When you think of the Lennon/McCartney Songbook, you think didgeridoos, bagpipes and cellos, right? No? Well, then, lucky you, you’re brain hasn’t been addled like this year’s “American Idol” Top 9, the show’s musical director, and, apparently, the judges.
It’s so crazy that the judges kept going on about how “relevant” these versions of Lennon/McCartney classics are and how they are ready for the radio, considering how the originals have been radio staples for more than four decades now. No bagpipes needed. They are great songs. Staying faithful to them is pretty much the smartest thing you could do.
And who figured that out first? Tim Urban, of course. Teflon Tim continued to play to his constituency, singing the sweet, peppy “All My Loving” and came up with his best performance yet. It was so not-awful, in fact, that he may find himself out of the Bottom Three.
As far as the leaders, Casey James did have a great moment with “Jealous Guy,” when he genuinely looked like he connected with that song, magnified by his acoustic, stripped-down version. Crystal Bowersox had some fun with a Melissa Etheridge-ish take on “Come Together” that shows that the others need to do something spectacular just to keep up with her and her odd choice of didgeridoo. And Lee Dewyze kept “Hey Jude” as a growly, crowd-pleaser until his bagpiper showed up.
Siobhan Magnus kind of outsmarted herself by wringing everything interesting out of “Across the Universe,” though maybe she was trying to balance out her odd outfit. Her defiant defense would have worked better if she had put more of that into her performance. Michael Lynche outwitted himself too, combining a bland arrangement with an outsized delivery of “Eleanor Rigby.” And Andrew Garcia pretty much ruined his chances for a comeback with an odd, blues-rock take on “Can’t Buy Me Love.” No, no, no. NO!
The only thing worse than that was the teens’ idea that they needed to pick the most age-inappropriate songs for themselves. Aaron Kelly picked “The Long and Winding Road,” making it seem dreary and boring since he had no connection to any of the sentiments other than the “long and winding” part. Katie Stevens took on “Let It Be,” as if she had that kind of gravitas. She doesn’t and her revelation that she’ll pick her prom date based on his phone bill and number of votes for her, just doesn’t make her seem any more endearing. At least they didn’t sing “When I’m 64.”
Casey James, “Jealous Guy”
Crystal Bowersox, “Come Together”
Lee Dewyze, “Hey Jude”
Siobhan Magnus, “Across the Universe”
Michael Lynche, “Eleanor Rigby”
Tim Urban, “All My Loving”
Aaron Kelly, “The Long and Winding Road”
Katie Stevens, “Let It Be”
Andrew Garcia, “Can’t Buy Me Love”
BOTTOM THREE: Andrew, Katie, Siobhan
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Katie
WILL BE ELIMINATED: Andrew
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED: Um, no one. Michael saved by judges.
PHOTO: American Idol Top 9 by Fox.