American Idol season 6 star Phil Stacey, who was a Top 6 finalist, made his return to the show to accompany his 16-year-old daughter McKayla at her audition, so it is time to revisit his five best performances. He often shone on the reality singing competition. McKayla was born on the morning of Phil’s audition, and he missed her birth. However, as soon as the audition was over, he rushed to meet the newborn, and spend time with his wife, Kendra. Former American Idol judge Paula Abdul made a surprise appearance on season 21, and reminisced about the memorable 2007 moment. Although the American Idol season 6 winner turned out to be Jordin Sparks, Phil also made a lasting impression on viewers of the show.
On American Idol season 21, McKayla sang “She Used To Be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. Phil accompanied her on the piano. Although judge Luke Bryan said no, Lionel Richie and Katy Perry gave her “yes” votes, and she earned her golden ticket to Hollywood. It was a full circle moment for Phil and McKayla. Phil had received yesses from judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, but not Simon Cowell. His smooth vocals helped him to make it to the Top 6 in the competition, despite being in the bottom four times before his elimination. At this very special moment, it is fitting to look back at Phil’s five best American Idol performances.
6 American Idol’s Paul Stacey Performed “Maria Maria”
During American Idol Latin Night, Jennifer Lopez mentored the Top 8 contestants. He chose to sing “Maria Maria” by Santana. He gave her goosebumps during their mentoring session, and she hoped that he could deliver that same level of performance on stage. Phil began the song while sitting on a stool, but then stood up to dance along to the music. Although Randy and Simon gave Phil a harsh critique, especially because his voice cracked toward the end of the song, this was the first performance in which Phil appeared more like a modern day artist.
5 American Idol’s Paul Stacey Sang, “The Change”
During American Idol “Idol Gives Back,” Phil sang “The Change” by Garth Brooks. “Idol Gives Back” was a campaign that raised money for charities. Due to the theme of the show, no contestant was eliminated that week. Instead, all the votes from the week were added to the next week’s votes, which was when Phil was eliminated. Paula called “The Change” his best performance. He returned to the stage after a triumphant previous week, when he sang, “Where the Blacktop Ends.” Phil delivered the lyrics to “The Change” beautifully, taking his time to tell the story of the song. He proved that he deserved a place in the competition by singing with strong vocals, and a sensitivity that captured the inspirational theme of the night.
4 American Idol’s Paul Stacey Covered “Every Breath You Take”
The American Idol season 6 Top 10 performed songs by No Doubt, or artists who inspired lead singer, Gwen Stefani. Paul chose, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, which suited his rich, smooth vocals perfectly. He delivered the haunting melody in a way that captured the emotion and “story” of the song. His high notes soared. Phil was becoming more comfortable on the American Idol stage as well, playing to the camera and in-person audience expertly. He looked like a rock star with a hat, jacket, hoodie, and jeans. When Phil sang the lyrics, “Oh can’t you see, you belong to me,” it seemed as though he was referring to the audience, as he had them in the palm of his hand.
3 American Idol’s Paul Stacey Sang “Blaze of Glory”
For what would be Phil’s last American Idol performance, he sang “Blaze of Glory” by Bon Jovi. He shared that he had practiced the song in the mirror with a comb in his hand. For 15 years, he used that prop as a pretend microphone. Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi got chills during their mentoring session, and noted his confidence. He said that Phil had a big voice for a big song. At the beginning of the performance, Phil was in the audience, and he worked the crowd like a pro. By the time he reached the American Idol main stage, the song had built to a stunning crescendo, which was emotional, and also showcased his vocal talent. Unfortunately, Phil was eliminated after this performance, but he truly did go out in a blaze of glory.
2 American Idol’s Paul Stacey Performed “Where The Blacktop Ends”
For American Idol Country Night, Phil sang Keith Urban’s “Where the Blacktop Ends.” He connected to the song because it reminded him of growing up in Kansas, and being a country boy. He impressed mentor Martina McBride, who encouraged him to infuse his soulful tone into the entire song. After weeks of singing songs in other genres, Phil finally sang a country song, and found his true place in the competition. He struggled through several weeks of harsh judges’ critiques, but that week, he hit his stride. American Idol is all about singers finding their place in the music industry and becoming true artists, and this performance was that turning point for Phil.
1 Phil Stacey’s Post-American Idol Career
Although Phil sometimes struggled to win the praise of Randy, Paula, and Simon, they acknowledged that he was a very likable contestant who had a considerable amount of talent. As a member of the United States Navy, and a father of two daughters (Chloe and McKayla), Phil was an admirable man. He found some success after the show, with three studio albums, Phil Stacey, Into the Light, and Faith. His first single, “If You Didn’t Love Me” was released in 2008 with an accompanying music video.
American Idol season 6 finalist Phil had a fantastic run on the reality competition series. Now his daughter McKayla is about to embark on an American Idol journey of her own. Phil was happy to be the proud father during her audition. He is certain to be a source of strength and encouragement throughout her journey. Phil is certain to pass on a lot of wisdom to McKayla after his incredible American Idol run.
American Idol airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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