American Idol Season 19 is down to just three finalists after Sunday night's elimination. Chayce Beckham, Grace Kinstler, and Willie Spence are the last singers standing, as Casey Bishop did not move on. Sunday's episode featured the contestants singing songs recorded by their personal idols, songs they wrote themselves, and songs they previously performed earlier in the season. They also dueted on two songs written by Finneas O'Connell, Billie Eilish's brother, who also mentored the contestants.
O'Connell was unavoidable throughout the episode. Not only were songs he wrote performed, but he performed himself. He joined Ashe to perform "Till Forever Falls Apart." Bishop, 16, performed Eilish's "wish you were gay" as her personal idol song, and joined Beckham for "Break My Heart Again," which O'Connell released in 2018. Bishop also recorded her song "Love Me, Leave Me" in the studio and performed "Live Wire" as her "Reprise Song."
The episode also saw Beckham perform the Zac Brown Band song "Cold Weather" and Chris Stapleton's "You Should Probably Leave." His original song was "23." Kinstler performed Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This" as her personal idol song. Her original single was "Love Someone" and her reprise song was Demi Lovato's "Father."
Spence earned plenty of praise from O'Connell, who said he had one of the best voices he has ever heard, notes TVInsider. Spence's personal idol song was John Legend and Common's "Glory," while his original single was "Never Be Alone." He sang Beyonce's "I Was Here" as his reprise song. Later, Spence and Kinstler performed "What They'll Say About Us," O'Connell's 2020 single inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and Nick Cordero's death from the coronavirus. Judge Luke Bryan also performed his single "Waves."
The episode aired just a few days after Caleb Kennedy was cut from the show after a video of him sitting next to someone apparently wearing a KKK hood resurfaced. The video only showed Kennedy sitting next to the hooded person without any music or caption, but it circulated on social media with the word "bow" superimposed on his face. Members of his family told The Herald-Journal that the video was recorded when Kennedy was 12 and posted on Snapchat.
Kennedy later took to Instagram to explain that he was no longer going to appear on American Idol. "There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way," he wrote. "I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that's not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. I'll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me."
In a follow-up interview with the Herald-Journal, Kennedy's mother, Anita Guy, said her son and a friend were imitating characters from The Strangers: Prey at Night. "It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan, but I know that's how it looks," she said. "Caleb doesn't have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races."