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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

American Idol contestant Caleb Johnson performs Rush's Working Man
10:54PM EST | comments |

UPDATE - 3/6@3:49PM: Here's a post-show interview with Caleb where he responds to the judge's comments and talks about his love of Rush (thanks Eric at Power Windows).

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UPDATE - 3/6@12:54PM: Dave Holmes at Vulture magazine had the following to say about Caleb's performance:

Rush! On American Idol! Weird, wonderful things are happening this season. Caleb is definitely the most committed to putting on a show, and he gives "Working Man" the big-personality treatment that Geddy Lee never could. ...

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Caleb JohhsonUPDATE - 3/6@9:11AM: Here's what Lyndsey Parker at Yahoo! TV had to say about the performance and the judge's responses:

Last week, Caleb professed his love for Rush. That had me stoked, but I still never thought I'd hear a Rush song on "Idol." Ever. I just didn't think the powers-that-be would allow it, or Rush would clear it, or Caleb would take the risk. But this week, Caleb surprisingly took on Rush's "Working Man" - and he worked it, all right. I would have preferred "Tom Sawyer" or "Red Barchetta," but hey, it was A RUSH SONG ON "AMERICAN IDOL," belted with full-gale force, ending with a dramatic collapse to the floor, so I sure wasn't going to complain here. This was kind of awesome. I just wish Harry had thought so. Harry called the performance "predictable," despite the fact that, like I just said, I doubt anyone had ever predicted there'd be a Rush cover on this show. Harry also blasted Caleb for being too "consistent," which made no sense. What's wrong with Caleb being consistent, if he's consistently awesome? Thankfully, Keith and J.Lo were kinder. Keith told Caleb, "You're seriously one of the best singers I've heard in a long, long time," and Jennifer said, "I love you. You're what I've been waiting for all night." Now please excuse me while I (wait for it) rush to my phone to vote 50 times for Caleb.

There's also this higher quality video of the performance (just the performance itself) from the official American Idol YouTube channel (so it's not in danger of getting taken down):

----- snip -----

American Idol contestant Caleb Johnson performed a song from his favorite band on tonight's episode - Rush's Working Man. In the beginning of his segment Caleb explains his choice of Working Man for his Home Week song, telling stories about his hometown and the personal relevance of Rush and the song to him. He concludes his segment by saying that, I'm really excited and thrilled to sing some Rush on American Idol. He then gets introduced by Ryan Seacrest and reiterates that Rush is his favorite band of all time. He then belts out a truncated, 2-minute version of the Rush classic that the judges really liked for the most part. Here's the video (thanks Jamie P) including the intro segment and judge's remarks:

I should note that it was also a timely choice given that this month is the 40th anniversary of the Moon Records release of Rush's debut album, on which Working Man first appeared. To vote for Caleb go here.

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