Ryan Adams Befuddles American Idol Judges


Videos by American Songwriter

“I don’t know Ryan Adams,” Jennifer Lopez admitted on American Idol last night, “and I know a lot of music.”

It was idol night on the program, where contestants chose to cover a song by their musical hero, and Nashville-based rocker Paul McDonald chose alt-country balladeer Ryan Adams. After spending the day working on the song with Don Was and Jimmy Iovine, McDonald performed Adams’ “Come Pick Me Up,” from Heartbreaker.

McDonald employed his trademark vocal rasp, and danced a goofy dance that had Ryan Seacrest imitating him after the judging. As for Steven Tyler and J. Lo, they hoped and fretted that “America gets” what McDonald was trying to do. Randy Jackson, however, “loves Ryan Adams,” and name-dropped Wilco and Whiskeytown. Yeah, Dawg.

Adams’ next record, the limited-edition EP Class Mythology, is due April 16.

What was your favorite performance from last night? Ours was Haley Reinhart singing LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue.”


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  1. My favorite was Stefano. He not only finessed the notes with ease and accuracy, he had a clarity of tone and expression that brought the telling “goosebumps.” he sang his butt off! I was so proud of this young man and his determination and GRACE!

  2. Horrible interpretation of an awesome Ryan Adams song. Love that this guy chose a great artist, but he did not pull it off at all. For the record, this is the second time an Adams song has been on Idol. Blake Lewis also performed a horrid version of “When the stars go blue” a few years ago. Wish someone could come a little closer to Ryan’s awesomeness.

    And JLo is on another planet, jamming out to Stefano, I don’t get what that dude has going on at all. I’m befuddled by him and so it makes sense to me that JLo has no idea who Ryan Adams is…. could she try to muster some humility though? He’s a fucking fantastic artist, kind of like herself (I guess).

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