I've got to say, this elimination process is going to get harder. This is a very talented group of kids and I think it's going to come down to who has the best week. Everyone has to be on their toes from now on.
Let's do this.
Jacob Lusk - "Man In The Mirror"
First of all, I thought that the backup singer to Jacob's right was Naima at first glance and almost yelled at the TV, "No fair!" But I realized it wasn't and saved me from myself. Second of all, say what you want about MJ, but the guy made some incredible music. (Same with Elton John from last week. Dude is probably off his rocker but is a musical genius.) Now to Jacob. This was a pretty flawless performance for me vocally. I don't think there were any pitchy spots and he didn't really over-sing more than the song needed to be. It was a great performance. At this point, we all know what Jacob can do and we all know what we are going to get from him each week. Now, we need to be pleasantly surprised each week.
Haley Reinhardt - "Piece Of My Heart"
Last week was Haley's coming out party. I think she really kind of found her niche and she continued that this week. I'm glad that she chose and Janis Joplin song so that it would shut everybody up. I usually don't like the Yelly McScreamy on this show. However, this is a good vibe for her. It looks good on her, she does it well, and people respond to it. One of her best performances to date. And J-Lo was digging it.
Casey Abrams - "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" (I realized Thursday morning that I put Casey James instead of Casey Abrams and I had to laugh a little because, y'all, Casey James was some good scenery last season.)
I love this song, especially during a baseball rain delay. But I also loved Casey's sound on this. He has the perfect voice for this song and he performed it very well. Another thing I love about Casey is that yes, we always know what we are getting with him, but in a completely different way than the other people that I say this about on the show. You always know that he's going to change it up and you never know when he's going to pull out the upright bass. Tonight, I felt like I was watching a Casey James concert. I think this is exactly the type of music he would record. And again, I love the grit and softness that he mixes together.
Lauren Alaina - "Natural Woman"
I love seeing this mature side of Lauren. And it's not too mature in the case that she's singing way older than her age but her voice and tone is very mature so she's in a sense matching that. This was a great performance for me. It was good to see her wail on a song that isn't an upbeat poppy tune for once. She followed some big shoes considering Kelly Clarkson crushed this song in season one. I don't think it was quite up there with Kelly's version, but she is definitely getting her confidence back and it's showing.
(If the performances keep going like this, it's going to be a hard elimination this week.)
James Durbin - "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
This was a great change of pace for James. I actually enjoyed the slower performance from him. It was good to see him kind of rein in his energy and deliver a controlled performance, considering he's been all over the venue the last few weeks. I think he just had a moment on the stage, emotionally and artistically. Dangerous move, but a good one.
Scotty McCreery - "That's Alright Momma"
Ok. If I closed my eyes, I'd say that this was a great performance. He sounded great. Always does. But there was something about his mannerisms that I just didn't connect with. I found them a little distracting. I kind of wanted to whisper to the TV, "Hey Scotty, just stand there and sing." It was a great performance, but it just tickled me.
Pia Toscano - "River Deep, Mountain High"
Oh. My. Wow. She just killed an upbeat song. This girl will be in the finals. No doubt. That's it.
Stefano Langone - "When A Man Loves A Woman"
Dear Stefano, will you marry me? Check yes or no.
That was incredible. I loved the falsetto at the beginning and the runs at the end and everything inbetween. So good.
Paul McDonald - "Folsom Prison Blues"
Paul just delivered a true Nashville performances. This was a great take on a great classic and he delivered it well. It fit his style, looked good on him and was entertaining. Great way to end the show.
Best of the night: Pia and Stefano
Worst of the night: Comparatively speaking, Scotty
In trouble: Scotty, Haley, Jacob (Again, comparatively speaking)