American Idol: What Should the Season 12 Top 9 Sing for Lennon-McCartney Week?

american-idol-season-12-top-9-singersAmerican Idol is getting a major theme upgrade for next Wednesday’s Top 9 performance show (8/7c on Fox), going from what was essentially Mawkish Idol Victory Anthems to the Lennon-McCartney Songbook. Now if we can avoid the seventh rendition of “Imagine” in Idol history and/or the heinous countrification of “Eight Days a Week,” we should be in for a kick-awesome time, yes?

PHOTOS | American Idol: Advice and Dream Set Lists for the Season 12 Top 10

With that in mind, here are my picks for what the Top 9 should tackle on Wednesday. Peruse the list, then hit the comments with your own suggestions!

Candice Glover: The Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” (could be kind of Winehouse-ian for her, no?) or The Beatles’ “Revolution” (yeah, it’s a rock track, but there’s a ton of soul bubbling underneath it and it’s time for Candice to take a risk)

Janelle Arthur: The Beatles’ “All My Loving” (not hard to envision with a tiny bit of twang)

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Kree Harrison: John Lennon’s “Just Like Starting Over” or The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus” (c’mon, it’s no less wacky lyrically than “Come Together,” which was great for Carly Smithson, Kris Allen and Crystal Bowersox)

Amber Holcomb: The Beatles’ “Lady Madonna” (sounds odd on paper, but if Amber let loose and riffed on this, it could be amazing)

Angie Miller: The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (take it to the piano, girl!)

Lazaro Arbos: Paul McCartney’s “My Love” (but you know he’ll do “Imagine”)

Burnell Taylor: John Lennon’s “Instant Karma (We All Shine On)

Paul Jolley: The Beatles’ “Nowhere Man

Devin Velez: Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson’s “Say Say Say

Any of my picks sound good to you? Any of ‘em miss the mark? Let me know down in the comments, and do share the results of your own brainstorms, too!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Adam Fachry says:

    I always love Lennon-McCartney week! And even though it probably wouldn’t happen, I hope they don’t choose the obvious ones (e.g.: Come Together, Let It Be, Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby) since The Beatles along with both Lennon and McCartney’s solo careers have like an extremely vast oeuvre. My choices:

    Candice – Dig a Pony (would totally take her out of her comfort zone and some of the notes at the beginning of the song could be transformed into her own by doing some jazzy runs. OMG I can already imagine her nailing the A-a-a-I dig a pony parts with some Fitzgerald or Aretha flavor!)

    Burnell – Penny Lane

    Kree – Well Well Well (John Lennon) P.S.: The “she looks so beautiful I could eat her” will probably be a bit too much for a PG–or is it G?–show like Idol. But I wanna see Kree bringing her rock side like she did on her victory song performance with Susan Tedeschi’s Evidence.

    Devin – The Back Seat of My Car (Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney)

    Paul – I’m Looking Through You

    Amber – Here, There, and Everywhere (with a Supremes or Ronettes-like Phil Spector arrangement)

    Janelle – Love Me Do

    Lazaro – For No One

    Angie – Happiness Is a Warm Gun

  2. teatime says:

    Lazaro is the most underrated singer in this competition. He has a very smooth, easy delivery. I hope he picks a great song that lets him shine this week.

    • Timmah says:

      I think he’s the most overrated. He couldn’t sing his way out of a paper bag.

      • teatime says:

        Doh! I meant DEVIN. Ha, ha. I can’t believe you are the only one who called me on this. When I read that you said “he’s the most overrated” I thought, “How can you think Devin is overrated.” *face palm*

        • Timmah says:

          Well I agree with you then :). Devin is the real sleeper in this competition IMO. He reminds me a bit of Clay Aiken.

        • HitTheGroundRunning says:

          I was wondering why you were starting go on about him being the most under-rated. Wondering and wondering haha.
          Now it makes sense.

  3. teatime says:

    I am surprised at all the unusual songs people are suggesting for Amber. So far she is the Whitney-wannabe of this season. I hope she has it in her to start really fighting for this title. Lord knows we need someone to shake up this competition. But so far she has not been at all inventive in her song choices.

    • Mikko Makitalo says:

      I realize, that my suggestion (Medley from Abbey Road) for example was quite unusual, but Amber is my favorite, and I would find performing that Medley innovative and fresh (Steven Tyler killed it) and I would love to hear it by Amber, because she can do that. I think she was very “unusual” and fabulous in “Funny Valentine”. After that her song selections have been extremely poor, but she is still the 5th in the ranking, because her singing is like miraculous. I think she could be the nr 1, if she was able to select better songs.

      • Name That Tune says:

        As Michael has pointed out, Amber lacks an understanding of Musical History ir the art. She sings Whitney and “A Moment Like This” because it is what she knows. Her performances are always pretty straight forward with no variation or creativity in the melody or the delivery. Whatever she chooses, it will be something familiar and it will be delivered in a sterile package. It will be pretty, but boring and safe. If Jimmy I wants to keep her around, he would advise her to take some risks because the top 3 girls have done this in spades.

        • karen says:

          How does she “lack an understanding” of music history when she did so well with “Funny Valentine?”

          • Name That Tune says:

            In her delivery and her choices. She sounds lovely but I’ve been underwhelmed by the choices she makes. “A Moment. Like This” requires that you sell it. She didn’t. She has a pretty voice but I never believed her.
            She’s competing against 2 very skilled singers in Candice and Kree. They both have chosen songs we’ve heard before. Each makes choices that make their delivery interesting. I’ve watched Candice performance of I who have nothing a dozen times. It still gives me chills. I feel nothing when Amber dings A Moment Like This. At least make me believe you are having a moment.

