Review: Idols Do Beatles
The Top 9 of Season 9 took the stage last night and performed their favorite selections from the Lennon/McCartney songbook and delivered one of the strongest episodes this year. No catastrophes, and there were even a couple of breakout moments from contestants who made their marks for the first time. So let’s get right to the reviews:
CASEY JAMES – Jealous Guy - Week after week, Casey’s vocals have been quite dependable and he’s certainly a very easy person to like, but until last night he’d yet to give us something truly unique and memorable. His emotional, heartfelt interpretation of this John Lennon solo track was his first “moment” of the year, finally pulling him out of the middle of the pack. Grade: A
CRYSTAL BOWERSOX - Come Together - I actually agreed with Randy Jackson (!) when he observed that the presence of the didgeridoo player basically served as a distraction. But putting that aside, this was another rock solid showing from Crystal, in spite of the fact that she was suffering from a cold. And although last night belonged to Casey, the overall season is still ruled by Mama Sox. Grade: A-
KATIE STEVENS - Let It Be – The word “blossoming” was tossed around among the judges as they critiqued Katie and I have to say that I agree! She stayed on key throughout the entire song, made a few melodic changes, didn’t hit any bum notes, and as Simon pointed out, she wasn’t “robotic.” This was easily her very best week to date. Grade: B
LEE DeWYZE - Hey Jude – Coming down a bit from his season-high of last week, Lee offered up a decent but unspectacular performance that curiously included a bagpipe player who made a totally unnecessary and dramatic entrance from the top of the stairs. I was willing to overlook the stupidity of the whole thing until Lee admitted that the idea was 100% his own. Grade: B
TIM URBAN - All My Loving - Every time I’m ready to dismiss Teflon Tim once and for all, he turns around and surprises me. As Ellen said, this was his best since “Hallelujah.” Also, I’m so glad that Simon finally pointed out that Tim always takes his criticism like a man and doesn’t whine about it like some. Grade: B
SIOBHAN MAGNUS - Across the Universe – After last week’s meltdown, almost anything would have been seen as an improvement for Siobhan. And although her vocals were definitely back on track, the performance had such an air of culture, sophistication, and manners that I felt like I was watching an alternate reality version of “American Idol” that was perhaps taking place back in the Victorian Era. She may have lost some all-important texting teens as a result. Grade: B-
AARON KELLY - The Long and Winding Road – The show’s youngest contestant strangely chose the Beatles’ oldest-sounding song and instantly rendered himself boring, in spite of the fact that he didn’t miss any notes. He’s a likable kid with a nice voice, but if he’s around next week he needs to quickly do something to seem more interesting, or we won’t be seeing him for much longer. Grade: C
MICHAEL LYNCHE - Eleanor Rigby - Big Mike once again hit the big notes very impressively, but sort of fell apart during the rest of the song where “normal” singing was required. Once again, his stage presence and movements were too exaggerated for my taste, and somehow I suspect that “Glee” is not what he was really aiming for. Grade: C
ANDREW GARCIA - Can’t Buy Me Love – Nothing offensive, nothing remarkable. Slightly goofy. Grade: C
BOTTOM 3 PREDICTION – This is a little tough to figure out. Will an improved week be enough to keep Tim Urban safe? Probably not. And although Big Mike was one of the weaker performances, I feel he’s probably not in danger yet. Aaron Kelly will likely make his first trip to the silver stools tonight and will hopefully be joined by Andrew Garcia. But I wouldn’t be shocked if Siobhan made her first appearance either.
GOING HOME: I don’t know! My gut says Andrew Garcia, but he wasn’t even in the Bottom 3 last week, so who knows?
What did you think? Who was the best of the night? (Vote in our poll on the right!) And who is going home? Sound off with a comment below!