To paraphrase a song covered on last night's American Idol, Jesus took the wheel for many of the top nine contestants!
Sure, Hollie Cavanaugh covered the Carrie Underwood hit, but fan favorites Colton Dixon and Joshua Ledet both picked songs directly related to their faith, with Colton even calling his tune his "favorite worship song."
We chatted with Colton and Joshua after the show about their faith and why they started to emotionally breakdown during their performances. Plus, which contestant was too sick to talk to the press? And what side of Heejuan Han will we see next?!
So why is Lifehouse's "Everything" so meaningful to Colton? "The song is my favorite worship song of all time. What I love about it is I don't know if they originally intended it to be a worship song, I just connect with it that way, the bridge, 'You're all I want, you're all I need, you're my everything,' " Colton says. "Man, it took everything not to cry—like full-on cry—on that stage, and just stop. It means so much to me and my faith, I'm so glad I got to do it on stage."
During the show, Colton spoke of his faith a lot, so we had to ask if this is a message he's been hoping to speak about on Idol. "It's not that I'm wanting to throw my faith at people by any means, but this week is a song from your idols and this song is one of my favorite songs of all time so I saw the opportunity, I took it, and it's something that connects with me and my faith," he explains.
Colton's grandfather was in the house tonight and began to cry while listening to his rockstar grandson sing. "Thank god I didn't until after, because I would've lost it—lost it! It would've been bad," Colton says of his grandfather's emotional response.
Another performer who got emotional during his performance was Joshua, who started crying towards the end of his rendition of Mariah Carey's "Without You."
"Grown men don't cry!" Joshua jokes of his on-stage tears. "I'm just joking! I definitely got emotional towards the end and I tried to cover it up." So what exactly was Joshua thinking about when he started to cry? "I started thinking about the people in my life I couldn't live without. I just started thinking about my mother, my sisters, my brother and my father and God," he explains. "These people that do so much for me and I know that without them I'd be nothing."
While Hollie sang "Jesus Take the Wheel," she says she didn't choose the song based on its religious meaning. "I love Carrie Underwood and I think this is one of one of her most powerful songs, meaning-wise," she says. "That's why I picked it."
Other Tidbits from the Top Nine
Which contestant was under the weather? Phillip Phillips, who opted out of doing press after the show because he wasn't feeling well. Phillip is no stranger to illness during his Idol run as he had surgery a few weeks ago, so here's hoping the crooner gets better soon!
Skylar Laine is really hoping to hear from her idol Miranda Lambert, whose song she covered Wednesday. Like really hoping. "I want Miranda to tweet me!" she tells us. "I just want her to notice me! I hope she loved it. I hope I did her proud. I want it to say like, 'I can't wait to meet you. I loved you singing my song!'" Still, Miranda might be facing a conflict of interest considering her husband Blake Shelton is a mentor on The Voice. Skylar begs, "Blake, let Miranda tweet me, please!"
Heejun showed off a much more serious side during his performance tonight and credits the change to the judges' comments from last week. "The most hurtful thing was that I felt like I let them down," Heejun says of his less-than-well-received performance. "I just wanted to show them that I really want to be here and that I really belong here." So what will we see from Heejun in the coming weeks if he's safe tomorrow night? "I have to ask someone else because I have no idea who I am right now," he jokes.
What did you think of tonight's show? Who was your favorite? Which side of Heejun do you prefer: fun or serious? Sound off in the comments!