None of the “American Idol” 2018 hopefuls in the Top 10 had quite the whirlwind weekend that judge Katy Perry had. She rushed back from Rome where she, her mother, and beau, Orlando Bloom, had a blessed meeting with Pope Francis, forsaking the temporal world. Time constraints meant that the pop star had to rush back to take her middle seat on the “American Idol’ panel for the live proceedings and real-time voting on April 29. Disney night wasn’t a perfect fit for every contender, but each one did his or her best, and some truly shined. The vote revelation at the closing minutes of the evening turned to painful goodbyes for three of the top group, and again, didn't say much for the public's views on inclusion or diversity.

Disney brings out different hues

Folky and fun, Maddie Poppe started off the night with “The Jungle Book” classic, “The Bare Necessities,” bringing everyone listening right along with her. She told the night’s mentor, Idina Menzel, that she loved the selection because it took her voice “all kinds of places.” Katy Perry stayed in costume as Snow White through the entire evening and crowned Maddie a star. Lionel Richie said that Poppe was “coming-of-age” through her “American Idol” process, while Luke Bryan called her voice “timeless.” The singer is certainly cultivating a following that grows every week.

Speaking of followings, an alert came from the host Ryan Seacrest that 1.5 million votes were in before the first performance, so fans were having their say before a single note was sung.

The panel of judges has been challenging Jurnee to convey more of her emotional side in her performances, and Idina Menzel mentioned that all she had to do this week was sing her chosen selection, “How Far I'll Go,” from “Moana.” The song truly provided her moment, showing off her true range and leading to a big finish with an emotional punch.

Katy Perry praised that she felt the singer being “connected and vulnerable.” Luke Bryan simply offered that she was “GREAT.” Lionel Richie commended that Jurnee was “present” on stage like never before.

Cade Foehner clearly was out to show a side of himself that had not been displayed before. The contestant known for impressing audiences with passionate rock and blazing guitar riffs turned “Kiss the Girl” from “The Little Mermaid” into probably the most listened to clip of the night with his slow and soulful delivery.

Katy Perry was wide-eyed and wowed by this dimension of the singer, saying it showed he was “an old Cadillac” as well as his Ferrari side. A cat was let out of the bag when Cade to Ryan Seacrest that there was a special someone he thought of while singing the tune. Suddenly, Perry, the Snow White princess, turned green-eyed monster, growling “How long has this been going on?” In a deep voice. Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie tried to tame her, and Bryan said he had noticed how “smitten” the singer had become with this “American Idol” journey. Lionel Richie said that Cade had already captured the “instant identity” factor.

Looking regal in the glow of a lioness, Ada Vox performed “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King,” and created another highlight of the competition.

Idina Menzel counseled Adam/Ada to leave off “so many diva runs,” and let the warmth of his natural voice come through. The advice made for a richer and more personal experience. Lionel Richie raved “how special” having Ada in this competition was, saying, “You are a movement!” Katy Perry said that the performance truly embodied Ada, and Luke Bryan commended the singer for “capturing subtleties” of the selection.

Michelle Sussett also chose perhaps her most fitting song for a dynamic performance, selecting “Remember Me” from “Coco.” At last, this performance was one that could have been recorded this minute as Sussett’s single. Sussett was open and real, not pushing for notes, and her choruses in Spanish were perfect.

WOW” was Katy Perry's response, noting that Michelle has found her sound to go with style and energy. Luke Bryan said that the performance proved that Michelle was really a singer, and Lionel Richie saw “true identity.”

Rally to the finish

Gabby Barrett shared her Disney weekend with her sister, Gypsy, and the song she chose, “Colors of the Wind,” from “Pocahontas” was one they both knew growing up together. The performance struck all the right notes but never stood out, except to Luke Bryan, who said “you have all the tools to win” to the singer. Lionel Richie noted Gabby’s star quality, and Katy Perry said that this performance displayed Barrett’s “pop stardom” side.

For Michael J Woodard, the spirit and emotion of the song matter as much is the music, and even though he was feeling under the weather, no one noticed when he put all of his heart into “Beauty and the Beast,” opening his arms wide at the stunning finish.

Lionel Richie went first with “I love you so much,” which quickly turned to “we” in the next round of showering love. The audience can't get enough of this young man's voice or his heart.

Disney music didn't seem too much of a stretch for Caleb Lee Hutchinson, who sang “You've Got a Friend in Me” from “Toy Story” as though it was a regular part of his set. Katy Perry even drank from her slipper after the performance, praising how “believable and friendly” Caleb always comes across, adding that Randy Newman would be proud. Lionel Richie commented that the singer had already developed a style that was “so identifiable,” and Luke Bryan concurred.

Catie Turner had two reasons for her high emotion this week-- being mentored by Idina Menzel, who she “grew up with” and going to Disneyland with her mom.

The always proud to be herself singer took a departure into princess mode to sing “Once Upon a Dream” from “Sleeping Beauty.” Taking twirls in her pink satin dress, Catie was transformative through her vocals, and Lionel Richie agreed. “You're taking us on a journey,” spoke the judge. Katy Perry praised that Catie had gone “from a girl to a woman” in the span of that song. Luke Bryan claimed he was speechless, reminding that Catie “sings from a place in your soul.”

Dennis Lorenzo was the final singer for the night, and the young father already had been blessed by sharing a Disney day with his daughter before singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King.” Every note conveyed emotion, perhaps to a fault, but this singer has a bigger stage ahead.

Luke Bryan called the closing “a home run.” Lionel Richie praised the dash of Lorenzo “barbecue sauce” reflected in the song, and Katy was already munching on “a magic apple” to stave off the heartbreak to come.

As lights were dimmed, the names of Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Gabby Barrett, Michael J Woodard, Cade Foehner, Maddie Poppe, Catie Turner, and Jurnee were called as the standing seven. Ada Vox, Michelle Sussett, and Dennis Lorenzo will depart, but definitely to brighter horizons than before the doors opened by their “American Idol” experience.