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American Idol 12: Top 9 Sings The Beatles

Posted on 03/20/2013 by Kylene in American Idol

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American Idol 12: Top 9

by Kylene Hamulak


Tonight's American Idol challenges the Top 9 to take on the music of The Beatles. Oh dear God, Idols, don't screw this up.




Kree Harrison, "With A Little Help From My Friends"

When Kree asks what I would do if she sang out of tune, I scoff at the possibility. That would never happen, Kree! In her intro with Jimmy, we learn that Kree has had a cold, but you'd never know it. Keith predicts she won't have any trouble getting by with a little help from America tonight, and Nicki coins the phrase "Kreedom" for what she does with the song. "You've started to become a superstar before our eyes," she says. Randy calls it "the bomb performance" and Mariah tries the old, "I didn't think it was good" trick before pulling out, "I thought it was fan-freaking-tastic." I wasn't fooled, Mariah. Your acting is no better than it was in Glitter.


Burnell Taylor, "Let It Be"

Somehow, Burnell chooses a Beatles song he doesn't know. At all. I mean, first of all, how do you not know it. Second of all....well, no, just, HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW IT? I like Burnell, and I find his gospel-tinged performance sweet to listen to. He doesn't do much with it, but I can imagine him singing this at church back home. Nicki says he caressed the song and she, also, makes a church comparison. Randy asks if he doesn't know the Beatles, and Burnell answers, "I know of 'em, but I don't know them like I SHOULD know them." Fair answer, my friend! Doesn't matter though - Randy says it's the mark of a great artist, and Mariah is proud of his heartfelt performance. Keith thinks his tone is the most recognizable of all the contestants and he loves the soul.

Candice Glover, "Come Together"

Jimmy reads the lyrics to Candice who responds, "I don't know what that means." Um, yeah, neither do any of us, which is why we sing the wrong words all the time, Candice. It's great to see Candice singing something with an edge, especially because it brings a bit of rock to a show that's been primarily on the slower side. She makes some interesting choices, and every single one of them works. Keith loves the "whole other vibe" Candice brought tonight too, calling it "absolutely killer." Nicki carefully tells her to work her face and bring the attitude that matches her voice. Randy's happy to hear her do up-tempo too. Right, Randy? I'm sayin! Mariah says, "It was like a prize fighter, darling, when I heard you were doing this song." She encourages her to get creative and try new things.


Angie Miller, "Yesterday"

Angie won the title of "Next American Idol" at her high school last year, and as she introduces us to her family, she reminds me of Miley Cyrus. She's singing one of MY favorite Beatles' songs. She hits some really pretty notes and gets the fancy uplighting treatment. I liked the stripped down arrangement, though she was a little dramatic in points that could've been a bit subtler.  Randy calls it a stellar performance and thinks she does have a rock edge to her. Mariah says it was very respectful version that showed her voice. Keith calls it his favorite Beatles song - wait, is this becoming a theme? - and loved her ability to stop thinking of the rules and just be "Angie." Nicki calls it something that gets bleeped out. Something good, but it still gets bleeped.




Lazaro Arbos, "In My Life"

Lazaro's family seems great, but I'm totally distracted by the portrait of him hanging on the wall where he looks like a member of Menudo. What decade is that from? Anyway, he's wearing a VERY yellow jacket, so I was hoping he was singing Yellow Submarine. I think the show is wearing on Lazaro's confidence, as his performance isn't very strong. It sounds like a whisper with a nice tone, and I just want to hear him break out of it. He COULD do it, and I WANT him to, but he still seems nervous about letting it out. Mariah calls him brave, which means it wasn't that good. Keith thinks he should've started in a different key, and Nicki still feels like he's holding back. Randy thinks it was his worse performance ever and agrees that something seems off. You know what's off? He had to change his song at the last second, apparently due to licensing issues, and he just about learned it. He's crying as he explains, and I know we can't vote for excuses, buuuut....


Paul Jolley, "Eleanor Rigby"

Paul's session with Jimmy makes me worried for him right off the bat when he starts wailing out the lyrics. He sounds pretty good in his performance, standing on a cloud surrounded by violins...and then he starts with the wailing. I don't really love his higher register. Nicki loves his outfit, but she did NOT like his performance. She calls it "safe, bland, and forgettable." She is not wrong. Randy said it felt like he was disconnected, and Mariah calls it a great song choice. Not so fast with the applause, audience - she still thinks he needs to do more with the emotion of the song. Keith, meanwhile, is like a giddy little Beatles fangirl - this is also one of his favorite Beatles songs! He didn't love the falsetto at the end (me neither, Keith), and agrees with Mariah - he'd like to see Paul try more pop-rock than country. Paul also gets a demerit for responding, "I'm Jolley!" when asked how he was feeling. If anyone is gonna pull the puns in this joint, it's gonna be ME, Mr. Jolley!




