On Palm Sunday (also, the first day of spring), the spirit was with FOX’s The Passion. Of course, there were many I-see-what-you-did-there moments (Jencarlos Canela as Jesus’ rendition of Train‘s “Calling All Angels” or Creed‘s “With Arms Wide Open”) during the telecast moderated by Tyler Perry and executive produced by music arranger Adam Anders, but the modern take on the final hours of Jesus Christ’s life story delivered the holiest of contemporary pop hits — equipped with a full-blown procession with a 20-foot illuminated cross through the New Orleans streets — for its #blessed TV movie. Below are the The Passion‘s best moments.
1. Yolanda Adams takes over with heavenly rendition of “When Love Takes Over”
While DJ/ producer David Guetta and songstress Kelly Rowland weren’t on hand for the live rendition, Grammy-winning gospel belter Yolanda Adams and a soulful choir brought down the house in New Orleans with the lovely hit.
2. Trisha Yearwood brings the love with a Whitney Houston cover
As Mary, the country belle/Food Network star donned a midnight blue gown to sing her love for her baby Jesus with the Whitney Houston feel-good jam “My Love Is Your Love.”
3. Jesus and Peter have a bromantic moment during a hearty performance of Phillip Phillips’ “Home.”
“Don’t pay no mind to the demons that fill you with fear,” Jesus (Jencarlos Canela) sings to his best bro, Peter (Prince Royce). “Just know you’re not alone.”
4. Jesus picking up grub at a food spot turns into a Creed flashback
One of the chefs on-board reacts, “It’s New Orleans, baby. Anything is possible.” He then offers a loaf of bread to his disciples. “This is my body,” he says. “I will die for you.” He then breaks out into his take of Creed‘s “With Arms Wide Open.”
5. Chris Daughtry flips Evanescence‘s “Bring Me To Life”
As the supervillain of The Passion, the Daughtry frontman roams about a barren warehouse, trying to evade the darkness with his own rendition of Evanescence‘s 2003 rock ballad.
6. Judas and Jesus duet for “Demons”
Just as Jesus reveals to Peter that he will betray him, Judas tries to play nice as the son of God is taken away from police. The plot takes a dramatic twist with the Imagine Dragons hit “Demons.”
7. Prince Royce nails Hoobastank‘s “The Reason”
As Jesus’ supporters pinned blame on Peter, the lone disciple tried to sort out his feelings with their 2014 top 5 track “The Reason.” Peter then went on to deny God’s son three times as predicted.
8. Seal channels Roman governor Pontius Pilate with “Mad World”
As Jesus in an orange jumpsuit (hi, Orange Is the New Black) is hurled by cops on-stage, Seal interrogates the disciple played by Prince Royce repeatedly, asking, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Pilate asks the crowd which prisoner should be set free as the well-rehearsed live audience yells “Barabbas” to the sounds of Tina Turner‘s “We Don’t Need Another Hero.” Seal also launches into a heart-rending version of Tears For Fears’ “Mad World.”
9. Trish Yearwood captivates with “Broken”
Mary (played by Yearwood) sings to the heavens following Jesus’ arrest.
10. Jesus Christ’s unconditional finale
“Something happened that has been talked about for more than two thousand years,” said godly narrator Tyler Perry before Jesus’ resurrection. The grand finale culminated in a joyous performance from Canela covering Katy Perry‘s “Unconditionally” in all white from a rooftop overlooking NOLA. Yolanda Adams and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band then wrapped the show with the lively partystarter “When The Saints Go Marching In.”
Disclosure: Billboard is an affiliate company of one of The Passion’s co-producers, Dick Clark Productions.