Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Philip Murphy, Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of 'American Idol'
Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Philip Murphy, Luke Bryan; Photo Courtesy of 'American Idol'

Philip Murphy Leaves ‘American Idol’ Judges Questioning His “Novelty” After Cover Of Bill Withers

Philip Murphy, who goes by Murphy, gave a fascinating performance on American Idol, that left the judges questioning if he has what it takes to goto Hollywood.

In the sneak peak clip shared by Idol on Saturday (Mar. 6) The Street busker auditioned with Bill Withers’ iconic hit “Just The Two Of Us,” before Idol judge Lionel Richie requested that he sing another song. Murphy decided to perform an original song by himself called, “The Painted Man.”

“Very good, very good, very interesting,” Richie said as Murphy concluded his audition. “We want to take the novelty part out of this, which means you’re going to have to shed back a couple of those layers mystique to let us see more of you. So, just for texture, I want to hear one more from you, just give me a taste of something else.”

“I think that you’re on the precipice of something cool, but it’s not quite there,” Katy Perry said. “I mean, You’ve got a storyteller voice, but it needs a little bit more inflections when you’re singing. Like a little bit more dynamics, I think”

After performing his original song, “The Painted Man,” the judges seemed to be thoroughly impressed, as they gave him a round of applause as he ended the song.

“I couldn’t help but just watch your face while you were playing, you were having the best time of your life,” Richie added.

“You’ve no idea,” Murphy replied with a big smile on his face.

After a few moments of thinking, Idol judge Luke Bryan said “I’ll give you a shot, it’s a yes from me.”

“Murphy, I think Lionel hit it right on the head, it’s just a little too novelty, like it just needs to be a little more mainstream to be able to be built on,” Perry added. “It’s a no from me.”

The performance came as a full circle moment for Murphy as he told Seattle Refined that he grew up enjoying Richie’s music and to be in the same room as him is a “dream come true” for him.

“Particularly, like many people I enjoy Lionel Richie’s music,” Murphy told the outlet. “And for me to be able to sing in the same room as him, I’ve got to be honest, you don’t think about it, but it’s a dream come true in a way, you know? My dad used to listen to his tapes, to his CD’s and I got to ask questions about this man when I was a little boy, and now I got to meet him? You know, I hot to meet the man singing ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning,’ I got to be part of that for just a minute and that’s not a memory everyone gets to take on. I’m lucky, I guess that’s what I’m saying. I’m lucky.”

The teaser video ended without showing if he earned a golden ticket, but he did earn a yes from Bryan and a no from Perry, so his fate lays in the hands of Richie. Tune in on Sunday, March 7 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC to see if he gets a golden ticket to Hollywood.

Watch his full audition below.

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