AI: Let it be, let it be, let Lennon and McCartney be! (Top 9)

So last night was the top 9 show on American Idol and they were performing songs from the Lennon/McCartney catalog. Which is always an interesting show seeing that it physically hurts most lovers of music to see the songs of two of the greatest modern songwriters mangled. Ready for my short and sweet review of last night’s show?

Here we go!

Aaron Kelly “Long and Winding Road”
• He’s not my style, but the vocals are nice, not great • Beginning is a little rough • This performance is boring and schmaltzy • Big note at the end was nice
Randy: great voice; “sleepy” arrangement
Ellen: “You’re fantastic, but that song felt long and winding.”
Kara: good, not great; every week feels like the same performance
Simon: Old-fashioned and boring

Katie Stevens “Let It Be”
• One of my favorite Beatles’ songs, so don’t mess it up! • changes melodic line a little • nice control and tone • a tiny bit shouty toward the end • Big note was a tad flat
Randy: your best performance ever
Ellen: No way you will be in the bottom three
Kara: Great vocal; great attitude
Simon: Great tonight because it was more country; she actually connected with the song

Andrew Garcia “Can’t Buy Me Love”
• Hate, hate, hate what he’s wearing • nice vocals for the most part • like the section of the song when he kind of breaks it down • a few pitch problems at the end • Fun, but nowhere near amazing
Randy: Solid performance, a little corny at times
Ellen: Perfect song choice; loved it
Kara: Don’t know that I saw anything new from you
Simon: Old-fashioned and irrelevant

Michael Lynche “Eleanor Rigby”
• Oh, boy! “Eleanor Rigby”! • Loved David Cook’s version and the original, don’t know if this can match up • hate falsetto at very beginning • good vocals • some enunciation problems, mostly because he’s trying to do too much with each note • Good performance, but there’s still something missing for me
Randy: Not sure all of it worked, but the parts that did were great
Ellen: Huge risk; incredible
Kara: Amazing vocals! You made the song commercial. (Ahem, Kara, “Eleanor Rigby” is ALWAYS commercial and this performance was a bit boring)
Simon: I didn’t love it as much as the other three; it was like a musical

Crystal Bowersox “Come Together”
• There is a didgeridoo on stage! • Didgeridoo is a weird choice but it kind of weirdly works • Not my favorite song, but she might pull this off • Some nice, slight melodic changes that complement her voice and style • Changed song up a bit making it more rocking • Solid performance, the best so far • I’d listen to this on the radio
Randy: Another solid performance, not the best, but still loved it
Ellen: “You never cease to amaze me.”
Kara: One of my favorite performances so far; slinky, sexy, playful
Simon: That’s a performance I could hear on the radio. It just works.

Tim Urban “All My Lovin'”
• Opening vocals were so nice, I was surprised it was Tim singing • I think he got a haircut. . . or a hair helmet • a few problems with pitch • Bit of a Mraz-y feel • Not a very current interpretation, though, in my opinion
Randy: Better than the last couple of weeks
Ellen: Perfect song choice; good performance
Kara: Took some of our criticisms; good job
Simon: Did really well; no gimmics; this suited your voice

Casey James “Jealous Guy” from Lennon’s solo album Imagine
• Didn’t think I knew this song, but I totally do! • Hate Casey’s hair tonight • Love the country-esque performance with the cello • Understated • First time in a long time I’ve felt like Casey was emotionally invested in the song • Bit of weirdness in the way he ended the song
Randy: Loved seeing your sensitive side; a few pitch problems
Ellen: Your best performance to date
Kara: Showed vulnerability and depth
Simon: Best performance of the night so far

Siobahn Magnus “Across the Universe”
• What is she wearing? • Nice control at the beginning • not my favorite song of all the things she could have chosen • By staying very traditional, the song gets boring • Changes the melody a little toward the end and it’s nice • Restrained, which was a pleasant change
Randy: Love the outfit; a little sleepy
Ellen: You are special. Love that this was different.
Kara: You hit the notes and showed control. Very restrained; very polite.
Simon: Stronger than last week.

Lee Dewyze “Hey Jude”
• This is my friend Liz’s favorite song and Lee looks JUST like her boyfriend • This is the first time the gravel in his voice has bothered me • not sure about this song choice • Absolutely great performance because it’s fun and he’s performing • BAGPIPES?! • Felt like a concert even if all the vocals weren’t quite there
Randy: Another hot one for you
Ellen: Confidence
Kara: Good moment and off moments, but overall it was nice
Simon: I wouldn’t have done that (the bagpipes)

Best of the night: Casey James and Crystal Bowersox

In trouble: Andrew Garcia and Tim Urban

My ranking of the performances:
1. Casey James
2. Crystal Bowersox
3. Lee Dewyze
4. Katie Stevens
5. Michael Lynche
6. Siobahn Magnus
7. Aaron Kelly
8. Tim Urban
9. Andrew Garcia

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