'American Idol' Season 18: Jonny West is a 'casual assassin' with his tender voice and original songwriting
On tonight's episode of 'American Idol', we learned that the talented singer Jonny West had further strengthened his claim on the winner's crown by making it to the Top 7 tier of the singing competition. Jonny was joined by other illustrious contenders such as Arthur Gunn, Julia Gargano, Dillon James, Francisco Martin, Louis Knight, and Just Sam. Since the coronavirus lockdown was still in full effect, the singing aspirants were once again singing from their homes as the show continued with its remote access home edition episodes.
Tonight, the contestants rolled out two performances - one was Disney-themed, in keeping with the Disney Family Singalong that had just aired in the timeslot prior to the show going on air. The other theme was a special Mother's Day tribute, as the performers dedicated a special song for their adoring mothers. Jonny showcased his stellar talent by singing the Disney classic 'Almost There' from 'The Princess And The Frog', written by Randy Newman.
Showing no trace of nerves or stage fright, Jonny performed a mellow yet moving rendition of the song, showcasing his lovely falsettos and innate talent on the keyboards. He then followed that up with a heartfelt rendition of the classic hymn 'Amazing Grace', dedicated to his lovely mother, who was moved to tears while watching his amazing performance. Jonny put his own personal spin on the traditional church staple, incorporating lyrics about his family into the song, making it a touching and deeply personal arrangement that highlighted his effortless voice as it glided into the song's high vocal registers.
The judges were definitely blown away after hearing those two performances. Lionel Richie branded him as a "casual assassin," saying that he made the songs sound so effortless while killing it with his trademark smooth style and also loved that West had showcased his songwriting talents on 'Amazing Grace'. Katy Perry observed that he now was a potential 'Idol' winner, comparing him to a wonderful concoction of music icons like Billy Joel, Newman and Paul Simon and commended him for staying true to himself with his song choices. Luke Bryan remarked, "My God, this guy is a pro" after watching Jonny uncork two outstanding performances and said that he commanded the attention of his listeners with natural ease.
Jonny's fans were certainly pleased after hearing his Top 7 performances. One fan on Twitter exclaimed, "What??? Jonny West wrote that 2nd [Amazing Grace] verse? OMG!!! I thought it was a released song. So professional and touching!! He is amazing!!!" Another admirer said, "Credit to Jonny West for picking 'Almost There,' a Disney ditty that hasn't been done to death. He's professional and polished and as chill as the sauv blanc I'm sipping." Another supporter remarked, "Fell into Jonny West's 'Amazing Grace' as easily as a celery stalk into a Bloody Mary. That was solemn, creative, and beautiful - if anyone's a lock for the finale, it's him."
If you'd like to vote for Jonny, make sure you do so quickly via text message or the American Idol app, because the voting window closes at 9 am on May 11. Make sure you tune in next Sunday at 8 pm ET on the ABC network to see which contestants progress to the grande finale of the singing competition.