American Idol 2013: Top 9 Performance Show Recap: The Lennon-McCartney Songbook

American Idol 2013 Top 9

Tonight the American Idol 2013 Top 9 takes on songs from the John Lennon/Paul McCartney songbook. And I’m here once recapping it live!

This is a theme that has been done before, but one can’t complain when it’s this theme. Let’s just hope the contestants dig a little deeper and try to not do the usual songs.

As always, I’ll review each performance and assign the letter grade I think each deserves. Please feel free to do your own critiques in our comments section below!

American Idol 2013 Top 9 Performances 

Kree Harrison, With A Little Help From My Friends. Great song choice. I never picked this song for anyone in my song suggestions because I never expected anyone to ever do it. So I’m thrilled she did it. Of course this was more like the Joe Cocker version than the Beatles, which is understandable because it allows her to show how powerful her voice is. Her performance was fantastic. I’m kind of surprised they started with her. They usually save the great ones for later. Grade: A

 Burnell Taylor, Let It Be. I really wanted Burnell to sing Blackbird. Mostly because Let It Be is too predictable. And it just didn’t fit right with Burnell’s style. I still think he’s very talented and unique, though. I just wish he would have gone with another song. Grade: B+

 Amber Holcomb, She’s Leaving Home. I didn’t love the song choice. I’m glad it’s not a predictable Beatles song, but I thought it was kind of boring for Amber. The vocal was good, of course. There was some very powerful moments. And they were balanced out by some sweet and tender ones. Pretty solid. Grade: B+

Lazaro Arbos, In My Life. Wow. If I get any flack for the grade I’m about to give this guy, re-watch the episode and listen to that opening. That might just be the worst singing on Idol since William Hung. And the arrangement was as bad as the vocals. And this is my favorite Beatles songs. This was so bad. Sorry, America. You might like his story, but he’s not very good. Grade: F

Candice Glover, Come Together. Not a single person has even come close to picking a song I thought they would/should. I’m a Candice fan, but I have to say I was not looking forward to this song for her. But in the end, I liked seeing an edgier, rock-ish side of Candice. The arrangement, however, was kind of messy. Candice is amazing and can’t really do wrong, but this wasn’t my favorite performance of hers. Grade: B+

Paul Jolley, Eleanor Rigby. This was better than I thought it was going to be. The beginning vibrato was a bit shaky, but it got better pretty quickly. I think I’d argue that this was Paul’s best performance to date. And I wasn’t bored for the first time of the night. I don’t know why, but I’ve been bored a lot tonight. What was Nicki talking about? These judges this season are ridiculous. How can I think it’s his best and they don’t? They were harder on him than they were Lazaro. Grade: A- 

Angie Miller, Yesterday. OK, the vocals were fantastic. But I didn’t really get a connection from her. I feel like she was acting in a Broadway show. But I can’t deny how great she sounded. And we all know she’s poised to win this, so I really don’t think I should spend any more time critiquing her. Grade: A-

Devin Velez, The Long And Winding Road. This was definitely won of Devin’s best performances. It was so effortless and tender. He’s a great singer and I have no idea why he’s not registering with fans. Maybe he needs to go more upbeat. Because this wasn’t upbeat in the least. But I liked it. Grade: A-

Janelle Arthur, I Will. I admit that I haven’t gotten the Janelle love so far, but I liked tonight. I don’t the performance warranted the pimp spot, but Idol is very calculated this season. They put her in that spot to boost her votes so that the guys drop some more and one of them is sure to be eliminated again. Grade: B




  1. 1. Kree Harrison – “With A Little Help From My Friends”
    2. Burnell Taylor – “Let It Be”
    3. Amber Holcomb – “She’s Leaving Home”
    4. Lazaro Arbos – “In My Life”
    5. Candice Glover – “Come Together”
    6. Paul Jolley – “Eleanor Rigby”
    7. Angela Miller – “Yesterday”
    8. Devin Velez – “The Long and Winding Road”
    9. Janelle Arthur – “I Will”

  2. Burnell did a nice job, not surprisingly. The judges loved it as well. I’m going to wait to hear Branden critique the song choice.

  3. I liked all the performances so far tonight. Obviously the contestants must be putting Nikki’s moronic advice on disregard to be doing so well.

    • Candice, please DON”T put on a CRAAAAAZY FACE as the dolt Nikki suggests. Unlike Nikki, your singing is so superb that you don’t need the gimmicks that Nikki has to use.

