery. “Honestly, I think you stole the show. That is how you do it. This is how you do show business: the entrance, the fog, the appearance. That was incredible.” Host Ryan Seacrest even added, “It was like watching a movie.”

It was admittedly a risk for Nicolina to swing into sea hag/anti-heroine mode on this otherwise warm ‘n’ fuzzy family evening, but her bold move clearly paid off. Most of the other top 10 contestants played it safe, and the ones that played it safest – Lady K with “How Far I’ll Go” from moanaEmyrson Flora’s Stepford Smiley “Carried Me With You” from Forward, Mike Parker’s well-intentioned but syrupy cover of Phil Collins’ Tarzana ballad “I’ll Be in Your Heart” — were all voted out by the end of the night. That left us with our top seven. So, with the finale just three weeks away, it looks like Nicolina has secured her front-runner status… but who else has a chance for a Disney-esque happy ending this season? Let’s take a look at this week’s other performances:

Noah Thompson, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (from Toy Story

The untrained Noah doesn’t have a big set of power pipes like Nicolina does, but this cozy, cute Randy Newman classic fits his personality perfectly. He even reminded me a bit tonight of the immensely lovable season 8 winner Kris Allen. This nice guy could be finish first. “I think that was my favorite song you sang alongside your Rihanna song. … You gave it so much character, color and country crooning. It was one of your best vocals ever,” Katy said. Lionel Richie told Noah: “It was the perfect song choice, and more importantly, your attitude was amazing because it was a sing-along moment. l loved the.”

Huntergirl, “I See the Light” (from confused

This clearly showed another, softer side of the honky-tonk good-time girl, and I appreciated Huntergirl’s willingness to step outside her comfort zone with a sophisticated, string-laden ballad. However, I don’t think it suited her in the end. I was bored. In addition, the song drew attention to her vocal shortcomings. However, the judges, who have loved Huntergirl ever since they handed her that platinum ticket at the season 20 premiere, crept over her as usual. “To stand there and sing a Disney song so beautiful, all I can say to you is, that’s your whole career there,” Lionel gushed. “Obviously you’re a Tennessee country girl, but the elegance and beauty of that performance, I can see award shows in the future,” said Luke Bryan. And Katy even declared this Huntergirl’s “Cinderella moment”.

Jay, “Remember Me” (from cocoa

OKAY, this one was a perfect song choice for this particular contestant. It brought out a previously unheard of sultry and feathery texture, and the simple accompaniment of a lone “sad guitar” was fun, especially since Jay had a tendency to overthink and overthink and exaggerate everything. He also worked as a pro on stage. I definitely see award shows in to be future. “I think it’s great that you started in a different position. Showmanship† You are the only one who has used the stage. We want the stage to be used up. We want that energy. You did,” Katy said. “This is the second week in a row that you’ve given us truly timeless performances, and your picks are just such classic sounds. That use of your falsetto voice throughout the song was something we haven’t heard all year,” Luke noted. And Lionel said to Jay, “That was… levels you showed us tonight. Levels

Leah Marlene, “When She Loved Me” (from Toy Story 2

Leah considered playing the piano tonight – something she hasn’t done this season – and while I was initially disappointed to find that she had changed her mind at the last minute, it turned out to be the right decision. Standing by the mic allowed Leah to actually play the song with her endlessly expressive face – guest mentor Derek Hough said she looked like a real cartoon character, in the best possible way. She was just so extraordinarily charming; what a pure, poignant performance. “You’re just a great singer. You hit another bad note in this competition. You always tell the story perfectly, and you just did it with that song,” said Luke. “I’m just addicted to every word you sing. The growth is so beautiful, and the delivery was so silky smooth. I’m so proud of it.” you,” Katy exulted.

Christian Guardino, “The Circle of Life” (from The lionking

At first I thought this was a great choice for the power singer… but than I remembered this being the song the almighty Jennifer Hudson sent home in Season 3, despite her version being literally considered one of the best performances in idol history. Christian obviously wasn’t sent home, but I don’t think his version was of that majestic J.Hud level. It was far from the best vocals; he was practical shout the song at times, without a handle on the dynamics of the Elton ballad. But the judges and studio audience seemed to love it. Luke nicknamed this soul singer “Christian Gonna-Need-a-Security-Guard-ino” and bizarrely told him, “You sang it perfectly.” Katy told Christian, “Before you started this song, I was like, ‘Oh, this is a long stretch and I hope he’s not overdoing it.’ But it was perfect. It was the perfect circle.” It was notperfect. Maybe it sounded different through Katy’s eardrum-blocking plastic Ariel wig.

Fritz Hager, “Go the Distance” (from Hercules

This was another fully connected performance of this recognizable and lovable troubadour, showing both his tenderness and quiet power. I loved this, and it felt modern — a bit of Bastille/Two Door Cinema Club/Bleachers/Imagine Dragons/X Ambassadors in atmosphere. Fritz has been burning slowly but brightly throughout this match and I think we will see him in the final. (It’s a good indication of Fritz’s popularity that his independently released EP was number 1 on the iTunes Pop chart last week.) “You stepped into your light again,” Lionel declared. “Man, You’re Always Just” nail the. … You understand the dynamics of taking the song and creating these moments within the songs. You don’t surprise me anymore. I understand. You deserve to be here,” Luke said.

These top seven will compete again next Sunday, but come back before that Monday for ABC’s one-hour special presentation “The Great Idol Reunion,” featuring former judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson and beloved alumni such as Ruben Studdard, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and Maddie Poppe. Kieran, dim the lights and see you then.

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