Despite rapturous feedback from the judges, for me there were only a few standouts as "American Idol" did Motown.
James Durbin was fantastic and managed to challenge Jacob Lusk (who continues to compete on his own private level), while Pia Toscano was the best of the rapidly-dwindingly, mostly mediocore pool of women.
Let's hope we have another finals night like the first soon, when a bunch of people blew us away. Maybe if there was less happy talk from the judges, the contestants would actually be motivated to try something great?
Below is how I rated everyone. Put in your own thoughts in the comments.
1) Can James Durbin win this whole thing? His infectiously happy "Living for the City" had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand -- he takes chances, he's never the same twiceand is approaching Adam Lambert level.
2) Jacob Lusk had us "begging" according to Jennifer Lopez with "You're All I Need to Get By." He was totally in control and would rate first every week except we're judging him against his own high standards.
3) Pia Toscano went big as always on "All In Love Is Fair," but as Randy Jackson said, "you can't live by ballads alone." We want more, just not always more of the same.
4) Adorable Thia Megia busted out a little on "Heat Wave." I hope we get to see the full package soon in the finals that she flashed in the semis.
5) Lauren Alaina was pretty good on "You Keep Me Hanging On." It could've been great but she never really let loose.
6) Scotty McCreery may have just done his country thing again on "For Once In My Life," but he's fun to listen to -- and as Randy Jackson said, he's a "ladykiller" who knows his audience.
7) Paul McDonald missed a golden opportunity with "Tracks Of My Tears." For whatever reason, it didn't move anyone.
8) Stefano Langone tried too hard on "Hello." He should just listen to J.Lo: "Don't want the intensity to come from you wanting to do well, want it to come from your heart is breaking."
9) Naima Adedapo may have wowed the judges with "Dancing In the Street," but for me she hid the joy in the song somehow.
10) I don't like Casey Abrams as much as the judges -- he did his usual trying too hard on "I Heard it Through the Grapevine." I just never feel like relistening to him.
11) Haley Reinhart dazzled the judges with "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," but I didn't think the song or the outfit fit her.