      • why does nikki comment on the background singers and musicians? they aren’t competing. She makes me want to vomit.

      • It’s a nice thing to do. They don’t get recognized very often, so it’s nice to point them out.

      • The backup singers and musicians aren’t competing per se, but they are certainly supporting the singer who is. If they don’t give a great performance then the singer doesnt have much chance of succeeding. Many of the performances tonite would have been very different without the backup vocals and band.

  4. So far very dissappointing performances imo.
    Kree – Unexpected. I think she sang it better than Ringo ever did.
    Burnell – Let it Be. I wish he chose something more upbeat too.
    Amber – An unpredictable choice which is good, but not really right for her. It was kind of blah and she can do so much better. She even looked unhappy singing it.
    Lazaro – Nikki hit the nail on the head tonite with her comments. What an awful performance and its such a shame because the song is a great one, but not for him. He was singing way too low and it was almost hard to understand some lyrics. Poor Lazaro. He may have blown it tonite.
    Paul – Oh no way. What a weird rendition of that song.

    • Sounds like a typical pity response to me. Thinking like this is what Has Lazaro in the competition in the first place, he is not good enough to be in the top10. Some much better singers were sent home because they pitied Lazaro.

      Just look how they reacted when Lazaro was upset by the judges critique. It was “oh poor Lazaro”. In the past if someone got upset by the judges critique it was “they need to toughen up, it’s worse out there in the business”. Why the extreme difference? Pity.

      The fact is he is just not that good. His story is awesome and he really is a good singer, just not top 10 material. To delude him into thinking he is better than he is seems like a horrible injustice to me.

      • NOBODY feels good about giving Lazaro an “F” on his performance. I think your opinions are valid.
        Lazaro seemed to rely on Jimmy’s advice. He said he had originally chosen a different song for himself and only had 1 day to learn the new one. Jimmy also knew Lazaro was having trouble with the song in rehearsals. But, Jimmy is no dummy so who’s to blame for Lazaro’s performance?

        Looking at the performance subjectively it does rate an “F” unfortunately.

  5. My problem with Devin is two fold, I don’t like the Spanish mixing even though that’s part of him. Tonight i didn’t like the Song Choice, maybe if it was something like Get Back. The Long and Winding Road to me is an excellent song for a Pianist such as Angie or Archuleta.

  6. Angie – I still say she will never top the performance of “Set Me Free” covering other artists’ songs and she definitely didn’t with Yesterday.
    Devin – The Long and Winding Road. I called this one because its perfect for him. He did an outstanding job. The best so far tonite.
    Janelle – I Will was really unexpected but I think she did a great job. If I didnt know I would believe that was written for her.
    So 2 great performances out of 9. Pretty sad considering the available song choices.

  7. Idk about you guys, but I’m pretty sure Angie will get eliminated and saved Jessica Sanchez style. Why? Well for one, like Sanchez she is extremely overrated. For two, she peaked way too early and ever since then has been giving performances that were good but not great, just like Sanchez. For three, it happens every year. Last year with Jessica and the year before with Pia. Idol even has it set up so that they have to use the save or else they won’t have enough contestants left to make it to the date of the final, so I think even they saw this coming. You heard it here first.

    • Several people have said basically the same thing about Angie many times over, including myself. I dont agree that Jessica Sanchez is overrated in any way.

      • Here’s my thinking. Sanchez was better than Angie and it happened to her, so why not again? And as for Jessica being overrated, the judges definitely overhyped her and were saying she would win during top 13 week, a bit too early to be making those predictions. While I do think she was deserving of the judge’s save, she wasn’t perfect. She was flawless vocally, but she didn’t really connect with the audience and made some terrible song choices. Either way, she didn’t stand a chance against Phillip, who I thought would win ever since I saw his audition. The producers really want Angie to win, and will probably be very conservative with the save this season just in case she falls to the bottom of the pack.

      • jessica and joshua were the only great talents last year.. Phillip was just a guy who can plays a guitar.. soul and r&b are now gone, since people nowadays prefer songs that they themselves can sing. Jessica wasn’t over rated but was overly praised.. because vocally she was better than philipps who can’t even do some riffs, runs, belting and hold a long note.. but still he deserves the win.. all of them did. angie is just okay for me.

