It’s Beatles week on American Idol and the contestants have to choose one song from the Fab Four’s vast catalog. Last week, we said goodbye to Curtis Finch Jr. and so only nine contestants remain.
This episode sees Keith Urban proclaiming just about each and every Beatles song to be his favorite, Nicki Minaj back in top form with strong opinions for everyone, from contestants to her parent company Fox, and Mariah Carey exploding with love for her Lambs after being prodded by Ryan Seacrest. Oh, yes — and Randy Jackson is still clumsily accessorizing himself.
Now that I’ve set the scene, I’m already trying to envision what song my girl, Kree Harrison is going to sing.
Mariah steps in wearing a floor-length, gold, sparkly ball gown and Nicki is on time tonight in a fetching bright yellow frock. I love watching male judges, Keith and Randy, escort the ladies to their chairs like good gentlemen.
We are reintroduced to the remaining nine contestants, who return to the stage for smiles and introductions. Lazaro Arbos stands out in his bright yellow blazer and red shoes. Cut to Carly Rae Jepsen and Coca Cola debuting her new song in a little pre-recorded aside. She shows off some formal leather shorts and I’m not sure what’s happening, but mercifully, it ends quickly.
The show kicks off with results of last week’s sing-off between Charlie Askew and Aubrey Cleland. Charlie is, once again, back to his classic Charlie self but with the feather earring a remaining vestige of the newer, edgier Mr. Askew. The winner of the Idol tour fan save is…Aubrey Cleland. Charlie takes it in stride, giving big smiles and hugs. Awww, maybe next year, little guy.
Kree kicks off the performances. Let’s take a look at Jimmy Iovine‘s session with her. We are reminded of Kree’s story of losing both her parents and I fall in love with her even more. She has chosen “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Her country version of the song is unsurprisingly beautiful and I want everyone to vote or her. Kree throws off a gospel vibe and is KILLING it in her sky-high black heels.
I can’t wait to hear what breakfast food she reminds Nicki of. Keith loves that she makes every song her own. On closer inspection, I realize Nicki is rocking a gold dookie chain and medallion and I love it. Meanwhile, Nicki loves Kree’s all-black ensemble and heels. Randy clumsily tries to act like he’s not going to love everything about this performance, but, surprise — he does. (It’s not really a surprise.) Mariah looks imperial and doesn’t even fake the audience enough to boo when she says, “I didn’t think it was good. I thought it was fan-freaking-tastic!” Great acting, Mimi. Let me just write the script for Glitter 2: Electric Boogaloo so we can get you back on the big screen, Miss Lady.
Burnell Taylor is up next. We are once again reminded that he’s from a big, supportive family in Louisiana. Then we get a creepy interaction between Jimmy and Burnell. He takes to the stage in a jacket made of old belts. He delivers his own version of “Let It Be,” and I think it worked to his advantage that he didn’t really know the song, as he really was able to imprint his own style onto it. Take note: By the end of this season, I’m going to be recapping this like I’m some kind of pop music expert. (Secretly, I already believe I am.)
I’m a little sad that Curtis Finch Jr. isn’t here. I would have loved to see what song he would pick.
Nicki kicks off the critique by telling “Burnie” that he “caressed the song.” She loves it all. We then segue to Randy. Where’s Keith? Did Ursula, the Sea Witch, steal his voice? Mimi tells the story of how scared she was that Burnell didn’t know the words but her story has a happy ending because she thought he did great. Weirdly, Keith is at the end but he liked it as well.
Amber Holcomb is next. Love her and can’t wait to see what she’ll be singing. Amber is from the deep country in Texas and she comes from a big, blended family. She’ll be singing “She’s Leaving Home.” I’m already sold when I see the harpist. Legs for days in a short dress, Amber again gives classic Whitney Houston in her performance. Also, I’m partial to string accompaniment. I’m also really liking her makeup tonight.
Randy blabs about how he loves her story. I wonder, is he wearing friendship bracelets? He really needs to stop with the accessories. I guess they’re mixing up the order for the critiques now. I think this is throwing Mimi off because she accidentally asks Amber if she knew the song after Randy already asked her the same question. Keith says it was his favorite Beatles song and loved her take on it. Nicki gives her a little pushback for not doing her trademark lipstick. Amber is, as always, too cute and wins me over some more when she accidentally bumps her mic during her exit interview with Ryan.
