‘American Idol’ Recap: Top 7 Take On the Prince Songbook, Maddie Poppe Impresses
The Bangles’ 1986 single “Manic Monday” was written by Prince, although he credited himself under the pseudonym “Christopher” (i.e., the name of his Under the Cherry Moon character). Now, American Idol contestant Catie Turner may want to similarly distance herself from her association with that song.
On last night’s Top 7 episode, the Idol contestants were granted a rare treat, as the show had exclusive rights to the entire Prince catalog. I don’t know if Turner would have been better off performing a song that Prince himself actually sang, but I can say for sure that it couldn’t have gone much worse than her “Manic Monday” rendition, as she appeared to blank on a good chunk of the the first verse’s lyrics.
The judges were uniformly gentle with Turner, which might make one pine for the days of yore of more critical Idol judgments, but in this situation, in which Turner was staring right at her own disaster, words of encouragement were probably the best decision. Alas, though, she will not have a chance to redeem herself next week, as she ended up being eliminated.
Also getting the boot was Jurnee, who chose “Kiss” for her Prince number. It was a confident arrangement, but not as singularly sexy as the intoxicating original from one of the freakiest artists to have ever strutted the stage.
For a more impressive rendition of a song written by but not made famous by Prince, there was Maddie Poppe, who took to the piano for a sultry, vibrato-tinged “Nothing Compares 2 U” (though she did not opt to shave her head to complete the Sinéad O’Connor impression).
In addition to the Prince numbers, the Top 7 also performed songs from their birth years, which gave us the likes of “If It Makes You Happy,” “I Hope You Dance” and “Oops!… I Did It Again.” All of the Top 7 were born between 1996 and 2000, which means that Prince is kind of before their time. But as they are folks who are attempting to break into the recording industry, it only makes sense that he is nevertheless within their wheelhouses.