  8. I think Branden is on to something with the “calculating” aspect of Idol this season. Clearly they see the money machine of Kelly K and Carrie U and desperately want a female winner. Even the judges seem to be on the bandwagon of bashing the boys and gushing on the girls. (although some of those girls are certainly deserving of the gushing)

  9. For anyone who said lazaro wasn’t terrible, listen too it again, he was absolutely awful

  10. My rankings for tonight
    1. Candice Glover – best cover, rock & groovy, she hit high notes and made her own
    2. Kree Harrison – I’m usually not a country lover but Kree has a great voice, sings with the heart effortless, always feels the song and has a really good presence on stage
    3. Angie Miller – Great performance but over played it. Too dramatic, too Broadway style
    4. Amber Holcomb – Great voice, and really good interpreter
    5. Burnell Taylor – I have always been bored with him, until today. Even if Let It Be is a safe choice, he made the song its own, did a great job with it. I liked it.
    6. Devin Velez – I think too it was the best performance he did so far.
    7. Paul Jolley – I don’t get him. Even if he does have vocals, he is too over exaggerating, and I don’t like his presence on stage. But for me, this song was better than usually
    8. Janelle Arthur – She usually has good vocals, but not this time I think. Her cover was really cheesy and boring.
    9. Lazaro Arbos – Like Nikki, I really enjoyed him until the live shows. From there, his great voice and stage presence disappeared. It was off key, and really boring. I suffered.

    FYI, I like all those people. I just critic and give my opinion about their performance.

  11. janelle was great too. its so sweet and nice to the ears.. 2 country girl singers in the competition.. i love country music..

  12. The competition is between Kree and Angie. Not only are they polished, but vocally, they are tops. For me, Burnell is running slightly behind them. Burnell has a very unique voice and exciting stage presence. Lazaro has lost his steam, let his defeat get to him tonight, thus he needs to go.

  13. Candice tonight wasn’t the best but made the bravest choice and showed again why she is the front runner in this competition so far. What can’t she do? Has a fantastic voice, great musicality, and seems willing to tackle anything.

  14. Paul was terribly underrated tonight. No it wasn’t a perfect performance, but you have to give him props for stepping out of the box a bit and giving a very strong performance. I think he had one of the strongest performances of the night. Overall everyone had a pretty good night of performances except for Lazaro. I love him, but he just didn’t deliver and he should be the one going home tomorrow.

  15. I hope you choke on a hot dog. Your grades are pathetic. How do you give Paul Jolley and Angie Miller the same grade. You are pathetic. Go rot.

  16. Yeah it was Paul Jolley’s best, but it was a C+ at best. Angie Miller was fantastic. Should have given an A+.

    • It would have been more of a blessing if Nicki was so late she missed the show. She is the one that needs to be sent home, she usually says something so sick and disgusting that I will no longer let my kids watch the show.

      • No question Nikki makes plenty of stupid comments and some of what she says doesnt belong in family viewing time. That nasally voice she often adopts and that ridiculous british accent she uses are nothing but annoying. She doesnt have any real talent for singing. Have u seen any of her music videos? Definitely dont let your children watch.

        But, I have heard some spot on and insightful comments from her. They are mostly buried deep in the crap, but they are there.

  17. My Bottom 3 would be:

    Amber Holcomb(8th Place) SAFE
    Bottom 2:

    Devin Velez
    Lazaro Arbos

    ELiminated: Lazaro Arbos 🙁

    No Favoritism!

  18. Ranking Predictions:

    1. Candice Glover- Grade A 93%

    2. Kree Harrison- Grade A 91%

    3. Angie Miller- Grade A- 89%

    4. Burnell Taylor- Grade A- 87%

    5. Janelle Arthur- Grade A- 87%

    6. Paul Jolley- Grade B+ 84%

    7. Amber Holcomb- Grade B 79%

    8. Devin Velez- Grade B- 73%

    9. Lazaro Arbos- Grade C 62%

  19. I disagree with Branden. Best of the night for me was Janelle. Why? She didn’t blew us with high ranging notes but she just proved that she doesn’t need to do those notes for her to make a moment on the show, and tonight her performance was million times better than last week.

  20. Devin needs to change his image. He looked great tonite and he should stick with that style rather than the silly bow tie/sweater thing. He has an amazing voice. If he makes it past this week, He’s got to make himself more appealing visually to the teeny bopper crowd that does the majority of voting.

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