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Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morissette Bring British and Canadian Edge to ‘American Idol’

While American Idol‘s usual judges, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, were busy serenading King Charles III at his coronation ceremony this weekend, Ed Sheeran and Alanis Morissette — two famously non-American idols — stepped in on their behalf. The two took the stage after delivering the lesson of a lifetime to the show’s remaining contestants.

Canada’s own Morissette performed her 1998 single “Thank U” from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. Sheeran, who recently revealed he was never asked to perform at the coronation despite actually being British, would have been too busy kicking off his Mathematics tour, anyway. During the episode, which featured the remaining contestants performing both his and Morrissette’s songs, the singer delivered a simple performance of his latest single, “Eyes Closed.”

Morissette and Sheeran’s appearances helped soften the blow when three of the eight musicians competing on the show were sent home. The contestants performed renditions of “Perfect,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “Photograph,” and “Dive” from Sheeran’s discography, and “Uninvited,” “Head Over Feet,” “Hand in my Pocket,” and “Ironic” from Morrissette’s.

Airing the same day of his tour opener in Dallas, Texas, Sheeran’s Idol performance was a fitting close to a week of nonstop promotion for his latest studio album, Subtract, released on Friday. In the past week, the singer released an accompanying Disney+ documentary, performed on top of a van outside his pop-up shop in New York, and won a copyright infringement trial after passionately defending his artistic integrity in court. It’s been a real victory lap.


“I spent so long with people laughing about me making music. Everyone saw me as a joke, and no one thought I could do it,” Sheeran recently told Rolling Stone. “And I think that’s still the drive. There’s still this need to prove myself. And I’m still kind of not taken seriously. If you were to speak to any sort of muso, ‘Oh, I love my left-of-center music,’ I’m the punchline to what bad pop music is.”

He added: “I mean, mate, when I wrote ‘Perfect’ and ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ I remember being like, ‘Oh, these are a bit cheesy.’ But at the time being like, ‘I don’t know if I care.’ And they became the biggest ballads in the world that year. And you’re like, ‘Well, people must connect with cheese, then!’ ”

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