It's been a long and winding road for the "American Idol" Top 9 contestants, but the going is about to get really tough with the onset of those dreaded theme nights! You know, the point in the competition when an R&B singer is forced to sing a country song? (Or worse, when a rocker has to make like a Rat Packer!)
On tap this week was the overplayed (on this show, anyway) Lennon-McCartney songbook. We love us some "Let it Be," but when are the powers that be going to come up with some new themes?
So how did the Top 9 fare on Beatles Night?It was amazing how many of these kids claimed to have never heard the songs they picked. Lazaro Arbos -- who gave his worst performance of the season, according to Randy Jackson -- said he had just learned the song "In My Life" one day before. He was in tears after the judges' critiques.
Amber Holcomb ("She's Leaving Home") and Burnell Taylor ("Let It Be") also claimed to be unfamiliar with their songs, although they managed to pull off respectable performances. But why pick a song and then make excuses about how you don't know it?
Meanwhile, Kree Harrison clearly knows her Beatles. Or at least watches "The Wonder Years." She belted out "A Little Help From My Friends" in a nod to her late father and nabbed this kudos from Mariah Carey: "It was fan-freaking-tastic."
But did Jolley do justice to John? Not all of the judges loved Paul Jolley's take on "Eleanor Rigby," especially Nicki Minaj, who blasted the performance as "very, very safe, very bland, and forgettable." And Keith Urban wasn't a fan of the falsetto note at the end.
Candice Glover may have delivered the performance of the season with the song "Come Together." Randy called her voice "crazy" and Keith called it "killer." This girl really knows how to work it and is in absolutely no danger of going home any time soon. The judges will likely save their one-and-only "save" for her, which means it probably won't be used at all this season.
Angie Miller pulled off a newfangled version of "Yesterday" and sported a new, flat-ironed hairdo. We likey! But how many times this season are we going to hear an "Idol" judge sing her first name a la Mick Jagger? She should just go back to Angela.
Devin Velez skipped the Spanish on his version of "The Long and Winding Road," but Keith felt he was disconnected from the song, telling him, "I need your heart to be in there to engage me, as well." Nicki begged to differ and pondered what Keith was sippin' on. (This seems to be an ongoing theme, as Keith sniffed Nicki's Coca-Cola cup last week.)
And then there was Janelle Arthur. The country queen sang the little-known Beatles B-side "I Will" and looked like "a beautiful swan goddess," according to Nicki, who asked her, "Janelle, can we renew our vows, tonight?" Wait, didn't Ms. Minaj already declare that Kree Harrison is her wife?
"American Idol" Season 12 airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 PM ET on FOX.
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