“American Idol” Finalists Celebrate Music by Carole King – but Who Shined?

This week on “American Idol” the remaining 6 finalists perform to songs by Carole King. She’s had 118 songs hit the Billboard charts, which many didn’t know. She also has had 25 solo records and it’s nice to see them celebrate a living legend. Her songs have been covered by over 1,000 artists. This week Babyface is the mentor.

Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, James Durbin, Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, and Casey Abrams are the remaining ‘Idols’. All I can say is pick your songs wisely!

Jacob Lusk – He chose “Oh No Not My Baby” for tonight’s performance. All too often Lusk has been in the bottom three and more than anyone he needs to do it right this week, or face elimination. Jimmy Iovine and Babyface advised him to put the riffs out there and to move the crowd. Iovine agreed that Lusk is in the most jeopardy. He picked the pace up with his performance and seemed to have gained back his confidence at least. You have to admit the dude has a lot of personal style, and no one sounds like him. But is being completely different a good thing? It can be… Steven Tyler said it was about time he shook his tail feathers. Jennifer Lopez said it was a tricky song, and in little spaces she saw it wasn’t perfect, but said he killed it (huh). The judges could be more helpful in their criticism if you ask me…..in other words stop saying everyone is great (even when they aren’t exceptional in a particular performance.)

Lauren Alaina – She chose to sing “Where You Lead.” Babyface pushed her to sing more high notes and to not be afraid. He said she has an amazing voice. Iovine brought in Miley Cyrus to meet her and to give her advice. Miley said to sing for herself because “people will always talk about you it will never change.” Very good advice. It was cute that she brought a guy up on stage during her performance. She sang and danced about the stage. You have to admit the girl can sing and she has a very endearing quality about her. You want to see her win and conquer – and that’s pretty magical in itself. Jennifer Lopez said she felt her pushing and she liked it. Randy said it was a bit safe and boring but she came up there with a vengeance. Steven said for to block out what others are saying and to keep pushing. I can’t believe Lauren is so talented at age 16, but she is.

Duets paired Haley and Casey together for “I Feel The Earth Move”. It’s more than obvious there is something up between those two. They growled a lot and had fun with the performance. When Haley hit that last high note it was the highlight of the song. Steven asked Casey “so how much in love with Haley are you?” Told you it was obvious. Casey just laughed. After words, Haley admitted they didn’t practice much and someone should tell her – it showed. They had a few moments though.

Scotty McCreery – He chose to sing “You Got A Friend.” Last week Jennifer told him they (the judges) expected more from him. He’s actually the best singer there, if you ask me. He’s always good, and never too out there- very important. His voice still blows me away it doesn’t matter what he sings because he can sing anything. The song was a slow song so credits off for that, but his voice was right on. And it always is. He consistent like that. Randy Jackson told him that it was flawless and showed his tenor tone and called it excellent. He said “Scotty is in it to win it!” Steven commented on his notes and that he never sang better. Jennifer said he’s getting better at reaching the higher register in his voice and that his strength is his story telling.

James Durbin – This week he sang Carole King’s song “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” He said fans requested that song on the “AI” forums. Iovine was very impressed by Durbin’s intensity. He began the song with a stripped down version of the song, with just his voice. Very impressive. I want to see this kid succeed he is so passionate and talented. His performances are always the most exciting, every night. The crowd gave him a standing ovation and it was obvious his performance was the best one so far. Steven Tyler said the performance was beautiful. Jennifer called it “magical.” She said he will be the star of the night and when she thinks back he has had a strong performance every night. Randy said he proved he’s not just a great rock and roll singer but a great singer. Randy said “this guy might just win the whole thing.”

Lauren and Scotty were paired up for a duet and it was the opposite of Casey and Haley’s performance, which is a good thing. They (Lauren and Scotty) were focused on the performance, not flirting (and not practicing). They should have picked a better song though. And it was unfortunate that Lauren out shined Scotty, who I like best of the two. Jennifer said Lauren sang her brains out. I think Scotty should have sang harder or louder, not sure what the issue was.

Casey Abrams chose to sing “Hi De Ho.” Jimmy Iovine said he’s the “kind of singing who thrives on living on the edge of creativity.” His performance was full of stage presence, that is undeniable. His growl is getting old, but his style and performance is right on. Not every time, but most of the time. Randy said “he kept things interesting.” Steven said he works the stage well. Jennifer said he was in his element with the musicians. She told him to loosen up his steps a bit.

Jacob and James performed their duet “I’m Into Something Good.” Their voices are very different from each others, but it worked well, it even made Jacob better than mediocre vocally. The performance was great – full of energy, fun, the vocals were right on, together they were fabulous. That’s the best thing the Idol producers ever did for Jacob Lusk. When asked Steven said he didn’t know where the performance was going. I noticed early on Steven and Jennifer seemed to be in a not as smiley mood. She managed to get her smile back on though.

Haley Reinhart performed “Beautiful” and she liked that it was an uplifting song. Babyface advised her to slow the beginning down and she did instantly- Babyface said “that’s a sign of a true artist.” She must be taking tips from Casey on song choice since Pia’s elimination. Did you notice?? I have because she makes sure to not sing those dull ballad and unlike Pia she knows to sing a good fel good song. Take notes Pia. However, fans already knew Haley could sing. She’s got a one of a kind voice and she is always good and sometimes she’s great. Tonight was a good night for her. She ended the song by hitting every single note she could. That’s why she is still here too. Steven said “he just saw God.” Jennifer called it beautiful and said “you have one of the best voices in this competition.”

Tomorrow Crystal Bowersox and Bruno Mars take the stage to perform their latest hits. And we will see who goes home. Who are you voting for? Who was your favorite singer tonight? Did you vote for them? Share your thoughts in the comments section!