Over 125,000 people auditioned for this season of “American Idol” and no we’re down to the last six. Expecting an entertaining show, pieces were stepped up a notch in the final stages. Check out how the contestant’s performed:
Jacob Lusk was first up for the solo performances. The outfit of plaid blazer, yellow shirt, bright blue vest and purple and green striped bow tie was terrible but his cover version of “Oh No Not My Baby” was vintage Lusk, lively and fun. Steven seemed to blurt out something he might have wanted to kept hidden: “Jacob! See, we all knew you could sing!” Well, yeah Steven – but if you hadn’t noticed that before, it doesn’t look good for Jacob! Randy also complimented Jacob with “You really brought yourself back, you had an energetic performance, and you sung.” Actually, does that even count as a compliment since this is meant to be a singing competition? More of an entry requirement, I would have said!
Anyway, then we were on to Lauren Alaina. She sang “If You Lead (I Will Follow)”. It was a great song choice for her. “I’m so proud of you right now… I felt you pushing and those barriers are hard to break for performers,” Jennifer said. Less good was picking an apparently random guy from the audience to cozy up to but at least it was performing. Randy was encouraging, saying, “Lauren, continue to go hard for it.” I’m not sure what Steven said. Something about manifesting light. I didn’t get it but Lauren got all teary-eyed so I guess it was good. But guess what? Miley Cyrus visited Lauren Alaina, everybody!
At this point, given that we are told Casey and Haley have the real life hots for each other, we had to give a little squeal of excitement as the night’s first duet was Casey and Haley with “I Feel the Earth Move.” They rocked and there sure does seem to be something between them! Steven of course had to mention it: “Hey Weird Beard! How much in love with Haley are you? Come on, it showed man, it showed.” Altogether now…. Awwwww!
Scotty McCreery chose “You’ve Got a Friend,” which we would have predicted. But the sweet and gentle take on a great classic was a little out of the box for Scotty and I for one loved it. OK, I always love Scotty, I know. But the judges loved it too. “I don’t think you ever sang better… you still had that country thing that Scotty’s so good at, but you took it somewhere else, and I loved it,” Steven said. “When we hear you sing a song like that, that’s why we couldn’t let you get away with what you did last week,” Jennifer said. “For me, the strength for you is always in the storytelling, and you told that story beautifully.” Oh yeah and he sang it straight to me with his “buttery baritone” that Randy loved!
James Durbin gave me the first real goose-bumps of the night, though. He proved he’s a singer, not just a rock singer, with his stripped down version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.” And yes, James, I will still love you tomorrow but you’ll have to share my heart with Scotty. James began his performance a cappella. He went to rock later, but softer than last week and it was a great success with the judges. “I really liked the beginning of that — you had me sold right from the beginning,” Steven said. “I thought from the beginning it was magical,” Jennifer said. “This guy just might win the whole thing,” Randy predicted before running up on stage to hug James. Check out James’ performance below.
The duet between Lauren and Scotty on The Drifters’ “Up on the Roof” was as cute as pie, especially Scotty’s eyebrows! But it didn’t have the electricity charge of the Casey and Haley duet.
Next up for his solo was Casey Abrams. He sang “Hi De Ho” in the old school jazz club style that Casey does so well. It took Randy back to New Orleans. “I’m excited every time you’re up there because I know I’m gonna see something different and entertaining,” he said. Steven was in a playful mood to show his joy: “It’s the best mother… lovin’ show I’ve seen… you made my scalp itch it was so good,” he said.
Haley Reinhart was up next, singing “Beautiful” but she didn’t sing all that beautifully. Definitely not her best performance in y opinion but the judges were much more impressed. “I just saw God, I heard God in your voice… you nailed it just now,” Steven said. Wow! Huge compliment! “Beautiful, you have one of the best voices in the competition,” Jennifer said. She does, if you like that kind f thing, but I don’t think she showed it last night. “I didn’t love the beginning, but I loved the end,” Randy said. Yeah, I did too – when it finished.
Much more interesting to me was how James Durbin closed the show with Jacob Lusk. They sang “I’m Into Something Good” and there was plenty of hip action to keep us entertained. Their accosting Jennifer Lopez mid-song was just hysterical. It was camp but it was fun!
All in all, last night’s “American Idol” gave us a crop of pretty decent performances, so it will be sad to see someone go today. Unless it’s Jacob Lusk. I could bear that. His early slot and forgettable performance may just seal his fate, but maybe people will vote for his outfit.
What do you think? Will Jacob’s early slot see him sent home?