American Idol may have its resident rock legend – Steven Tyler — on the judges’ panel, but Stevie Nicks showed the Idol Top 9 a thing or two as the mentor on last night’s (March 28) “personal idols” episode.
Nicks handed out the sort of free-spirited musical advice one would expect from a singer most often associated with the word “gypsy,” but she didn’t stop there. Her compliments were generous, with her telling guitar-slinging contestant Phillip Phillips that had he been alive in 1975, he would have been friends with her and Lindsey Buckingham, and “Mick Fleetwood would have said, ‘I want all three of you to join Fleetwood Mac.’ No doubt in my mind, because you’re that good.” So what inspired such a strong reaction from Ms. Nicks? Phillips’ performance of “Still Rainin’” by Jonny Lang. Watch below.
Nicks just had to add that Georgia native Phillips is “gorgeous,” which seemed to set off Nicks’ former producer and flame, Interscope head Jimmy Iovine, who serves as Idol’s mentor in residence. “We’ve got it, he’s gorgeous, OK? Why don’t you say he looked like Jimmy?” Iovine retorted. Nicks’ response is one for the ages: “You were gorgeous, and still are. You had the little Greek body of life — you were darling, and you still are.”
But “gorgeous” Phillips wasn’t the only one who impressed Nicks, who unsurprisingly took a liking to raspy-voiced rocker chick Elise Testone, who impressively belted through Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love.” “If I needed a singer, I’d hire her in a second,” Nicks noted. Steven Tyler added that Testone would have made Robert Plant proud. Watch her version of the Zeppelin classic below.
Nicks was also taken with country-tinged contestant Hollie Cavanagh, who brought Nicks to tears during their practice session of Carrie Underwood‘s “Jesus, Take The Wheel.”
What’s an episode featuring Stevie Nicks without a Fleetwood Mac tribute? Some of Nicks’ favorites — Phillip Phillips, Elise Testone and Colton Dixon — performed a medley of “Landslide,” “Edge of Seventeen” and “Don’t Stop.” That’s not intimidating or anything. Watch below.
Nicks has a busy spring ahead of her, just announcing a handful of solo dates before she kicks off more dates alongside Rod Stewart on July 20 in Cleveland.
–Jillian Mapes, CBS Local