What a bad week.
Instead of being entertaining and current, “Music from the 21st Century Week” was packed with mistakes – bad song choices, bad arrangements and bad judging. Blech.
Casey Abrams' “Harder to Breathe” became the best by default. He roughed up Maroon 5's original and was the only one who didn't make a glaring error and was therefore rewarded by getting to kiss J.Lo. Not a bad trade, though I'm not sure it will keep him out of the Bottom Three.
James Durbin went for it all, with his take on the Muse anthem “Uprising,” even leading with a drum corps. He would've made it if he didn't decide to alternate singing the song an octave high and then regular at the end. Couldn't Jimmy Iovine have told him, “If you're heading up there, big boy, just stay there. No one wants a let down as a climax”? Apparently, not.
Jacob Lusk also swung for the fences with Luther Vandross and missed. He may have gotten thrown off by bad ear monitors at the beginning and never recovered, but his “Dance With My Father” was rocky at the start. He pulled it together with an amazing final run, but it was still a struggle.
Randy Jackson gave him awful advice to “take the restraints off,” which he is hopefully too smart to take. That's not what “Idol” voters are looking for at all, Randy. Thought you liked Jacob.
Lauren Alaina is also no dummy. She sees how well Scotty McCreery is doing by staying in a narrow country safety zone and she decided to join him there with Sara Evans' “Born to Fly.” Not a bad idea, but not thrilling either. The same went for McCreery's take on “Swingin',” which the judges surprisingly called him on.
“I knew it was comin',” he told the other finalists backstage.
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But dude is definitely gonna stay the course right into the finale. (Against Lauren, maybe?)
Stefano Langone was all half-steppin' on Ne-Yo's “Closer,” which was OK, but probably not enough to save him. Haley Reinhart made the right call to growl her way through Adele's amazing “Rolling in the Deep.” She was all over the place – in tune, out of tune, too fast, too slow – but The Growl will survive.
Casey Abrams, “Harder to Breathe”
James Durbin, “Uprising”
Jacob Lusk, “Dance With My Father”
Lauren Alaina, “Born to Fly”
Stefano Langone, “Closer”
Scotty McCreery, “Swingin'”
Haley Reinhart, “Rolling in the Deep”
BOTTOM THREE: Haley, Stefano, Casey
SHOULD BE ELIMINATED: Haley
WILL BE ELIMINATED: Stefano
ACTUALLY ELIMINATED: Stefano