Coldplay frontman Chris Martin put American Idol contestant Arthur Gunn in his "place" on Sunday night with a scathing review of Gunn's take on the classic ballad. During a pre-performance rehearsal, Martin scolded Gunn for completely changing the melody of "In My Place" in an attempt to make the song his own. "Funny enough, I always thought the melody was the best bit -- and that's the bit you've thrown away," said the rocker.
With Chris Martin on hand as a mentor for the Idol Top 7, contestants were asked to put their own stamp on Coldplay songs during Sunday night's episode. But Gunn, the Season 18 runner-up brought back as part of last week's "Comeback" twist, seemed to go a step too far with his decision to alter the melody, rendering the song basically unrecognizable. Martin was clearly floored, but after making his disappointment known, he changed tact and encouraged the contestant to take the risk.
"Some people are very protective of the original. And I feel like, no, the nature of music is that it's an ongoing conversation," said Martin, as they wrapped up their session. "It's water moving. So I think what you're doing is brave, and I'm all-in."
Unfortunately for Gunn, Katy Perry (and viewers at home) weren't quite as generous. "One thing to know about artists, we're very stubborn. I think Chris was saying it kindly -- like, the best part of that song is the melody," said Katy Perry. "But of course, you are Arthur Gunn, and you do it your way ... But sometimes it is about playing along, just a little bit. Because I did want to sing along with you, Arthur, and I didn't know that melody."
Later, Gunn was voted off American Idol, bringing his controversial, weeklong tenure to an end. One could say the Idol stage isn't his place, after all.
American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.