It was one of those rare “American Idol” weeks where no one messed up.
Top to bottom, they all did pretty well, though some have clearly topped out and others are showing some wear.
Jacob Lusk was thrilling on “You're All I Need to Get By,” taking the judges' and mentors' suggestions and crafting a vocal arrangement that was understated (for him) and played to his strengths. (“You made us beg!” Jennifer Lopez said, referring to the delay Lusk built in for his power notes.)
James Durbin got off to a shaky start on “Living for the City,” but quickly righted himself and picked up momentum until he powered to a close. He's delightfully unpredictable, much like Paul McDonald, who was nearly as interesting on “Tracks of My Tears.” Casey Abrams, on the other hand, wasn't quite unpredictable enough on “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” though he did turn in a nice enough performance to keep going.
Pia Toscano was, once again, spot on, with the powerful ballad “All in Love Is Fair.” She does it so well that the judges are wondering if she can do anything else. It's kind of an unfair question, since they aren't looking for the same variety from Scotty McCreery, who was charming as usual, but not quite right with the countrified “For Once in My Life.” They should be able to do what they do best and see what happens.
Thia Megia took the judges' advice and went for an upbeat song instead of a ballad, doing OK with “Heatwave,” though her pure voice probably would have done better with something slower. Naima Adedapo showed how well something faster can play, especially with the dance elements that set her apart properly used in “Dancing in the Streets.” She may have danced her way out of the bottom three.
Lauren Alaina has kind of plateaued at meh-level and that continued with “You Keep Me Hanging On,” while Haley Reinhart has plateaued at a level slightly below that. Stefano Langone is still learning and you could almost see him fight to keep his eyes open to better connect with the audience during “Hello.”
Will the possibility of greatness keep him in or will the audience judge him for what they've seen? I think the possibility will allow Langone to keep hope alive and keep him safe for now. And maybe America will finally realize that Reinhart isn't all that good.
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Jacob Lusk, “You're All I Need to Get By”
James Durbin, “Living for the City”
Pia Toscano, “All in Love Is Fair”
Paul McDonald, “Tracks of My Tears”
Casey Abrams, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
Naima Adedapo, “Dancing in the Streets”
Scotty McCreery, “For Once in My Life”
Thia Megia, “Heatwave”
Lauren Alaina, “You Keep Me Hanging On”
Stefano Langone, “Hello”
Haley Reinhart, “You Really Got a Hold on Me”
BOTTOM THREE: Thia, Lauren, Haley
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Haley
WILL BE ELIMINATED: Haley
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED: No one (!)
ACTUAL BOTTOM THREE: Thia, Stefano, Casey
LOWEST VOTE GETTER: Casey
UPDATE: This was a straight-up crazy results show. I actually thought Casey may be sick on camera. Apparently, America thought Casey was safer than he was. What a coincedence that Jennifer Hudson was the guest, considering how shocking it was when she was cut from the show in her season.