American Idol 12 – The Top 9 Performances – What the Critics Say

Here’s what critics around the interwebs are saying about last night’s American Idol 12 Top 10 performance show. Read my recap here.

‘American Idol’: Majority of Season 12’s Finalists Fail Beatles 101 – They were given a list of 20 songs to choose from, and the producers steered clear of certain numbers (like “Blackbird”) purposely. That’s not to say there weren’t some stellar performances, but the more admissions were made about never hearing these classic songs, the more the studio audience visibly cringed. (Most of the Top 9 barely knew who the Beatles were)Hollywood Reporter

‘American Idol’ recap: What Would You Do If I Sang Out of Tune? – Would you stand up and walk out on me if I said Beatles night is always my “absolute favorite” (hat tip/chest tattoo peek to Keith Urban) of all the tired-out American Idol themes? I just don’t see how you can go wrong with the Lennon-McCartney songbook, as thinned out as it is (the show only has clearance to air a small window of tunes). When the contestants blow it, it’s utter blasphemy, but when they pull it off, it’s so divine! High drama either way. – Read more at Entertainment Weekly

American Idol Recap: Help – Oh my God, you guys. Tonight’s American Idol was a significant two hours of television. Like the best art, it tore me apart cell by cell and reassembled me. I am a fundamentally different person than I was before Ryan Seacrest descended the disco stairs. I actively dislike the Beatles now. This is my new normal. It isn’t the top nine’s fault that they’re unfamiliar with the Beatles. Sure, all nine of them do seem to want to be singers, and singers typically work within the context of music, and the Beatles created pretty much everything that we currently take for granted in that particular area, but you can’t force appreciation. Consider this: Several of our finalists were born after “Free As a Bird.” – Read more at Vulture

‘American Idol’ Recap: Beatles Night Is Not a Total Disaster – When I heard American Idol was doing Beatles Night, the side of me that loves to hate-watch the show kicked in: grab the popcorn this could end in total disaster! However, most of the remaining nine finalists proved me oh-so-wrong on Wednesday — in particular, Candice Glover, Angie Miller and Janelle Arthur, who gained back some frontrunner buzz with her sweet and soothing performance of “I Will.” Others were not nearly as successful. Here’s the lowdown on the good, the not-so-good and the near-meltdowns: – Read more at The Hollywood Reporter

American Idol Recap: Oh I Can’t Believe This Theme Is Happening to Me [Updated] – Don’t get on Nicki Minaj’s case for showing up late to American Idol‘s Top 10 performance night. Let’s be honest: If you had known you were going to have to endure her fellow judges heaping praise (with a side dish of almost imperceptible criticism) on Curtis Finch Jr.’s dreary, off-key Fantasia cover, you’d have tuned in 10 minutes past the hour yourself. Okay, okay…maybe we should throw a little shade at Nicki. I mean, how many millions of dollars is she paid for working three hours per week at The House That Kelly Clarkson Built? I’d show up three hours early for $200 and a bottle of Trader Joe’s sauvignon blanc. – Read more at TV Line

“American Idol” Travels The Beatles’ Long And Winding Road Again – It’s probably not too much of a surprise that American Idol is causing Nicki Minaj to chafe a bit. The brightly hued MC came up throwing elbows and dropping sex-charged verses to put herself at the head of the Young Money boys’ club; while the prospect of being on TV every week and shaping a future star probably lured her into the Idolverse, watching as twentysomethings hoarily cover songs twice their age has to be a bit… disappointing. – Read more at Popdust

‘American Idol’ Recap: Ladies Steal The Show … Again – One of these weeks on “American Idol,” the guys might step up and steal the show from the ladies. But not this week. The girls continued to show their dominance over this year’s competition on Wednesday, as the top nine “Idol” contestants took on the Beatles’ catalog. Sure, Burnell Taylor “Let it Be” and Devin Velez walked “The Long and Winding Road,” but it was the ladies — specifically Angie Miller, Janelle Arthur and Candice Glover — who chalked up another win in their column. – Read more at MTV

‘American Idol’ Top 9 Night: The Long And Winding Show – The “American Idol” top nine covered the songs of Lennon & McCartney this week, which regular “Idol” viewers know is almost NEVER a good idea. The young contestants often embarrass themselves by freely revealing their lack of familiarity with the greatest band of all time, the Beatles (which I personally think is grounds for immediate disqualification), and even the ones who own a well-worn copy of The White Album usually pale (no pun intended) in comparison to the almighty Fab Four. – Read more at

‘American Idol’ Recap: The Fab Nine Tackle the Beatles … Watch – The Beatles have a fairly sizable song catalog that ranges from up-tempo, high-energy tunes to slower, more intimate selections. “American Idol” is often known for its singers tending to choose the latter when it comes to song selection; apparently, singing a ballad pays far more dividends than a barn burner that gets the crowd moving. The 2013 season of “Idol” has been a figurehead for this. Some singers have chosen the slower variety time and time again, while only a few have jumped out of what may or may not be a comfort zone to deliver something with a little more bounce or pep. – Read more at

‘American Idol’ Top 9: The recap – The takeaway from Wednesday’s American Idol: And, in the end, the place you take is equal to the ballad you make. If you based your knowledge of The Beatles on the Idol performances, you might wonder just what the big deal was. And you’d certainly think they were easy-listening ballads specialists instead of the world’s greatest rock band. Seven of the nine remaining singers chose ballads from the band’s catalog, with only two taking a tack with tempo: – Read more at USA Today

