Grande Kinstler went all out to open the Top 12 competition.
On Sunday’s “American Idol”, the 20-year-old went in an unexpected direction, taking on Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” to kick off the show.
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The peppy performance was perfect for showing off Kinstler’s incredible vocal talent, and she had the audience dancing in their seats and the judges smiling.
But while the judges appreciated the singer’s voice, they did find the choice of song left something to be desired.
“I suggested to lock into more of those iconic songs,” Katy Perry said. “I’m just thinking about what kind of record you’re going to make after ‘American Idol’… I’m trying to tap into who you are as an artist. You can sing anything, but what are you going to say?”
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Luke Bryan, who returned to the judge’s table after being off due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, told Kinstler, “You have so much bravado up there, you took so much confidence, and you have all of that vocal ability. We’re going to start challenging you to really lock into who you are as an artist.”
“Identity is what we’re looking for in terms of who you’re going to be,” Lionel Richie added.
Notwithstanding the criticism, Kinstler will get another hand to prove herself, becoming the first competitor to secure a spot in the Top 10.