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'American Idol's sixth season might feature Beatles-themed week

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/16/2007 

What better way to impress American Idol's nationwide audience during the Fox mega-hit's sixth season than by having some of its contestants perform songs from the best-selling and most critically acclaimed band of the 20th century -- The Beatles.

For the first time, Idol has received permission to use parts of The Beatles' famed songbook, executive producer Ken Warwick said in yesterday's USA Today.  According to Warwick, Idol received permission from Sony, which owns the songbook's publishing rights.  While certain songs from the "Fab Four" are still off limits, Warwick said that shouldn't be an issue.

"[Sony] said, 'Tell us what songs you want and we will do our best,'" Warwick told USA Today.

A couple of Beatles songs have been performed on Idol in past seasons, but the Fox series has never had access to enough for a themed week, according to USA Today.  However for the sixth season, Warwick said there are "enough songs certainly to get a decent show out of it, and maybe it will be the first show of the Top 12 [finalists]."

Usually artists who have their songs featured in final episodes of Idol also appear on the show to mentor and instruct the remaining contestants.  Warwick said ideally, Paul McCartney or Beatles producer George Martin would be the mentor when The Beatles' songbook is performed, but added no such plans are in place just yet.

"Everyone wants Paul McCartney, and there's a chance this year. It would be fantastic to do the Beatles songbook," Idol judge Simon Cowell recently told Entertainment Weekly.

What?  No love for Ringo Starr?

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