A Bit of a "Hard Day’s Night" for "Idol" Singers

Finalists take on the Lennon/McCartney songbook

By Craig Berman
|  Tuesday, Apr 6, 2010  |  Updated 9:15 PM PDT
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A Bit of a "Hard Day’s Night" for "Idol" Singers

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Crystal Bowersox had the "Idol" performance of the night.

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Crystal Bowersox had both the performance and the quote of the night as the remaining nine “American Idol” finalists took on the Lennon/McCartney songbook Tuesday night.

Bowersox sang “Come Together,” not the most risky choice in the world but a song she really nailed. Even with a bit of cold, it was the most downloadable song of the night, and I’m not just saying that because it also featured a guy named Ernie playing the didgeridoo and trying desperately to stay on the stage as long as possible.

But her moment of the night came later. With only nine singers to fill the two hour block of time, “Idol” filled the extra minutes with extended video intros that featured the finalists talking about each other. Not surprisingly, they all get along, but few get along as well as Andrew Garcia and Lee Dewyze, who clicked in Hollywood and have hung out ever since.

When Dewyze came up to close the show, the video clip saw the rest of the finalists commenting on their closeness. “I’m so glad that (Lee and Andrew) can be together and get married and have lots of little Danny Gokey babies,” Bowersox said.

Hello! Pretty sure that means we can cancel the Bowersox-Gokey concert tour plans.

In worse news, that friendship may be tested soon, because much though it pains me to say so, Garcia is the most likely choice to be heading home.

It’s not that Garcia was terrible. His “Can’t Buy Me Love” was entertaining, in a Vegas wedding singer kind of way, and he was endearing as always. Plus he looked like Buddy Holly with the 1950s hairdo, glasses and guitar. He also got to see his fellow competitors slam Simon Cowell for saying he had no personality, which was a weird comment for the judge to make in the first place. But it also wasn’t very inspiring, and didn’t play to his strengths.

 

Who else is in danger? Maybe Aaron “Yoda” Kelly. No, really, that’s his nickname, and you gotta admit it’s pretty perfect. Like the Jedi Master, he’s short, curiously powerful and a little nerdy. Also like Yoda, he’s unlikely to be around for the final battle, except in spirit.

As Ellen DeGeneres said, his “Long and Winding Road” sounded like a long and winding song. Plus he sang first, and if any of his fans had to go to bed before the voting lines opened he could be in trouble.

Also unable to sleep without worry will be Katie Stevens, even though Ellen told her, “There is no way you’ll be in the bottom three.” Her “Let It Be” was fine, and everyone with the show is probably hoping not to lose the fourth girl in four weeks here, but she’s been in the bottom three the last two weeks, so she has a lot of ground to make up.

She may have an ace in the hole, though. Ryan Seacrest noted that five different people had asked her to prom — and what’s up with that small number? All of the rest of you high-school males have dates already or something? — and she said that anyone interested should send her their phone bills and she’d go with the one who voted for her the most. So now would be in good time to buy stock in mobile phone companies, since those text messaging costs can add up in a hurry, and the parents never find out until it’s too late.

Another singer to watch is Siobhan Magnus. The judges told her not to scream this week, and she obliged with a tender and technically correct “Across the Universe” that probably managed to cause those who prefer her as a rocker to wonder what was up. But then she teared up when Simon asked her why she had chosen the song and she talked about her little sisters, causing the British judge to step back with his “Uh, what in the world just happened?” face. It was a nice bit of insight into her personality, and even if her fans are put off by the change of style, she doesn’t need to worry, as the judges would surely save her if it came down to it.

Notice who I haven’t mentioned? That’s right ... Tim Urban got a nice bit of praise from the judges for “All My Loving,” perhaps in the hope that the reverse psychology would cause people to stop voting and send him home. He’s growing on me though — not in a “he’s a serious contender” way, but rather with more of the “he’s no Sanjaya” vibe.

That leaves only the three guys who have no worries about going home tomorrow. Lee wasn’t great vocally, but he showed his best stage presence so far, demanding and receiving a bagpipe player to accompany his “Hey Jude.” Why would he want a bagpipe player? Who knows? But “Idol’s” resident worrywart — like we needed any special insider access to tell us that? — doesn’t need to lose any sleep over the performance.

 

Michael Lynche tried to do way too much with “Eleanor Rigby,” but is anyone really ready to send the big guy home? I thought not. But he did have a strange expression on his face when Randy complimented the arrangement as being current because the judge could see it on something like “Glee” — perhaps because that was considered an insult when applied to Tim Urban in a previous week.

Finally Casey “Goldilocks” James gave the patented James performance in “Jealous Guy.” It was very nice and very well done, and I would have forgotten it existed if not for my notes. He’s a guy who really needs to break out one of these weeks, but he’s safe for now, because as Ellen told him, “You have a great voice. And pretty hair.”

Craig Berman is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/craigberman.

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