American Idol-Performance Night for Top Five Contestants

On May 4th 2011 the top five American Idol contestants pulled out their best for their American Idol performance night. Jacob Lusk, Haley Reinhart, Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and James Durbin are the top five American Idol contestants after Casey Abrams was sent home last week.

The judges, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, said this year’s American Idol contestants are the toughest to critique due to amazing vocal talent, and they’re looking for the next American Idol at this point in the contest. Jimmy Lovine, American Idol’s onset vocal coach, along with Sheryl Crow appeared as tonight’s mentors. The top five contestants performed two songs adhering to tonight’s American Idol song theme, “Songs From Now & Then,” in a ninety minute show.

James Durbin started the show singing, “Closer To The Edge,” by, Thirty Seconds To Mars. Steven Tyler said, “I think you kicked that song’s ass.” Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson indicated James did well on the updated rock song, as Randy said, “Jame’s is in it to win it.”

Jacob Lusk believes he’s the underdog and selected a duet song, “No Air.” This song was Jordan Sparks, American Idol’s season six winner, and Chris Brown’s duet. The judges believe Jacob doesn’t know where his song style is with his song choices. Randy Jackson didn’t think this particular R&B duet song should be been performed as a solo, preferring Jacob stick to his Luther Vandross style of R&B.

Lauren Alaina sang her country version of Carrie Underwood’s, “Flat On The Floor.” Randy Jackson loved her song style along with Steven Tyler. They believed she found her niche and Jennifer Lopez said, “You ate it up.”

Scotty McCreery and his country baritone voice chose, “Gone,” By Montgomery Gentry. The American Idol mentors, Jimmy Lovine and guest star, Sheryl Crow, loved his song selection. Steven Tyler said, “I swear to God I saw you dancing with the devil tonight, which is a good thing.” Jennifer Lopez was excited about his, “American Idol stuff,” and Randy Jackson thought he was sitting at a concert because Scotty was, “in it to win it too.”

Haley Reinhart, our raspy jazzy singer sang an unreleased Lady Gaga song, “You and I.” Lady Gaga gave her personal permission to perform it tonight. Jennifer Lopez didn’t agree with song choice because it didn’t showcase her well. Randy Jackson said it was risky, didn’t do her any favors. Steven Tyler said, “You’re one perfect song from being American Idol.”

James Durbin got emotional practicing his second song, “”Without You,” written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans. James was thinking of his family, having them leave so he could perform. Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler said emotions can enhance your performance. Jennifer Lopez said, “You have the heart and soul to back it up.” The judges all believed he delivered the song well even with revealing his emotions.

Jacob Lusk returned with a Nazareth song, “Love Hurts.” The mentors wanted him to try a song out of his genre. Steven Tyler said Jacob got lost in the song, and Jennifer Lopez agreed. Randy Jackson thought Jacob redeemed himself with this second song and sang the highest note he ever heard on stage.

Lauren Alaina chose, “Unchained Melody,” a Righteous Brother song, as her song from the past. She wanted to sing her parent’s favorite song. The mentors hoped she could express the emotion of the song due to her young age. Jennifer Lopez said, “There’s nothing to judge.” Randy Jackson said, “You sang like a bird,” and Steven Tyler said,”I could listen to you all night.”

Scotty McCreery performed a sweet version of, “Always On My Mind,” by Elvis Presley, as his second song selection. The mentors said he should stay true to his style and Sheryl Crow said she couldn’t wait until Scotty moved to Nashville. Jennifer Lopez thought Scotty was a true performer. Randy Jackson called him the youngest veteran performer, and Steven Tyler thought the performance was just beautiful.

Haley Reinhart ended tonight’s American Idol performance night with, “House Of The Rising Sun,” by, The Animals. Jimmy Lovine said it was a great fit for her voice. Haley started singing acappella and received a standing ovation by the judges. Randy Jackson called her performance the best of the night. Steven Tyler said it was sweet and sour and that Haley sold the song. Jennifer Lopez said the song was never sung the way Haley performed it.

Tomorrow night is American Idol elimination night, and it’s a tough vote for America. My opinion, Jacob Lusk had the weakest song performance tonight.

You can find further info about American Idol, American Idol contestants, and American Idol songs, at their official website.