David Archuleta, a favorite on American Idol, had his worst night so far in the competition Tuesday, forgetting the lyrics to the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" and getting dreadful reviews from judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, who have grown to expect the best from the 17-year-old prodigy, who has consistently thrilled the panel since arriving in Hollywood.
"That was a mess," Simon said of his rendition of the song, which was also made famous by Stevie Wonder. "At this point in the competition, I expect incredible performances -- it wasn't. It was your weakest performance so far."
Randy's critique was a bit milder but still stung. "This kind of vibe is not your vibe," Randy told him. "It just didn't quite work."
And Paula was the first to call him out for forgetting the lyrics, which has always been a major sin for Idol contestants. "You can never let it show on your face," Paula warned.
Even Archuleta seemed to be managing expectations ahead of Tuesday's competition, the day contestants had to pick from the Lennon-McCartney songbook. "This is definitely the most nervous I've ever been," he said.
After the performance, when asked by host Ryan Seacrest about getting negative feedback for the first time, Archuleta answered, "I just gave it my best shot and I had fun," which is pretty much what all contestants say when they know they've fallen short.
But, as Paula pointed out, "It's okay ... We love you." In other words, one bad night for Archuleta won't likely derail the frontrunner, who has already proven that he can work it out. Michael Becker/FOX