American Idol – Recap & Review – Beatles Night

photo: fox

photo: fox

American Idol
Beatles Night

Original Air Date: Mar 20, 2013

Patricia Morris Buckley — Sr. Staff Writer
pmb@thetwocentscorp.com

It looks as though America is not going to forgive Charlie Askew for that one bad performance. He clearly out sang Aubrey Cleland last week in the competition for what they’re calling the Fan Save, which snags the winner a spot on the Idol Tour. And Aubrey got the spot.

The singers couldn’t have asked for a better choice of songs than the Beatles catalog. Surprisingly, several didn’t know the songs they chose. I understand they’re young, but any serious musicians should know two of the biggest songwriters of all time.

KREE HARRISON: “Little Help From My Friends”
Going first isn’t going to help, neither will her cold. But she changes it up via the Joe Cocker version, slowing it down a touch. You can’t tell she has a cold. It is very good, but she doesn’t really have any money notes.
KEITH loved that she’s always herself and doesn’t think she’ll have any problem moving forward.
NICKI thought the choices she made really worked and she’s becoming a superstar in front of their eyes.
RANDY agreed that it was “da bomb.”
MARIAH didn’t think it was good, but “fan-freaking fantastic.” Ah, the old fake out critique.

BURNELL TAYLOR: “Let It Be”
He didn’t know this song? He doesn’t reach into his guts to connect with the song, preferring to sing it as a pop song. He goes for a few unnecessary runs that detract for the beautiful, simple melody. It’s very good, but he could have made it great.
KEITH said he has the most immediately recognizable tone in the competition.
NICKI said he caressed the song and she liked the raspiness and rift that make her feel like she was in church.
RANDY could tell Burnell didn’t know the Beatles, but felt that he made it his own.
MARIAH thought he gave a heartfelt, genuine performance.

AMBER HOLCOMB: “She’s Leaving Home”
This is a great song for showcasing a voice. This is her best performance yet, with soaring notes and an emotional delivery that belies her young years (is she 15 or 16?).
KEITH said it was his absolute favorite Beatles song and she made the 46-year-old song sound fresh.
NICKI praised her “unmatched” vocals but didn’t like the song and she needed to act as though she loved singing the song even if she doesn’t like it.
RANDY thought it started slow and unsure, but liked when she hit the power notes.
MARIAH called her performance fearless.

LAZARO ARBOS: “In My Life”
He is really off key and off rhythm. You could see the nerves cutting off his emotional connection. He cried when the judges gave him harsh (but well deserved) criticism. (Although with him, I find a doubt how genuine he is.)
KEITH said choosing a key is important because the right key plays to the sweet spots in his voice.
NICKI believed he no longer has the confidence he had before and she needs it back.
RANDY said it was his worst performance ever and he’s not hitting it on all cylinders vocally.
MARIAH commended him on his bravery but thought it was a little low for him and lacked intimacy.

CANDICE GLOVER: “Come Together”
She is almost too good for this show. The depth and richness of her voice is amazing. She definitely makes small changes to make it her own.
KEITH loved the different, rock chick vibe and said she killed it.
NICKI also loved the vocal but always wants to see the attitude on her face.
RANDY said her voice was crazy and loved that she did an up tempo, even though she has a big voice good for ballads.
MARIAH compared her to a prizefighter and said she murdered the song.

PAUL JOLLEY: “Eleanor Rigby”
He is making leaps and jumps in this competition – and people like to see someone get better. He’s really reigned in the dramatics hits some killer notes. I think it was his best performance by far. The judges totally disagreed with me.
KEITH wasn’t a fan of falsetto note at end, but liked the pop sound to his voice.
NICKI didn’t like his performance because it was safe and forgettable.
RANDY thought best when hit sweet notes at end, but felt a disconnect.
MARIAH thought it was a great song choice but he needed to connect more.

ANGIE MILLER: “Yesterday”
I liked the update of her hair. Taking it slow and straight forward, she really showed off the purity of her voice. She did a gorgeous job.
KEITH thought there were moments where he could see her thinking, then she stopped and just sang and then back again.
NICKI said it was unbelievably amazing and she was smart to pick a higher key. Nicki said that she could do anything.
RANDY called it a stellar performance that was strained and emotional.
MARIAH said it was a respectful version yet she showed her voice with its simplicity.

DEVIN VELEZ: “The Long and Winding Road”
This song really shows of the sweet clarity of his voice. He nailed it.
KEITH loved his voice but still missing a little more emotional connection – needs to see his heart to engage well.
NICKI thought he did connect emotionally and it was truthful.
RANDY loved that he brought the swagger back and it was great.
MARIAH didn’t have words for how good he was and thought it would be a travesty if he didn’t move on.

JANELLE ARTHUR: “I Will”
She makes it a country song. She could have a hit with this version. But she has a few affects in her delivery that I found annoying and would keep from listening to it again. Don’t care for the Cleopatra dress with cowboy boots.
KEITH said she has a country thing in her voice that’s always present and she really knows who she it. He called her performance beautiful.
NICKI wanted to renew their vows and said she looked like a swan goddess. She said that honest performance made fall in love more with Janelle.
RANDY called it one of the best performances of the night and amazing.
MARIAH said it was sweet and beautiful.

MY RANKINGS:
Candice Glover
Angie Miller
Kree Harrison
Amber Holcomb
Devin Velez
Janelle Arthur
Paul Jolley
Burnell Taylor
Lazaro Arbos

I really think it’s Lazaro’s time to go (actually, I didn’t think he should have made the Top 10). He really didn’t do well after several weak performances.

Who was your favorite? Who did you think should get the boot? Do you think Aubrey did better than Charlie? Give us your TwoCents…

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