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NewsAmerican Idol: Luke Bryan pays tribute to country star...

American Idol: Luke Bryan pays tribute to country star Naomi Judd as field narrows to final seven

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Luke Bryan paid tribute to late country music star Naomi Judd on Sunday’s episode of American Idol as the field narrowed to the final seven during Disney Night.

The 45-year-old country singer took a moment to remember Judd, who died on Saturday the day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, after contestant HunterGirl, 23, performed.

‘While I have the microphone, I want to send out prayers to the Judd family, because country music lost, because you are out here and you’re going to carry the torch of country music,’ Luke said to country music singer HunterGirl. 

Paying tribute: Luke Bryan paid tribute to late country music star Naomi Judd on Sunday's episode of American Idol as the field narrowed to the final seven on the ABC show

Paying tribute: Luke Bryan paid tribute to late country music star Naomi Judd on Sunday’s episode of American Idol as the field narrowed to the final seven on the ABC show

‘The country music family lost Naomi Judd yesterday and I think it was just my heart. And I know everybody’s heart goes out to the Judd family,’ Luke said.

The singer’s daughters Wynona and Ashley issued a statement saying they ‘lost their beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness’ and attended the induction ceremony together on Sunday for The Judds.

Lady K, 25, from Tuskegee, Alabama was the first contestant to meet with this week’s celebrity mentor Derek Hough, 36, who helped with her stage presence. 

She then took the stage in a floor-length blue sequined dress and performed How Far I’ll Go from the movie Moana.

Country legend: The 45-year-old country singer took a moment to remember Judd, shown in 2013 in Kentucky, who died on Saturday the day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Country legend: The 45-year-old country singer took a moment to remember Judd, shown in 2013 in Kentucky, who died on Saturday the day before her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame

‘You look like a star,’ Lionel said when she finished. ‘You sound like a star and more importantly I want you to know that how you’ve grown from that beginning to now is unbelievable.’

‘That was a stunning vocal,’ Katy said.

Ryan asked her how it felt to get the judge’s save last week.

First up: Lady K, 25, from Tuskegee, Alabama was the first contestant to hit the stage

First up: Lady K, 25, from Tuskegee, Alabama was the first contestant to hit the stage

Episode mentor: Derek Hough served as mentor to the singers for the Disney Night  episode

Episode mentor: Derek Hough served as mentor to the singers for the Disney Night  episode

‘I’m just blessed to be here,’ Lady K said. 

Noah Thompson, 20, a construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky, then had a reunion with his son Walker and his girlfriend Angel who joined him for a day at Disneyland. 

He also met with Derek to go over his song that he was dedicating to his friend Arthur, who also showed up as a surprise.

Together again: Noah Thompson, 20, a construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky, then had a reunion with his son Walker and his girlfriend Angel who joined him for a day at Disneyland.

Together again: Noah Thompson, 20, a construction worker from Louisa, Kentucky, then had a reunion with his son Walker and his girlfriend Angel who joined him for a day at Disneyland.

For his performance, Noah sang You Got A Friend In Me from the movie Toy Story.

‘It was some of your best vocals, ever,’ Katy told him when he finished.

‘Great job,’ Luke said.

Nailed it: For his performance, Noah sang You Got A Friend In Me from the movie Toy Story

Nailed it: For his performance, Noah sang You Got A Friend In Me from the movie Toy Story

‘It was just perfect,’ Lionel said. ‘I loved it.’

Emyrson Flora, 16, a high school student from Cleveland, spent time touring Disneyland with her family. She then met with Derek and told him she would be performing Carried Me With You from the movie Onward. 

Derek helped her open up her body language. She took the stage wearing a long pink jumpsuit accompanied by two guitar players.

Talented teenager: Emyrson Flora, 16, a high school student from Cleveland, spent time touring Disneyland with her family

Talented teenager: Emyrson Flora, 16, a high school student from Cleveland, spent time touring Disneyland with her family

‘You are a superstar in my opinion,’ Luke said.

‘Your voice and your presence on stage is really top notch material,’ Lionel said.

‘You look like a beautiful pink Disney princess,’ Katy said. ‘You’ve come so far.’

HunterGirl, from Winchester, Tennessee, met with Derek and said she chose a song from the movie Tangled because it was her little sister’s favorite movie. Then her little sister Rylan surprised her at the theme park and they went on rides together.

