‘American Idol’ picks Top 3: Did Alabama’s Triston Harper make it?


Sunday’s episode of “American Idol” featured a host of Disney tunes, Katy Perry dressed as Cinderella, and a couple more turns in the spotlight for 15-year-old Alabama singer Triston Harper.

Sadly for Harper’s fans, this was the night that his run on “Idol” came to an end. Despite a couple of solid performances, he didn’t pull the viewer votes needed to propel him from the Top 5 into the Final 3.

Still, a Top 5 finish puts him in some pretty rare company. Only a handful of singers from Alabama – Ruben Studdard, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice and Taylor Hicks – have done better.

Here’s how the episode played out for Harper:

What he sang (first round): Harper’s first song choice was “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog.” Celebrity mentor Kane Brown wasn’t impressed at first, but pushed Harper sing it in a higher key. “Now we’ve just got to make sure that you use your adorableness to win all the ladies over,” Brown said, satisfied with the improvement. The two bonded over childhood hardships: Brown said that, like Harper, he’d spend time during childhood when he and his mother had lived out of a car. “He is somebody I can look up to,” said Harper. “Hopefully that’ll be me one day.”

What Kane Brown said: “There’s something about him that you can’t not like. … He’s going to be dangerous. He’s going to be a star.”

What Lionel Richie said: “Mr. Entertainment himself. You are so comfortable. You make us comfortable.” Richie praised Harper’s stage moves. “The thing about it is, you make the audience love you more, when you are just a having fun.”

What Katy Perry said: “You’re more than almost there, you’re there.”

What Luke Bryan said: “You’re such a charmer. You’re just a charmer. It was like watching Frank Sinatra up there for a minute. You were directing the horns, I mean, I’m just so proud of the way you’re handling this competing and just being yourself and smiling and having fun, and do that forever. please don’t change.”

“American Idol” contender Triston Harper gets lost in space during a visit to Disneyland. (Disney/ABC)Disney/ABC

What he sang (Round 2): “Life is a Highway,” a jangly rock tune used in the movie “Cars.”

What Luke Bryan said: “Life is a highway, and you’re going to be a on a highway in a tour bus.”

What Lionel Richie said: “I discovered something while you were singing that song. You will definitely have, if not dancers, at least one dancer. I saw your mother over there just dancing up a storm. That was amazing. … Congratulations you just took this all the way.”

What Katy Perry said: “I think that was one of your best vocal performances so far that you’ve given us, hands down.”

What Ryan Seacrest said: “… Go Dawgs?”

What Triston Harper said: “Roll Tide.”

The Vote

When Sunday’s episode came down to its final moments, host Ryan Seacrest didn’t draw it out. Will Moseley was the first contender welcomed to the Top 3. Next came Abi Carter. The third singer picked to advance was Jack Blocker.

Though the show ended immediately, with no analysis of the results, that left Harper and Emmy Russell, aka Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter, outside the “Idol” spotlight.

What Happens Next

The show’s over for Harper, although nobody will be surprised if he finds a way to capitalize on the exposure he got on his way into “American Idol’s” Top 5. The show’s star-studded, three-hour finale airs at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 19, on ABC. Those without basic cable can still live stream new episodes of American Idol on Sundays with Fubo and DirecTV Stream. New episodes become available for streaming on Hulu the day after they premiere.

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