Lazaro is up next, and as much as I treasure him, I know he’s going to be terrible. I’m looking forward to it, though. Jimmy gives Lazaro another bubble bath, helping him with his timing for “In My Life.” The poor guy sweats like a BEAST every time he’s on stage. It’s a not great performance, but I swear the minute he starts to talk, he wins every sympathy vote in America. He is handsome too. Mariah kicks it off with the easy let down by praising his “bravery,” but hesitatingly says it was too low of a register for her liking. Keith concurs. Nicki doesn’t feel it and wants him to regain his confidence. Randy calls it Lazaro’s “worst performance ever.” Poor Lazaro is crying, and, of course, I feel terrible for him. Between the sweating and crying, someone needs to get this man a Gatorade, lest he dehydrate himself!
Next is Candice Glover. She’s another one from a big family. I’m glad she’s picked an upbeat number: “Come Together.” Candice is giving straight rock and roll in her tight leather pants. As always, her voice is fantastic. Keith loves it and rocks out. Her take on it is so fresh! I declare her the best of the night. Keith was totally turned on by her performance, as was the rest of America. Nicki calls off her Barbz and gives the critique for Candice to keep her attitude throughout her performance. Randy loved the uptempo choice. Mariah says, “It was like a prize fighter, dahling.” Mimi then notes that she wishes she would have made it even more Candice. Personally, I believe she just needs to fully embrace her Sasha Fierce and run the world.
Paul Jolley comes from humble beginnings and is planning to sing “Eleanor Rigby.” He seems more comfortable with receiving criticism from Jimmy. His is the most dramatic-looking stage with a string quartet. I’m waiting for the Phantom Of The Opera to appear. Nicki is chomping at the bit to get her critique on. She hated the performance, calling it safe, bland and forgettable. Randy didn’t feel Paul really made a connection with the song. Mariah loved the song choice but says he needs to always emote. She ends it with a coy “You never know, darling!” after telling him (Wink! Wink!) to consider doing a dance album. Hmm. Keith tells him he liked certain parts but also didn’t hear the country thing.
Angie Miller has straightened all her hairs for her performance. This young’un is from Massachusetts. She’s going to be singing, “Yesterday.” I kind of wish it were a more rocking choice, but let’s see how she treats this. I predict Nicki will love her outfit. She has a beautiful voice, but I think she needs to go do some living, get a rusty patina on her, and come back after some heartbreak and sadness.
Randy dubs her one of his favorites. Mariah loved it, calling it “respectful.” She dubs the ensemble “Pow!” Keith says he liked it, but felt her emotional connection wavers. Nicki calls it “unbelievably amazing” and then gets bleeped during the explanation that follows. I’m not even sure what she said. I can’t believe I missed that.
I totally forgot Devin Velez is still on the show. He goes to military school in Chicago. Mom’s gold and blue eye shadow effectively steals the show during her interview. She and Zoanette Johnson need to start a makeup line together. Devin’s going to take on “The Long And Winding Road.” Again, Devin is giving me Tintin, but he does well. Mariah thought that he was amazing and, God bless, she needs to go to Toastmasters. Girlfriend needs to stop with the extemporaneous speaking.
Keith loves Devin’s voice, but needs more emotion in it. Nicki’s faces are making my day. She tells him, “Goodnight, Keith.” I love that she calls out “the pianist” and proceeds to say, “Ha! Ha! Ha! Fox!” when they try to bleep her for thinking she said “penis.” Go Nick! She disagrees with Keith and loved the emotion. Randy loved it, saying that Devin got his swagger back.
Ryan, in an attempt to get a rise out of Mimi after Nicki’s pianist gag, evokes the most amazing moment of the show when Mariah gives a shout-out to her Lambs, by noting that unlike some other judges, she hasn’t called out her fans all season. HA!
Janelle Arthur is another small town girl and will be singing, “I Will.” She looks pretty in her white dress and fishtail braid. Keith seems to have loved it. Nicki calls her “a beautiful swan goddess.” Randy thinks it was one of the best performances of the night. Mariah gives classic rambling Mariah with a “thank you for an elegant performance.”
We get a reminder montage of just how great Kree, Amber and Candice were before reminders to vote for tomorrow’s results show.
Tonight, last season’s runner-up Jessica Sanchez will perform her single “Tonight” with Ne-Yo, while Season 10 contestant Casey Abrams (remember him?) is also set to take the stage.
And with that, I bid you auf Wiedersehen till then!