Tennessee talent: HunterGirl, from Winchester, Tennessee, met with Derek and said she chose a song from the movie Tangled because it was her little sister's favorite movie

Tennessee talent: HunterGirl, from Winchester, Tennessee, met with Derek and said she chose a song from the movie Tangled because it was her little sister’s favorite movie

She then took the stage in a long tan dress and performed I See the Light from Tangled accompanied by violin and cello players.

‘If this is how you sound going to Disneyland then I recommend going there once a week,’ Katy said. ‘I think the magic is real and it’s really rubbing off on all of you guys tonight. You have never sounded better. You pushed that vocal, girl. This is your Cinderella moment.’

‘The elegance and the beauty in that performance, I can see award shows in the future where you have the spotlight,’ Luke said.

Elegant rendition: She then took the stage in a long tan dress and performed I See the Light from Tangled accompanied by violin and cello players

Elegant rendition: She then took the stage in a long tan dress and performed I See the Light from Tangled accompanied by violin and cello players

The next contestant Jay Copeland-Ryder was then surprised by his mother Christina at Disneyland. The two hugged and then went on the rides together.

‘To have my mom here is so comforting,’ Jay, 23, a medical receptionist from Salisbury, Maryland, said to the camera.

Jay then told Derek that he was deciding between two Disney songs. Ultimately, Jay picked and performed Remember Me from the movie Coco.

Close bond: The next contestant Jay Copeland-Ryder was then surprised by his mother Christina at Disneyland

Close bond: The next contestant Jay Copeland-Ryder was then surprised by his mother Christina at Disneyland

‘O-M-G Jay,’ Katy said. ‘Jay for the win. I love how you started in a different position. It’s called showmanship. You are the only one so far that has really used the stage to their advantage.’

‘Your approach, the last couple of weeks, has just been so classic, timeless, all of the words,’ Luke said. ‘Great job.’

‘You have a career,’ Lionel said. ‘You are a star.’

Remember him: Jay picked and performed Remember Me from the movie Coco

Remember him: Jay picked and performed Remember Me from the movie Coco

Ryan said it seemed so easy for him and asked him how he stayed so in control. Jay said he just kept thinking ‘don’t mess up, don’t mess up.’

Leah Marlene, 20, from Normal, Illinois, went next. She was surprised at Disneyland by her father Derry.

She met with Derek and told him she would be singing When She Loved Me from the movie Toy Story 2. Leah took the stage in a cream blouse and pants and sang the song behind the microphone stand.

Illinois singer: Leah Marlene, 20, from Normal, Illinois, went next after meeting with Derek

Illinois singer: Leah Marlene, 20, from Normal, Illinois, went next after meeting with Derek

‘You are just a great singer,’ Luke said. ‘Your amazing. You’ve yet to hit a bad note in this competition. You always tell the story perfectly.’

‘You knocked it out of the park,’ Lionel said.

‘You just really have that storytelling voice and I’m just hooked on every single word that you sing’ Katy said. ‘I’m just so proud of you.’

Great singer: When She Loved Me from the movie Toy Story 2 was performed by Leah

Great singer: When She Loved Me from the movie Toy Story 2 was performed by Leah

Nicolina, 18, a university student from Toronto, Ontario, was excited to spend a time at Disneyland with her two sisters Alessia and Isabella. She then practiced her song with Derek.

Nicolina, in a dark purple sequined jumpsuit, took the stage and performed Poor Unfortunate Souls from the movie The Little Mermaid. Katy hid under the judges table when she finished.

‘That was so good it was scary,’ Katy said.

Scary song: Nicolina, in a dark purple sequined jumpsuit, took the stage and performed Poor Unfortunate Souls from the movie The Little Mermaid

Scary song: Nicolina, in a dark purple sequined jumpsuit, took the stage and performed Poor Unfortunate Souls from the movie The Little Mermaid

‘That was a performance,’ Lionel said ‘You scared Katy to death.’

‘Honestly, I think you stole the show,’ Katy said. ‘That was incredible. That was the best performance of the night so far.’

‘Great job,’ Luke said.

Scared her: Katy, dressed as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, admitted she was scared

Scared her: Katy, dressed as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, admitted she was scared

Mike Parker, 27, from Warrenton, Virginia, told Derek he chose the Phil Collins song You’ll Be In My Heart from the movie Tarzan. He shared that he selected this song because of his mother who was battling leukemia.

