"American Idol" paid tribute to The Beatles on Wednesday, March 20 live performance show where the Top 9 had to sing songs from the legendary band's catalog. Sharing his thought on the challenge, Jimmy Iovine said, "There's no gimmicks needed. If you sing these songs well, they'll deliver for you. On the other hand, if you don't sing them well, the whole world is going to know."
Kree Harrison was the lucky number one, choosing "With a Little Help From My Friends". Her version resembled the Joe Cocker cover and Keith Urban predicted she would not have any trouble getting by tonight. Nicki Minaj said, "You have just started to become this superstar in front of our eyes." Mariah Carey commented, "I didn't think it was good," before adding, "I thought it was fan-freakin'-tastic."
Burnell Taylor opted to go with "Let It Be" though he didn't know the song. He turned it into a gospel-infused ballad with a gospel choir backing him up. Nicki liked it, saying, "You didn't even sing the song, you caressed it." Randy Jackson praised Burnell for making the song "your own."
"She's Leaving Home" was Amber Holcomb's choice, and Jimmy was sure Amber wouldn't be sent home this week. "It started a little slow and unsure for me," Randy commented, adding that it got better in the middle of the performance. Keith said Amber made the song "fresh," but Nicki thought her vocal "unmatched" the song.
Lazaro Arbos covered "In My Life" and he had some pitch issues. Keith advised him, "Choosing the key of a song is really important." Mariah admitted "it's so difficult to perform a song written by [John] Lennon and [Paul] McCartney," and commended him on his "bravery." Nicki noticed that Lazaro's "confidence is different now," as Randy said it was Lazaro's "worst performance ever," leaving the singing hopeful in tears.
Candice Glover used her strong vocal to tackle "Come Together", and Keith thought "that was absolutely killer." Nicki praised Candice's vocal, but criticized her facial expression. Randy chimed in, "I don't know what's going on in your face, but the voice is crazy." Mariah called it "a prizefighter."
Paul Jolley chose "Eleanor Rigby", and Nicki said the performance was "very, very safe, very bland and very forgettable." Mariah advised him to give more emotion to the song and would like to see him doing an uptempo, dance-oriented pop song. Keith, on the other hand, wanted to hear the pop-rock side of Jolley's voice.
Jimmy worried that Angie Miller would over-sing "Yesterday", but Randy thought she did hold back. Mariah said Angie did a very respectful version of "Yesterday", but still showed her voice. Keith told Angie to stop thinking and just sing, but Nicki had nothing but praise for Angie.
Devin Velez's rendition of "The Long and Winding Road" amazed Mariah. Keith wanted Devin be less laid back and connect more emotionally, but Nicki thought he's already connecting emotionally. Randy advised him not to use too much swagger.
Janelle Arthur turned a lesser-known Beatles song "I Will" into a countrypolitan ballad. "You know who you are. You're pure, you're true, and I thought that was really beautiful," Keith gushed. Randy called it "one of the best performances of the night," and Mariah felt like Janelle had been listening to the advice from the judges.
Earlier that night, it was announced that Aubrey Cleland defeated Charlie Askew for an 11th spot on "Idol" summer tour.