MJ’s Take: The Top 9 Don’t Ruin the Music of Lennon and McCartney. Hooray!
The Beatles are my favorite band of all time, so I was more than a little nervous when I heard the Top 9 would be taking on the songs of Lennon and McCartney.
Season 7’s Top 12 tackled Lennon and McCartney too, back in 2008. David Cook’s ‘Eleanor Rigby, ‘ Brooke White’s ‘Let it Be, ‘ Michael John’s ‘Across the Universe, ‘ Carly Smithson’s ‘Come Together’ were all fine performances. And each one of those songs were reprised by season 9 Idols. Did this year’s crop suffer by comparison? Much to my surprise, they didn’t! Each of the Top 9 brought their own twist to these classic tunes.
‘American Idol’: On the scene at Top 9 performance night
“Judges are optional…” – Debbie the Stage Manager
It was generally agreed upon by those of us in the Idoldome that tonight’s Tribute To The Bulletproof Nature Of The Lennon-McCartney Catalog was the most consistent evening of non-offensive music yet to emerge from Your. Top. 9. Thank goodness — because pretty much everything else about the night was coconuts. Bagpipes and didgeridoos! Kara DioGuardi cutting to commercials only she could see! Rogue audience members shouting themselves onto the stage! Plus: “Cougars for Kelly, ” Kara’s cousins, Cory self-promoting, Ellen taking a dive, and your Aunt Whittlz missing out on some dreaded TV time by a matter of inches, twice. THIS…was American Idol.
‘American Idol’ Recap: Casey James, The Beatles And A Didgeridoo
Handing over the Lennon/McCartney songbook to “American Idol: Flatliners Edition” was a lot like letting an 11-year-old take a Rolls Royce out for a spin. In fact, the entire first act of the show Tuesday night (April 6) was dedicated to the judges and producers (and even Sir Paul himself) essentially telling the Top 9, “Don’t f— this up.”
Thankfully, for the most part, they didn’t. It was a trippy episode, filled with strange instruments and stranger audience members, but in a weird way it felt appropriate. After all, these were the men responsible for a TV movie that featured a waiter shoveling spaghetti onto an obese woman’s table.
More recaps after the jump…keep checking back for more…
‘American Idol’ recap: Revolution Nine
Tonight’s installment of American Idol felt a little bit like walking through the exhibition hall of a county fair. ”Oh look, it’s a didgeridoo! And over there’s a bagpipe! Hey, now they’re trotting out Sir Paul McCartney for a quick and not-entirely-convincing cameo! And in the front, there are those pretty actors from BONNNN-ZZZZZZ!” All that was missing were the jars of raspberry jam and two rows of prize-winning cows.
A bit of a ‘Hard Day’s Night’ for ‘Idol’ singers
Crystal Bowersox had both the performance and the quote of the night as the remaining nine “American Idol” finalists took on the Lennon/McCartney songbook Tuesday night.
Bowersox sang “Come Together, ” not the most risky choice in the world but a song she really nailed. Even with a bit of cold, it was the most downloadable song of the night, and I’m not just saying that because it also featured a guy named Ernie playing the didgeridoo and trying desperately to stay on the stage as long as possible.
Idol Season 9: Top 9 — Casey James Back In The Hunt To Win
Because David Letterman was sick, Didi Benami appeared on his show Tuesday. Again, they insisted on emphasizing she’d been kicked off the show and running Idol down. (Why have the contestants on the show if you hate it?) Didi was polite and sang Kara DioGuardi’s “Terrified” to tentative if decent effect.
Then the Top 9 contestants on American Idol were given the keys to the greatest catalog in pop history: the tunes of Lennon and McCartney. The results were so-so, but Katie Stevens received more praise than ever from the judges (enjoy it while it lasts) while Casey James put himself back in the hunt for the finale.
Ann Powers: The Fab Four meet the Top 9
Beatles songs have the uncanny quality of sounding perennially fresh. Forty years after the band’s active era ended, whenever its catalog is popped open, there’s a surprising amount of fizz. Those sophisticated melodies and slyly syncopated beats help even stolid interpreters get on their feet, and the truly creative — Earth, Wind and Fire, Elliott Smith — can ride that effervescence to a new place.
‘American Idol’ tackles Lennon & McCartney tunes
Another John Lennon-Paul McCartney night on “American Idol.”
After the traditional verbal brawl between show host Ryan Seacrest and outgoing judge Simon Cowell — this time in re whether the Idolettes should change up their Beatles tunes or stick to the script — teen Aaron Kelly kicks things off, singing a “Long and Winding Road” that’s more like “Fighting to Stay Awake on this Long and Winding Road.’ And yet, the Mosh Pit Chicks feel compelled to do The Wave. Aaron apparently has taken the judges’ advice to believe in the lyrics too literally. He says he picked this tune because the whole ‘Idol’ thing has been a long and winding road for him, and we’re getting the strong impression that at this stage in the competition Aaron’s mostly ready for a long nap. The four judges recite various versions of “Every week it’s the same performance/you’ve got to become young and relevant” speech and put him to bed.
