“American Idol” top four finalist Casey Bishop made a bold move Sunday night, sitting down with mentor Finneas to take on Billie Eilish’s “Wish You Were Gay.” She rocked the song’s co-writer/producer, and the judges, too — yet, despite all that love, apparently not everyone wished she would stay.
“So, you’re singing my sister’s song,” Finneas said to the 16-year-old Estero, Florida native about the track. “The greatest honor as a songwriter is hearing the song covered, and Casey has got an incredible instrument,” he continued, advising the teen to sing the song as if “these are lyrics you just thought up before you started singing.”
More from Variety
Dressed in white, Bishop delivered an emotional version of the song that had the judges lavishing praise on the performance.
“You just crushed every aspect of that whole thing,” Luke Bryan gushed. “In my opinion it was your best; it was the perfect song to choose and seeing you have so much fun with Finneas.” Bryan had predicted early in auditions that Bishop would win the singing competition. Lionel Richie said she found her “personae,” while Katy Perry declared Bishop a future star.
“I mean, you found your stardust and you’re rolling around in it,” Perry said. “You found that instant identity. You look up to Billie Eilish, but whether or not you win ‘American Idol,’ you are going to be your next hero.”
But Bishop’s “Idol” journey came to an end Sunday night, as Chayce Beckham, Willie Spence and Grace Kintsler came to comprise the top three and move on to the hometown performances and next week’s finale. That season capper will feature performances by former Fleetwood Mac member Lindsey Buckingham, Alessia Cara, Chaka Khan, Fall Out Boy, Luke Combs, Macklemore, Mickey Guyton, Sheryl Crow and all three “Idol” judges.
Before her elimination, Bishop reminded America of what the judges liked in the first place with a full-blown rendition of her audition song, Motley Crue’s “Live Wire” –only this time with the full band rocking out behind her.
“I want front row seats,” said Richie.
After her original audition, Bishop scored online praise from Motley Crue and other celebrities, including SZA and “American Idol” season 10 alum Haley Reinhart, along with Chris Cornell’s daughter, Lily, after her performance of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun.” She has performed alongside Incubus singer Brandon Boyd for a pair of duets, including “Wish You Were Here,” covered Alanis Morisette’s “Ironic,” impressed Coldplay singer Chris Martin with her take on “Paradise” and did a complete change-up with a softer cover of “Over the Rainbow” from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”
After the debut of her single “Love Me, Leave Me,” Perry declared the track — recorded with Ian Fitchuk, one of Kacey Musgraves’ producers — her “favorite song.”
Bishop scored huge praise from Finneas as well.
“That kind of spontaneity —she’s got such a rich tone, I can’t believe she is only 16,” he said.
Bishop, who admitted to being a huge fan, told the producer that Eilish’s music has helped her through “hard times.”
“I don’t feel alone when I listen to your music,” she said.
Bishop also joined “Idol” contestant Chayce Beckham for a beautiful duet on the Finneas ballad “Break My Heart Again.”
Best of Variety