Pack Your Bags - Both of You: Before the competition begins Ryan's got news from last week: Charlie and Aubrey are back to learn who will be joining the Idols on tour. Remember that? The contest where we get to send one of them on tour for the summer even though we voted them both off the show? Well, turns out, Charlie still doesn't win. Audrey will be touring the nation this summer. Congratulations.


Not Leaving Idol: Jimmy promises us that Amber Holcomb kills "She's Leaving Home."  I love the tone of the song and Amber tells the story, though I think Randy is right. He thought it started a little slow but picked up by the end. Turns out? Amber didn't know this song. How short was this Beatles list that these "kids" had to choose songs they didn't know? Mariah thinks she did a beautiful job too, though she hasn't ever heard it either. What? WHAT, MARIAH? Keith redeems the judges, as he tells Amber it's his favorite Beatles song, and she made it fresh for him. Nicki notes that she could tell Amber was thinking about it as she sang, but still thought the vocal was amazing.


The Prophet: Devin Velez explains to us that he has to keep looking at himself "like a nobody." Uh, yeah, good plan, Devin. That'll prepare you well for this time next year. He does a great job with "The Long and Winding Road", though I'm not a huge fan of his vocal gymnastics. Mariah is a babbling fool - she feels as if it would be a travesty if he doesn't go through. Keith notes his effortless ability to perform, but he wants his heart to engage a little more. Nicki says the exact opposite - she feels like his performances are always very truthful. Randy declares Devin "back tonight," and he loves the hideous leopard print slipper-shoes he's wearing.

Angie Has No Idea What's Going On: Tonight's awkward exchange with Ryan comes at poor Angie's expense. After her performance, Ryan hints that she's met someone new since getting to Hollywood. Angie, like a deer in headlights, tries to figure out who she didn't know she was dating...turns out? He was referring to a flat iron. Good one, Ryan.

I Have No Idea What's Going On Either: Nicki got bleeped giving a shout out to the band or...something. Ryan calls out Mariah to give her own shout out, and she has no idea what she's talking about, so she gives a shout out to her "Lambs" and I can't tell if it's a direct shot at Nicki's "Barbz" shout out or...what. Jeeepers cripes, Ryan - stick to the script and stop confusing people!


Dark Horse: Janelle Arthur looks like a valentine sitting on stage singing "I Will." It's all very pretty and sweet, and so is her song. I like Janelle. I think she brings a very simple charisma to the show that balances out some of the more prominent contestants, and I love that she's not backing down. Keith calls her pure and true and loves that she knows who she is. Nicki calls her a "beautiful swan goddess" and says that performance made her even more obsessed with her. Randy thinks it was one of the best performances of the night. Mariah says it was a beautiful and elegant performance.


It's Idol Time: Just in case Nicki forgets her watch again, Randy has her covered by the giant clock on his pocket.


Beatles Who? Ok, they're young, but is there ever an excuse for someone - especially a musician - to NOT know anything by The Beatles? I get if you don't have a full grasp on the catalog of songs, but Let It Be is not exactly a rare track. You don't have to be a scholar to know that Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet.


They're Playing His Favorite Song: Keith named at least four songs tonight as his "favorite" Beatles song, and you know what? I'm ok with it. His jokes are a lot funnier than Mariah's fake outs.


Final Thoughts: No doubt about it - once again, the girls are killing the guys! Our front runners - Kree, Candice and Angie - continue to impress, as do Amber and Janelle. The guys are definitely in trouble again, and I expect we'll see Devin and Paul at the bottom. Will Lazaro join them? He probably should be going home, but fans supporting his struggle may carry him through again, potentially putting Burnell in danger. Either way, I'm going to put my money on Devin going home, but let's face it - it's just a matter of time. The girls aren't going anywhere anytime soon.


Did the Idols sing YOUR favorite Beatles songs? Do any of the guys have a chance in this competition? Let us know in the comments below!


Catch American Idol every Wednesday and Thursday at 8/7C on Fox!


(Images courtesy of Fox)


Follow Kylene on Twitter @keepingupwithky!



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