It was almost as if it was inevitable. By the end of the Top five results show, although there was a moment of uncertainty (because one never knows until the final reveal), most “American Idol” viewers were undoubtedly expecting 23-year-old Jacob Lusk to be sent home. With power rankings placing him in the last position among the Top 5 and oddsmakers giving him the least chance to win the competition, it was anti-climactic when host Ryan Seacrest finally announced that the California gospel singer was the finalist eliminated for the week.
But before he got to sing his farewell song, Lusk had to share some uncertain moments with 16-year-old Lauren Alaina. When Seacrest finally got around to revealing who the Bottom 3 contestants were, he didn’t. It was the Bottom 2. And he got there after the group sing (The Turtles’ “Happy Together”), a more lame than the usually lame Ford commercial, a two-part “American Idol” meets “Hell’s Kitchen” cook-off (chef Lauren won Chef Gordon Ramsay over with her southern-styled omelette), Lady Antebellum’s live debut of their latest song (“Just A Kiss”), judge Jennifer Lopez’ live debut of her international No. 1 smash “On The Floor,” and J-Lo again with a teaser clip from her latest single “I’m Into You” (ft. Lil Wayne).
Prior to the two Jennifer Lopez segments, Seacrest had placed Lauren on one side of the stage and James Durbin on the other. Mentor Jimmy Iovine critiqued the young finalists, noting that Durbin needed to get better control of his emotions, but Lauren might fall victim to her obvious lack of confidence.
Post-J-Lo, Iovine critiqued Jacob Lusk, stating that when someone loses confidence on stage, everyone notices. Seacrest placed Lusk with Lauren.
Haley Reinhart, who had received a standing ovation for her rendition of “House of the Rising Sun” the evening before, got a 10-ranking from Iovine, who added that if she kept up that type of performance, she was a “lock” for the finale. She was sent to join Durbin on the other side of the stage.
All of which left 17-year-old Scotty McCreery. Iovine said his two performances on the Top 5 show were stellar and he could see Scotty going on to an “extraordinary recording career.” Seacrest followed the glowing critique by telling the North Carolina teen that he was safe for another week. He then asked him to go stand with the couple that he thought was safe, but Scotty declined.
Seacrest then led him over to stand beside Durbin and Reinhart. He then revealed that the three are safe.
Lauren by this time has become an emotional wreck. Jimmy Iovine had predicted she would be in the Bottom 2 and now she was. It probably did not help her state of mind when Seacrest stated halfway through the show that the results might surprise some. But fellow Georgian Ryan Seacrest rescued her from her misery by telling Lusk he was at the end of his “American Idol” journey.
Lusk sang “A House Is Not A Home,” a song he had received rave reviews for earlier in the season. He seemed more than up to the task and even a bit relieved to finally get away from the pressure, having fun with the song’s end, playfully scatting, screaming (for James Durbin’s benefit), and simply carrying on — much to the delight of the judges and the audience.
“American Idol,” Fox Television
“Top 5,” AmericanIdol.com