American Idol: Growing More Circus-Like
Casey James > Michael Lynche > Crystal Bowersox > Tim Urban > Lee DeWyze > Katie Stevens > Siobhan Magnus > Andrew Garcia > Aaron Kelly
This season of “Idol” is truly a circus in the making — that’s not an exaggeration in any way. On Tuesday’s show, Crystal Bowersox employed a didgeridoo player, Lee DeWyze imported a bagpipe player in a kilt, and Siobhan Magnus was subjected to hugging a loutish fan on stage after just coming to the verge of tears lamenting “All of these things that are happening every day around me that are crazy.”
‘American Idol’ Beatles Night Favors Casey James, Crystal Bowersox
It was a night of throwbacks on “American Idol, ” as the show hit a theme it last visited during season seven, exploring the legendary songbook of Beatles greats John Lennon and Paul McCartney. So how did the 2010 “Idol”-ers fare during the evening’s homage to the musical past? Casey James brought the smoldering soul, Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze hauled out some atypical instruments, and Aaron Kelly nearly put the audience to sleep when the “Idol” show was but minutes old.
Katie Stevens Makes ‘Let It Be’ Her Own On ‘American Idol’
It’s one of the most famous songs of all time, and the lyrics are instantly recognizable to anyone from Dallas to Dubai. But Tuesday night (April 6) on “American Idol, ” one of the contestants made “Let It Be” her own.
Wearing a short pink dress with her hair pulled back, Connecticut’s Katie Stevens broke out of the “Idol” top-nine episode with a somber rendition of the 30-year-old song. Following a thunderous response from the audience — which included her family, holding an “I love my family because they love Katie Stevens” sign — the judges unanimously gushed over Stevens’ heart-tugging vocals.
‘American Idol’ Recap: Crystal Bowersox Does A Didgeridoo Duet and Lee DeWyze Busts Out The Bagpipes
It’s Lennon-McCartney songbook night, which has brought us some of the weirder performance nights in recent history. (I like how Ryan Seacrest called it a “standout” night from Season 7. That’s one ambiguously neutral word for it.) I don’t know if the contestants freak out because the songs are so iconic or if they’re just too young to know them, but the Beatles seem to bring out the hot mess in Idoland.
Blake Lewis: Crystal Bowersox came together ‘perfectly’
Tuesday was Beatles Night on American Idol. They’ve done this twice now: Two years ago, I wasn’t super impressed, but this time was great.
Aaron Kelly started the show off with The Long and Winding Road, and it was long and a little on the boring side for me. I wish this wasn’t the first song of the night. It wasn’t a good look. I think Aaron might be on the Bottom 3 this week. He needs to work on his breath control and get more power behind phrasing of the lyrics to stay in this competition. He has a great country tone that sounds nice, but he’s got to give it his all.
Songs From Lennon/McCartney Catalog Return to “American Idol”
American Idol and the Beatles don’t mix very well (what could go wrong with a bunch of amateur singers tackling some of the greatest songs of all time?). Two years ago, the show devoted two weeks to songs from the Lennon/McCartney catalog, with mostly dull results. At the good end of the spectrum, David Cook impressed with rocked-out versions of “Eleanor Rigby” and “Day Tripper, ” David Archuleta sang a velvety “The Long and Winding Road, ” Brooke White did a touching “Let It Be” and Chikezie broke out a creative take on “She’s a Woman.” And then there was everyone else.
‘American Idol’ Tries To Buy The Country’s Love
On tonight’s ‘American Idol, ’ Kara DioGuardi and Simon Cowell seemed to be obsessed with the idea of making the music of the Beatles “relevant” to contemporary audiences. You know, the Beatles, the band who were the best-selling musical act of the first decade of the 21st century and whose songs aren’t exactly Metal Machine Music?
‘American Idol’ Top 9 Go Helter Skelter: A Very Odd Lennon/McCartney Night
It was a very daytrippy Tuesday when “American Idol” held its Lennon/McCartney Night. No, no one performed a song by the Plastic Ono Band or sang the backwards-masked “Tomorrow Never Knows.” That would’ve been cool. But there was a didjeridoo, a bagpipe player, an actual good performance by underdog Tim Urban, a (hopefully pre-screened) heckler who got up close and personal with Siobhan Magnus, a few bizarre outfits that might get a couple stylists fired, a pectoral comparison, and a whole bunch of Beatles songs that surprisingly didn’t end up totally mangled (as I’d feared). Everything went a little helter skelter on Lennon/McCartney Night, but kind of in a good way. It was far and away my favorite episode among this season’s live shows.
The only time Danny Gokey Babies are a didgeridoo: AI9 Top 9 Recap
There is no reason for American Idol to be two hours this evening, but that doesn’t stop The Powers That Be from going overboard on Lennon-McCartney Week! Two full hours of songs — the majority of which should never have been covered to begin with, but probably won’t be as good as when they rolled out the same theme for two whole weeks back in Season 7.