‘I want her to know that I’m always thinking of her,’ Mike said.

Mike’s mother and father then surprised him at Disneyland.

Tarzan song: Mike Parker, 27, from Warrenton, Virginia, told Derek he chose the Phil Collins song You'll Be In My Heart from the movie Tarzan

Tarzan song: Mike Parker, 27, from Warrenton, Virginia, told Derek he chose the Phil Collins song You’ll Be In My Heart from the movie Tarzan

‘To see my mom having so much fun at Disneyland, with her Minnie ears on, literally running, was everything I needed,’ Mike said. ‘This was a magical moment in a magical place.’

‘It’s amazing you sang that with your mother in your heart and we could feel every moment of that,’ Katy said.

‘It was amazing,’ Luke said. ‘Great job.’

The host: Ryan Seacrest hosted the two-hour episode on ABC

The host: Ryan Seacrest hosted the two-hour episode on ABC

Ryan told him it was great to see him having fun with his mother at Disneyland. 

Christian Guardino, 21, a kitchen worker from Patchogue, New York, met with Derek and practiced his song Circle of Life from the movie The Lion King. 

He was joined by four back up singers on stage when he performed the song for the judges.

‘It was perfect,’ Katy said. ‘I think your best performance yet. And you had confidence, friend.’

Practice session: Christian Guardino, 21, a kitchen worker from Patchogue, New York, met with Derek and practiced his song Circle of Life from the movie The Lion King

Practice session: Christian Guardino, 21, a kitchen worker from Patchogue, New York, met with Derek and practiced his song Circle of Life from the movie The Lion King

Fritz Hager, 22, from Tyler, Texas, was the final performer. Fritz’s family surprised him at Disneyland right under the Millennium Falcon outside the Star War-themed ride.

‘Star Wars was a huge part of my childhood,’ Fritz said to the camera.

Fritz worked with Derek to perfect his song and they had a lightsaber battle. Fritz then took the stage and sang Go The Distance from the movie Hercules while playing the guitar.

Last up: Fritz Hager, 22, from Tyler, Texas, was the final performer

Last up: Fritz Hager, 22, from Tyler, Texas, was the final performer

‘You have always been our surprise package on this show,’ Lionel told him when he finished. ‘But tonight, I am telling you, you stepped, again, into your light congratulations.’

‘Whatever happens you got exactly what you came for,’ Katy said.

‘You always just nail it,’ Luke said. ‘You are not surprising me anymore. You deserve to be here.’

On guitar: Fritz then took the stage and sang Go The Distance from the movie Hercules while playing the guitar

On guitar: Fritz then took the stage and sang Go The Distance from the movie Hercules while playing the guitar

Ryan then announced that according to the votes, Leah, Jay, Noah, Fritz, HunterGirl, Nicolina and Christian would be moving on to the next phase in the competition.

Mike, Emyrson, and Lady K received the least amount of votes and were voted off.

Katy at the beginning of the episode fell out of her chair while wearing an Ariel mermaid costume. 

Final seven: Ryan then announced that according to the votes, Leah, Jay, Noah, Fritz, HunterGirl, Nicolina and Christian would be moving on to the next phase in the competition

Final seven: Ryan then announced that according to the votes, Leah, Jay, Noah, Fritz, HunterGirl, Nicolina and Christian would be moving on to the next phase in the competition

She was helped up by Luke, Lionel and Ryan and was serenaded with a ‘Katy!’ chant after revealing that she was alright.

Her fall took place after the remaining top 10 contestants took the stage and performed We Don’t Talk About Bruno accompanied by Adassa and Rheny Feliz.

American Idol will return Monday on ABC.

Going down: Katy at the beginning of the episode fell out of her chair while wearing an Ariel mermaid costume

Going down: Katy at the beginning of the episode fell out of her chair while wearing an Ariel mermaid costume

Popular movie: Her fall took place after the remaining top 10 contestants took the stage and performed We Don't Talk About Bruno accompanied by Adassa and Rheny Feliz

Popular movie: Her fall took place after the remaining top 10 contestants took the stage and performed We Don’t Talk About Bruno accompanied by Adassa and Rheny Feliz

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