Arthur Gunn (age 21) from Wichita, Kansas puts his spin on the Bob Marley classic “Is This Love” during the Top 40 Hawaii Showcase on American Idol 2020 (Season 18).
“Is This Love” is a song by Bob Marley and the Wailers on their 1978 album Kaya. It peaked at number 9 on the UK Singles chart upon its release. Several artists covered the song throughout the years including Carly Simon, Scott Matthews, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rihanna, Adam Lambert, and more.
American Idol judges Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Katy Perry were pleased with Arthur Gunn’s Top 40 performance. Lionel said Arthur is one of the most unique contestants in American Idol and described him as “pure light” and a “shining star”. Katy Perry reminded Arthur to keep his eyes open during his performance so he could keep connecting with his audience.
Lionel announced the judges’s decision that Arthur Gunn has been chosen as one of the Top 20 contestants in the competition.
American Idol: Season 18
Episode: “Hawaii Showcase and Final Judgment, Part 2” (Top 40 Performances)
Performance: “Is This Love” by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Audition: Arthur Gunn audition
Result: Advanced to Top 20
The Nepal-born Arthur said he didn’t expect to go this far in American Idol, saying it’s a long journey but it’s very exciting. He told in-house mentor Bobby Bones that he finds it hard performing in front of a lot of people and it’s a new thing for him.
Lionel Richie said Arthur is one of the most unique contestants in American Idol. “Because when you walked in, we didnt’ quite know what to expect. And then you opened your mouth and you had instant identity.”
Katy Perry commented, “Remember in the very beginning, your eyes, they were closed and you weren’t connecting. So last night you went in and out of that still just a little bit. But the moments that you did open your eyes are the moments that we just went on the journey with you. So keep connecting and keep your eyes open. You know, like, let us in.”
Lionel added, “I’m gonna rip the band-aid off. You are pure light. Your job is to come and anoint the world with your gift. We have had some very hard decisions to make. You, my friend, are probably the easiest decision we have made, you’re in our Top 20 and you are our shining star.”
American Idol Season 18 premiered at 8PM, February 16, 2020 on ABC television and will air Sundays at 8/7c until the live shows. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, filming of American Idol is temporarily suspended and the production will assess things on a weekly basis.
Ryan Seacrest continues his role as the show’s host and Bobby Bones returns as the in-house mentor. Despite budget cuts, Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie come back as judges for their third season of the series.
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