- American Idol‘s 2020 season continues on Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
- In the latest episode, top 10 hopeful Arthur Gunn blew the judges away with his take on Wynonie Harris’s “Lovin’ Machine.”
- Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry loved the performance, though Katy asked Arthur to open his eyes while singing.
- Katy’s feedback resulted in mixed online reactions from Idol viewers at home.
Folks are not holding back when it comes to Katy Perry‘s feedback for American Idol fan favorite Arthur Gunn.
Last Sunday, Arthur, formally known as Dibesh Pokharel, and the rest of the Idol top 20 of season 3 (18th overall) performed live from their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic. Following performances from fellow competitors like Dillon James, Jovin Webb, and Makayla Phillips, Arthur gave it his all with his rendition of Wynonie Harris‘s “Lovin’ Machine.”
All season long, Arthur has continued to wow the judges — and last night was no exception. “Your complete shyness is your secret weapon,” Lionel Richie told the young contestant following his performance, while Luke Bryan added that Arthur’s “vocal quality” is undeniable.
Katy, too, was in awe of Arthur’s vocals, but offered a tiny critique to the rising Idol star: “One thing to keep in mind: Try and connect with your eyes and look at the camera like we’re right there in front of you — that’s going to be your advantage.”
This isn’t the first time the “Roar” singer has pressed Arthur to keep his eyes open while performing. During his audition, where he took on “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Katy proposed that the singer give it a try.
“Can you do me a favor and just keep your eyes open and look at us, or look to your guitar?” Katy asked. When Arthur complied and continued singing, Katy smiled and said, “There it is.”
Then, before giving him a pass to the top 20, Katy once again reminded the vocalist to try to connect more with his eyes. “Remember in the very beginning your eyes, they were closed and you weren’t connecting? Last night, you went in and out of that still just a little bit,” Katy lamented. “But the moments that you did open your eyes are the moments that we just went on a journey with you.”
While some American Idol fans seemed to agree with Katy’s feedback, others appeared downright annoyed at the judge’s note. Many said they think Arthur closing his eyes is a sign that the performer feels connected with the music. In their minds, Arthur doesn’t have to change a thing and they are “tired” of Katy commenting about it.
“He is Arthur Gunn with his eyes closed. Like that’s him,” one fan wrote on Youtube. Another said, “Arthur needs to wear sunglasses while singing so that Katy can no [longer] talk about the eyes!” A different fan commented, “Wow, electric. Who cares if his eyes are open, we are listening with our ears not our eyes. Felt this in my soul, he did great!”
Whether you agree or disagree with Katy’s feedback, it’s clear that the judge recognizes Arthur’s gift and is just trying to help him succeed even more. Prior to Sunday night’s show, Katy had nothing but nice things to say about the top 20 contestant. She tweeted, “This is definitely love that I’m feeling for @ArthurGunn122 ’s pure light.”
Now that Katy has said her piece, it’s time for Idol viewers at home to vote and say theirs.