Top 9 Recap- “Iâ€™m Glad Those Two Can Be Together, Get Married, and Have Lots of Little Danny Gokey Babies”
Who knew the Beatles were so damn boring? This show still made its way into the season of VFTW, but most of the performances were snoozeworthy. The best moments of the night were random bagpipes, Tim’s cocky faces, Simon insulting Kara, and Crystal’s fabulous quote that gave me the title of this blog. Otherwise, I could forget about it and fast forward to next week. Let’s hope Tim’s performance is enough to get him there, because I don’t think I want to live in a world where Tim isn’t giving me all of his loving. Tim also continues his brilliant streak to include the word “Love” in the title of all of his finals performances (besides ‘Under My Thumb’). Subliminal messaging to the voters who think he’s so OMG dreamy. Smart move, Tim.
Final 9 Sing: My Eardrums Didn’t Bleed
Well, this episode proves once again that Lennon and McCartney were brilliant song writers and it’s nearly impossible to ruin these songs… In one week. We all still have the horrible Season 7, Week 2 of Lennon/McCartney etched into the nightmare regions of our brains, don’t we?
The beauty of these songs is that they’re simple, heartfelt and too the point. You’d be an idiot to change up the melody. Hell, even VFTW’s vocally challenged Superstar Tim Urban was able to put together the performance of the night so that the judges were forced to nauseatingly kiss his ass. I love when the judges are forced to suck up.
“American Idol” recap: The heartthrobs make good
Tuesday’s “American Idol” featured songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, including a video greeting from none other than McCartney himself. I entered the night with the slightest ray of hope. (After all, it’s spring.) Not the kind of blind hope that would lead one to believe that the contestants had magically become talented since last week, but rather hope with a lowering of expectations and the fantasy that surely a few of them could do something with one of the dozens of amazing Beatle songs they had to choose from.
Even Teflon Tim Gets the Beatles Right
Last night for Lennon/McCartney Week, Sir Paul himself appeared in a taped message to send his best wishes out to the finalists. I know he’s been busy touring (did anyone see him at the Hollywood Bowl?) but I have a feeling that maybe he hasn’t been tuning in this season. The tip-off? He mentioned that he was “very pleased” (not “appalled”) to have the Idols do his songs.
American Idol Recap: Meet the Beatles Knockoffs
Last night, the nine remaining singers on American Idol took on the Lennon-McCartney songbook (or the McCartney-Lennon songbook, depending on whom you ask). The outcome was uniformly solid but rarely transcendent — only about half of the performers satisfyingly combined creativity and competence, but hey, it’s not even down to the top five yet.
Idol’s Kevin Covais: Andrew, Tim, and Aaron Will Be in Bottom Three
Season 5 American Idol finalist Kevin Covais is blogging for Us Weekly. Since the show, 20-year-old has appeared in films College and Labor Pains (alongside Lindsay Lohan). He also works with the Diabetes Research Institute.
This week, the Idols really couldn’t have been handed a more exciting theme: The Songbook of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. What I would have given to be able to perform one of their songs when I did the show! Sigh. Oh well, let’s discus last night’s show.
Guest blogger Alexis Grace talks Beatles, wardrobe and hair envy
When it comes to singing the Beatles, which era you choose really doesn’t matter. The beauty of a Beatles song is that they’re all good. It’s the way you sing the song, it’s the arrangement, your stage presence, what you wear… With that in mind, it was a fun night on “American Idol.” I loved the back stories where every contestant said something about the other contestants. I thought it was really cool to show their personalities and the relationships between them, because everybody wants to see that stuff — like who’s friends with whom. A lot of people don’t realize how tight you become with the other contestants.
American Idol: Paul Is Dead
Last night was Beatles night on America’s favorite county fair sing-off, because the girls who squealed for them on Ed Sullivan are now grandmothers, so it’s OK to karaoke their childhoods.
Or something like that! Who knows. Ringo gotta get paid. Paul’s bored. And the other two have been oddly quiet since that rooftop thing. So that’s that. The Beatles. Here we go.
‘American Idol’ Report Card: Who Aced Lennon/McCartney Night?
Seven weeks into the do-or-die tests that are the “American Idol” live shows, our singing students might finally be getting the hang of things. That’s quite a change from week one, when MTV News wanted to hand nearly all of the contestants a failing grade and shove off for an early summer break.
But we stuck around the classroom, and Tuesday night’s John Lennon/Paul McCartney-themed show might have offered the most consistent group of performances this season. Special gold stars go to Crystal Bowersox’s didgeridoo and Lee Dewyze’s bagpipes, both of which added an unexpected world music flavor that had heretofore been missing from the “Idol” curriculum. That’s not to say everyone aced the evening. Mr. Aaron Kelly, we’re looking in your direction.