Street busker Philip Murphy — who goes by just Murphy — showcased his talents for the judges of “American Idol”, in a sneak peek of Sunday’s episode.
Murphy, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, sang a folk-inflected cover of the Bill Withers-Grover Washington Jr. hit “Just the Two of Us”.
“I think you’re on the precipice of something cool but it’s not quite there. I mean, you got a storyteller voice, but it needs a little bit more inflection when you’re singing, a little bit more dynamics, I think?” said Katy Perry in her critique.
“I wanna take the novelty part out of this,” added Lionel Richie. “Which means you’re gonna have to shed back a couple of those layers of mystique, to see more of you. So just for texture, I wanna hear one more from you, just give me a taste of something else.”
Murphy then performed an original song he’d written, called “The Painted Man”, earning applause from Riche and Luke Bryan. “Interesting,” said Bryan.
“I couldn’t help just watch your face while you were playing,” Richie told Murphy. “You were having the best time of your life.”
“You’ve no idea,” replied the singer, grinning widely.
Then it was time for the judges to vote, with Bryan beginning. “I’ll give you a shot,” he declared.
“Murphy, you know, I think Lionel hit it right on the head, it’s just a little too novelty. It needs to be a little more mainstream in able to be built on,” said Perry. “It’s a no from me.”
In an interview with Seattle Refined, Murphy admitted to being a big fan of Richie’s music, and how overwhelming it was to perform for him.
“And for me to be able to sing in the same room as him, I’ve got to be honest, you don’t think about it, but it’s a dream come true in a way, you know? My dad used to listen to his tapes, to his CDs and I got to ask questions about this man when I was a little boy, and now I got to meet him? You know, I hot to meet the man singing ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning,’ I got to be part of that for just a minute and that’s not a memory everyone gets to take on. I’m lucky, I guess that’s what I’m saying. I’m lucky,” he said.
Viewers will find out whether Richie’s vote sends Murphy back home or heading in Hollywood in this week’s edition of “American Idol”.