Colin Stough Strikes a Chord on ‘American Idol’ During Disney Night

Colin Stough struck the balance between energetic and soothing with his pair of American Idol performances.

Videos by American Songwriter

The Top 5 took over the Idol stage with Disney night on Sunday (May 14), which also happened to fall on Mother’s Day. Stough kicked off his two-song set with a fiery performance of “Real Gone” from Cars that flexed his smoldering vocals. Originally sung by Sheryl Crow for the Pixar film, “Real Gone” proved that Stough has rock star potential as his voice soared over the sound of a gritty electric guitar. His performance drew a standing ovation from judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

Bryan noted that they’ve been trying to get Stough “comfortable” onstage throughout the whole season, and didn’t expect a Cars song to do the trick. “That was maybe my favorite performance you’ve done, it was great,” Bryan raved.

“The comfort zone was perfect, your attitude, and more importantly, I think your confidence sitting right out here so we could all see it,” Richie praised, echoing Bryan’s comment that it was his favorite performance of Stough’s so far.

“You took that risk, you finally did what we’ve been wanting and it looked so good on you,” Perry confirmed. “Keep doing it Colin.”

After the rowdy song from Cars, the 18-year-old from Mississippi took the energy down a notch with an acoustic performance of “Nobody Knows” from Pete’s Dragon. He captured the judges’ and audience’s attention with his delivery of poignant lyrics like, Through the darkness to the dawn / And when I looked back you were gone / Heard your voice leading me on / Through the darkness to the dawn.

Perry praised Stough for his ability to make it feel like he was giving his “own special performance” to everyone in the room. “You are just showing us so many different things, I cannot believe you are growing before our very eyes,” she professed.

Bryan agreed that it’s “hard” to step out with a guitar and “hold the room.” “So understand that you’ve got that as your anchor for your career and build on that,” he advised.

Richie noted that as judges, they can coach the contestants in many areas, yet, “We can’t give you stage presence,” he said. Riche added that when Stough comes on stage, “You step into your light, and that’s all you can ask for in a career, my friend.”

Stough’s well-balanced performances earned him a coveted spot in the Top 3 alongside Iam Tongi and Megan Danielle. The winner will be unveiled during the Idol finale on Sunday (May 21) at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

Leave a Reply

Keith Urban Will Return to ‘American Idol’ as Guest Mentor