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.
Last night's episode lacked an innovative, stand-out performance, but it did feature a few words of encouragement from Sir Paul, who's currently showing everyone how it's done on an incredible solo tour: "I just want to say get out there, go for it, enjoy yourselves!" Everyone did get out there — even a didgeridoo player and bagpiper hit the stage. Here's how it turned out:
Ones to Watch:
• Casey James admitted he got choked up during his performance of "Jealous Guy" when he focused on ... being a jealous guy. Easy to see why Kara DioGuardi said he showed "depth." But seriously, Simon nailed it when he called his tune "the best performance of the night so far."
• Aaron Kelly's boring "The Long and Winding Road" led me on a short and direct journey to my remote to see what was happening on The Biggest Loser.
• Katie Stevens' straightforward "Let It Be" had the judges gushing and Simon hallucinating (he claimed credit for leading her in a "more country" direction. Was that country "England"?).
• Andrew Garcia's "Can't Buy Me Love" was so loungy, Simon didn't bother comparing him to a wedding singer — he compared him to a wedding guitarist who steals the mike for a number.
• A few things that really happened during Michael Lynche's "Eleanor Rigby" segment: he revealed his singing family went by the name "the Lynche Mob"; Randy Jackson said, "I love that you're feeling yourself"; Simon sort of dissed musicals, then had to backtrack and say "we like Glee."
• Crystal Bowersox was drawn to the "fun groove" of "Come Together." And nothing says "fun groove" like Ernie on the didgeridoo!
• Siobhan Magnus had a bizarre judging, too: after a sleepy, operatic "Across the Universe" she nearly cried and was hugged by an audience member named Earl who booed Simon's critique.
• Lee DeWyze decided to jazz up his otherwise dull dorm-room version of "Hey Jude" with a bagpiper. The best part of his segment was the pre-taped bit where the contestants joked about him having "Danny Gokey babies" with best pal Andrew Garcia.
Thanks for the Memories:
• Tim Urban admitted he "decided to do something different with my hair." Like make himself into a shaggy Beatle? Last week, he got criticized for having no vibrato, so on "All My Loving" he opted to warble every single note. If Vote for the Worst doesn't keep this guy on the show, his time should be up.