Caleb Lee Hutchinson’s Double Johnny Cash Tributes Help and Hurt His ‘American Idol’ Chances
Caleb Lee Hutchinson paid tribute to Johnny Cash twice during Sunday night's American Idol. The 19-year-old went all-in with three country music performances in hopes of becoming the second-straight country Idol winner.
Hutchinson's performance of Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" was his best of the night. A trio of players mimicked the Tennessee Three as the young singer did his best interpretation of one of country music's most famous songs. It was a hit with the judges.
"It's always wonderful when Caleb Cash stops by to see us," Lionel Richie said. "Now you're in your wheelhouse ... you were just as convincing as hell."
A version of Keith Whitley's "Don't Close Your Eyes" also drew rave reviews from Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. Hutchinson's performance of an original song called "Johnny Cash Heart" did not. Bryan said he thought the performance was tight and not fun-loving. Perry was more harsh, saying she didn't believe it.
"I felt like that was actually your weakest performance I've ever seen," the pop singer said.
Gabby Barrett and Maddie Poppe are the other two American Idol finalists. All three were mentored by radio host Bobby Bones and all three turned in original song performances that the three judges didn't care for.
The winner will be revealed on Monday night during the ABC finale of American Idol. Barrett and Hutchinson have both leaned heavily country all season. If either wins they'd become the fourth country American Idol, behind Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery and the final winner on Fox, Trent Harmon.
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