This week seems pretty drama-free.
Barring some sort of crazy vote, Haley Reinhart will finally leave the show, setting the scene for an intense Top 3 showdown between Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and James Durbin.
Haley deserves to go after yet another schizophrenic week, with one awful and one memorable performance. Even fans would have a hard time defending her surly reaction to the judges' criticisms of her preachy, shouty version of Michael Jackson's “Earth Song.” Not only was it a terrible song choice, but she sang it terribly. Her Lady Gaga-inspired, dramatic “I Who Have Nothing” showed off her powerful voice at its best, though she's also not a good enough actor to keep her attitude in check while the judges praised her.
After all, who is she going to beat?
Juggernaut Scotty McCreery? Not likely. Even though Jennifer Lopez kept talking about a sprint to the finish, Scotty continued to lope his way toward the finals with a touching, timely (maybe too timely?) take on Alan Jackson's great 9/11 anthem “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” and a jokey “Young Blood.”
She can't touch James Durbin, even though he had a bit of an off week. His take on Journey's “Don't Stop Believin'” was a little more “Glee” than hard rock, but he redeemed himself with a stunning twist on “Love Potion No. 9” that turned it into a mix of The Ramones and Poison.
And Lauren Alaina didn't just outclass Haley, but she beat out the entire field with her gorgeous, inspirational version of Martina McBride's “Anyway.” It was the best of the night – and her version of “Trouble,” even after her issues with the word “evil” that Gaga handily explained away, was completely fun. In fact, she was so good, she may continue her roll and end up delivering Scotty a shocking surprise next week by landing herself in the finals with James. Of course, she'll need a little help – and a whole lot of eliminated Haley's voters – to make that come true.
BOTTOM TWO: Haley, Lauren
WILL BE ELIMINATED: Haley
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Haley
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED: James
Lauren Alaina, “Anyway”
James Durbin, “Love Potion, No. 9”
Haley Reinhart, “I Who Have Nothing”
Scotty McCreery, “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”
Lauren Alaina, “Trouble”
James Durbin, “Don't Stop Believin'”
Scotty McCreery, “Young Blood”
Haley Reinhart, “Earth Song”