  4. Team Lazaro says:

    I don’t have a problem if Lazaro does imagine I saw him do it on youtube and I loved it

  5. mamamitzvah says:

    I am up for whatever songs they choose as long as they do them justice.
    OT: Does anyone else think Curtis got the boot for being so obnoxious during the group performances? :)

    • Shawna says:

      Probably, Mamamitzvah. But hey, who cares? At least he’s GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Name That Tune says:

      And will Nikki back up her threat and leave? ‘Cuz that whole charade was irksome. Who made her the princess who calls all the shots? And when it is Amber going home won’t she wish she used her save on her instead of Curtis?

  6. Jane says:

    Good Choices but you’re fooling yourself. They will preform the same tired Beatles songs they always sing. The only real surprise is who will win the war to sing Imagine. None of these kids strike me as Beatles fans. So, if it hasn’t been prefomed on idol already you probably ain’t gonna see it. I love the Beatles and even I am tired of “Beatle’s Night.” How about a Bob Dylan or Paul Simon night? Or, Willie Nelson night would be awesome or since the success of Elise and Haley singing Led Zepplin, why not a night of their songs? I would love to hear Candice sing Fool in the Rain or Angie sing Thank You, Cree All of My Love, etc. There are other great 60’s rock bands!!.

    • HitTheGroundRunning says:

      I wonder if they would allow a Led Zeppelin night. I’m not 100% sure if it is true, but I heard that any contestant on these shows has to be personally, individually approved by the band as someone they like and think might have a shot to pull it off well.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      Or a Beach Boys week. One of the true sources for American pop gems. Basically, a Pet Sounds week alone would already be marvelous.

    • Mikko Makitalo says:

      True. To have week of any of those artists would be awesome. But I am still looking forward to The Beatles, because they have tons of good songs. The Beatles theme week, I think, is not the reason why some people feel tired, but it is because some of their greatest songs (Imagine, Let It Be) have been covered so often – wheather it is a theme week or not – in every reality tv singing shows, that you do not care to hear for example those two songs anymore again and again.

  7. I like the idea of them going through the catalog, but something tells me the obvious choices will be prominent.

  8. Evan says:

    Ha- you’re absolutely correct that Lazaro will sing “Imagine” because, ironically, he has the least imagination of any contestant when it comes to song choice.

    And if Angie doesn’t sing Let It Be, I’ll eat my hat. It’s the only major Beatles song that relies on the piano.

    • Adam Fachry says:

      It does, but imo a lot of the Beatles songs are flexible enough to be stripped down. My choice for her (Happiness Is a Warm Gun), in particular, could be re-arranged with just the instrumentation of piano and would sound just as great. I’m not sure if that kind of rendition has been done before, but it sure as hell would be amazing.

    • CAS says:

      “The Long and Winding Road” was originally written for just piano. All the “wall of sound” orchestra/chorus stuff was added onto it later in production.

    • Shawna says:

      And wouldn’t you agree that “Hey Jude” is very piano-centric?

  9. Kody says:

    Kree – Blackbird – I think this could be an amazing song choice for her.
    Candice – Come Together- If she could turn this into an upbeat growly performance, similar to Carly Smithson, it could be the bomb!
    Angie – Let It Be – To me this is the perfect song choice this week for Angie.
    Janelle – Yesterday – A pretty balad that isn’t too big for Janelle.
    Amber – Oh Darling – Amber was the hardest to pick for this week for me. But, this song is a big belter and I think she could do her thang with it!
    Devin – Imagine – A very beautiful song, for a beautiful voice. I really think he could have a moment with this song!
    Lazaro – The Long and Winding Road – This is about the only song I could see Lazaro doing this week. It fits his well.
    Paul – Jealous Guy – I think this is the song that Paul NEEDS to do in order to keep himself in the competition for a while.
    Burnell – We Can Work It Out – We’ve not seen this side of Burnell, so this song choice is just based off of pure interest of him doing something up beat.

    I really hope Jimmy gets in there this week and helps these kids pick some clever songs this week.

  10. Betsy says:

    Whenever one of the contestants starts singing “Imagine” I’m changing the channel. I don’t care who it is.

  11. Name That Tune says:

    I hope that nobody chooses Imagine, Michelle, Hey Jude or Let It Be. All have been overdone or lack enough in melody or lyrics to help these singers shine.
    Whatever Candice or Kree chooses, it’s sure to be interesting. The others will struggle with delivering something unique and interesting. The word karaoke comes to mind.

  12. Guitar Blue says:

    Even the karaoke crowd grew tired of these songs years ago, and you seldom see them used anymore………………………………………………………………………………..

    Current pre-performance power rankings of the top 9 ———————————————————————Level 1 = Angela, Candice & Kree ———-Level 2 = Amber, Lazaro & Janelle ————Level 3 = Burnell ————— Level 4 = Paul & Devin. One of the level 4 packs next Thursday. There will be no save.

  13. Kevin B says:

    How about…

    Burnell – #9 Dream or Eleanor Rigby
    Janelle – Here comes the Sun
    Kree – Things we said Today
    Devin – Mother
    Lazaro – The Long and Winding Road (although he will likely do “Imagine”)
    Angie – We can work it out
    Candice – Hey Jude or Good Day Sunshine
    Paul – Something
    Amber – Fool on the Hill

  14. Team Lazaro says:

    I wanted a rascal flatts theme for years now I guess I can forget about that because they’ll use the same old themes over and over

  15. James A says:

    Enough with these songs that are old enough to be my grandmother!

  16. Dan says:

    Where is the next idology? It is already Monday and it hasn’t come out.