WATCH: Fil-Am Francisco Martin makes it to top 7, blows away judges with Disney song | Inquirer Entertainment
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WATCH: Fil-Am Francisco Martin makes it to top 7, blows away judges with Disney song

/ 01:17 PM May 11, 2020

Filipino-American Francisco Martin has moved on to the top 7 of “American Idol” season 18, a step closer to winning the singing competition.

The college student’s cover of James Arthur’s “Falling Like the Stars”— which brought judge Katy Perry to tears last Sunday, May 3 (Monday in Manila)—kept him in the running with stiff competition in the top 11.

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The top 7 round had a theme of Disney songs; Martin selected Phil Collins’s “You’ll Be in My Heart” from the animated feature “Tarzan”.

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The judges took notice of the air of confidence he projected during the performance.

“We’re witnessing here the transformation of Francisco,” said Lionel Richie. “I saw several times during that performance, you were actually smiling at yourself while you were performing. In other words, what you’re doing now is giving us the confidence and the enjoyment.”

“I did have fun shooting that, so yeah,” Martin confirmed, to which Richie said, “I could tell.”

“I agree with Lionel, you looked relaxed, all that self-doubt has really been stripped away,” said Perry, who also commended how he ended the song with his own riff.

“You were spot-on with your performance, and at the end you let us have it with the talent of your voice,” she said.

“Just in that performance you were king of the jungle, and you felt like king of ‘American Idol’,” Luke Bryan observed.

His “soulful and beautiful” Mother’s Day performance of Leon Bridges’s “River” awed judges too.

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“From Tarzan to singing ‘River’, I don’t know what happened but you have grown even more,” gushed Perry.

“This set of Mother’s Day songs is really separating the pack. It’s showing who deserves that top position and you are making it difficult for all these other contestants because that performance was so soulful and beautiful and real… it was so heartfelt, what you just did,” she said.

“I think he beat the original record,” Bryan argued.

“The thing I love the most is your confidence is front and center. You’re no longer in your head,” noted Richie. “Congratulations because you have a career and that is what’s most important.”

The show finale will air next Sunday, May 17, when the winner will be announced.

Martin, who is contestant 12, can receive votes through the American Idol app or website, or by texting the contestant’s number to 21523 until the next day. Voting for this round is open until Monday, May 11 at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT in the United States, which is Monday 9 p.m. in the Philippines. JB

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TAGS: American Idol, Disney, Fil-Am, Filipino-American, Francisco Martin, Phil Collins, Singing competition, Tarzan
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