‘American Idol’ recap: The Top 9 tackle the Fab Four – The nine remaining “American Idol” contestants tackled the music of the Beatles Wednesday night, despite the fact that — honestly, what is the world coming to? — some of them had never heard the songs they’d sung before. That’s right. Burnell Taylor had never heard “Let It Be” — or any tune by the Fab Four. (He’d heard of them, he said.) Amber Holcomb didn’t know “She’s Leaving Home,” which would have been startling enough even if Mariah Carey — Mariah freaking Carey — hadn’t also admitted that she’d never heard the song before either. – Read more at Los Angeles Times

Kimberly Caldwell’s American Idol Blog: Who Hit a High Note on Beatles Night–and Who’s Going Home? – Beatlemania!!! We are down to just nine Idols, all covering legendary, iconic music. Here’s the biggest problem: Half of these youngsters had to learn these smash hits from the most successful pop band in musical history just the night before. Seriously?! Whoa! The fact that they all admitted to this was even more of a shocker. What a no-no! Fake it till you make it, guys! – Read more at EOnline

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  • Incipit

    “…Of his fellow finalists, Jolley told THR, “I can’t believe they don’t know [The Beatles]. They need to do their research, especially with where they’re at. They should have done it before they got here.”

    Whoah. Paul ‘needed to do HIS research’ – and he would have found David Cook and “Eleanor Rigby” all over the internet! Then perhaps he would have chosen something else from the Twenty Songs that were all the Producers offered. As it is, the recaps today are full of how his version did not measure up.

    I’m used to TPTB stabbing various contestants in the back over the course of the show – but this wasn’t a paraphrase, it was a direct quote from The Hollywood Reporter. What a supercilious comment!

    IMO. Of Course.

  • David Facenfield

    I know… trying to be clever and show off often backfires… better to stick to talking about yourself, rather than dis (even in a light hearted way) your fellow contestants…

  • David Facenfield

    like the USA today comments… that based on 7 of the 9 doing ballads then you’d be mistaken for thinking The Beatles were easy-listening ballads specialists instead of the world’s greatest rock band… that about sums up last night!

  • jjose712

    Well, ii don’t agree with most critics, first of all, i don’t want Paul to go home, he is the only guy who doesn’t bore me to tears, and second, i really liked his performance. And i totally hate the way the tried to through him under the bus. This reminds me the top 4 of season 8, that was my most infuriating moment on AI

    It was as good as Cook’s version? of course not (well Cook is one of my favourite idols), but it was good and different.

    Devin and Burnell are good singers, but they are AC material. There’s absolutely nothing exciting about them, and their song choices didn’t help either.

    I heard a lot of praise about the ladies, and well, Candice, and Kree were fantastic (no surprise here), Amber was good too but not very interesting, but i didn’t like Janelle, in my opinion was a simply countrified version and i didn’t like the vocals, and Angie idea was good, but she is not that good to pull that idea. I think Angie is making a mistake trying to go all powerhouse vocal, her streghts are not there

    And Lazaro, well Lazaro needs to go home. If he stays in the show he is going to be hated, and he is too adorable to be hated. The poor guy is not at the same level and staying more time is only make his agony longer.

  • Sassycatz

    I think the “TV Line” link above is to last week’s recap. Here’s this week’s:

  • nazalin

    Paul deserves to stay, that’s all I am saying!

  • Laura Corn

    Omg MTV site said Kree moved like acpotted plant. Jerez MTV dont hold back tell us how you really feel!

  • Sassycatz

    I’m just hoping Amber doesn’t get sent home based upon the judges’ remarks which kind of sabotaged her … all but Keith’s remarks of course. She was excellent and the fact that half the panel couldn’t recognize the song is not Amber’s fault. Unless someone builds up a ferocious fan base, judges’ comments can sink a performance with the voting audience even if the performance was one of the best of the night.

  • CharlyBaltimore

    “The House That Kelly Clarkson Built” Amen!

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “And Lazaro, well Lazaro needs to go home. If he stays in the show he is going to be hated, and he is too adorable to be hated. The poor guy is not at the same level and staying more time is only make his agony longer.”

    I agree. Lazaro seems like a genuinely sweet guy, and I really don’t want him to be hated for staying too long on the show. That kind of backlash can get really ugly.

  • Incipit

    Thanks, Sassycatz. That ‘was’ last week’s recap. Always look forward to what Slezak has to say.

  • Incipit

    Thanks, Sassycatz. That ‘was’ last week’s recap. Always look forward to what Slezak has to say.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    “Stuttering Singer Lazaro Arbos Bursts Into Tears After American Idol Letdown”

    “‘American Idol’ judges bash Lazaro Arbos’ performance and make him cry”

    The judges will probably never criticize Lazaro again for fear of another meltdown.

  • jcabby

    I agree with you. Lazaro seems like a sweetheart, but he doesn’t seem prepared for the spotlight nor the criticisms.

  • jcabby

    I agree with you. Lazaro seems like a sweetheart, but he doesn’t seem prepared for the spotlight nor the criticisms.

  • Clayton Davis

    We have a recap at The Awards Circuit:

    I predict Paul, Burnell, and Devin in Bottom 3, MAYBE Amber.- Paul goes home

  • Happyhexer

    Too late. I’m already I’m irritated because it wasn’t the first time Lazaro pulled the “Woe is me. I have to learn a brand-new song overnight!” card. He does have a nice tone to his voice, but he is so outclassed in terms
    of vocal and musical knowledge, and I think he knows it. I do think he
    has some raw talent, but he doesn’t know how to use his voice, and he
    has no knowledge of contemporary songs. Totally out of his depth. It would be a kindness for voters to let him go home. And hey, they can still see him on the tour!