American Idol Recap: The Top 6 Vie to be King of the Stage!

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Which is fitting, since it was Carole King Night

This week mentor Jimmy Iovine brought in back-up in the form of Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. We also got a brief history lesson on just how prolific Carole King has been...and how many songs she has written that you did not know she wrote.

Each contestant sang a solo, and in addition they were paired off into three duets. Which was a little bit odd, but I always like more music, less talking, so I was down with that.

Let's dig in, shall we?

1. Jacob sang "Oh No, Not My Baby"

It wasn't a good omen that, of all the Carole King songs out there, Jacob picked this little-known one. Jimmy Iovine actually went out on a limb and said: "He's an incredible singer but I think he's in the most jeopardy." Which I agree with...well, except for the first part ;) I've noted before that this season has featured lots of contestants who are very, very proficient, equally good, and unlike past seasons, manage to stay entirely on key. But this will be one of the first times I'm gonna use the word "pitchy" this season. Jacob's was frequently off key. His long, sustained notes were way off, only coming into pitch when his annoying vibrato kicked in. This was a train wreck of a performance, and his neon barbershop quartet suit didn't help him out. But, big surprise, STy thought it was "beautiful." Come ON. Has anyone used the word "dreadful" this season? It's almost making me miss Simon, just to get a little less JLo tough love and a little more SCo telling it like it is, with a dash of hyperbole.

Bottom line: Yikes, he has got to be in jeopardy, indeed. Jimmy, you nailed it...at least the second part.

2. Lauren sang "Where You Lead"

They brought Miley Cyrus in to coach Lauren, and her main advice wasn't about singing (probably just as well), but rather to ignore the negative folks. (Is Lauren getting a lot of trolls online? I'm out of the loop!) I love Jimmy I.'s subtle "Lauren thinks of Miley as a big star..." Meaning you don't, Jimmy? Huh? Anyway, on to the performance. I have only one thing to say to Lauren: Stop the wiggling. It's just weird and lame. And don't pull a guy up on stage with you, and then promptly abandon him there while you traipse around. Bad form, Lauren, bad form. When she finally returned to her hapless impromptu stagemate, the ending got sort of cute and spunky, you know, once she finally sat with that poor guy she brought up there and then abandoned. But mostly? This was no different or better than what she has done from day one, and it's gotten really boring by now.

Bottom line: Meh. I do think she deserves Bottom 3.

Duet #1: Haley and Casey sang "I Feel the Earth Move"

It was OK. I can't remember anything about it; you?

3. Scotty sang "You've Got a Friend"

I give Scotty credit for finally picking a song that wasn't overtly country, and for not relying on his cartoon-country-bass tone and just singing in a way that seems a little more natural. He did a pretty good job and even seemed to express real emotion. The S.O. and I agreed it was the most we had liked him.

Bottom line: Well, since *we* liked it, it probably means his usual fan base didn't, but I still think he'll be safe. I am seeing some rumbling amongst BlogHer's Facebook friendsthat they think he might be in the bottom, though...which surprised me!

4. James sang "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"

James took a total Cheap Trick or Whitesnake rock ballad approach to this song, which actually worked. He did a really nice job until the end, when he just couldn't resist screeching. So. not. Necessary. Thinking about it, the a capella opening was very the best part of the performance. So he should do more of that: Sing simply, clearly, purely...his personality will shine through without all those machinations.

Bottom line: I assume he's safe.

Duet #2: Lauren and Scotty sang "Up on the Roof"

American Idol duet
Image courtesy FOX

Oh, ouch. This was painful. He was off-key every time they sang harmony.

5. Casey sang "Hi-de-Ho"

It was fine, but it didn't have any focus. There was lots of growling and shaking and wild eyes. And, come to think of it, he always seems like he's gotta go to the bathroom. I thought these antics might work against him last week, and they didn't, so maybe America has embraced his mannered performances.

Bottom line: Not sure. I think he could be at risk again.

6. Haley sang "Beautiful"

She sounded pretty great, and she brought a lot of dynamics and versatility and yet faithfulness to the song to her performance. She still doesn't have a lot of intention around her movements, gestures or how she walks around the stage, but I like listening to her.

Bottom line: Once again: Haley should, by all rights, be safe. But she's been in the bottom so much, I gotta think it's inevitable.

Duet #3: James and Jacob sang "I'm Into Something Good"

which made me literally say out loud: Whatever.

I mean, I like Carole King, but it honestly doesn't make for a dynamic night of television, particularly the songs they chose. My other viewing companion is a huge Carole King fan, and her favorite of the night was Haley...and she has not liked Haley at all this season. So, that's saying something. Not sure what, but felt it was worth sharing the perspective of a big King lover.

So King lovers represent: Did the night do her justice?

Bottom line for the Bottom Three:

Should be: Jacob, Lauren, Casey with Jacob going home.

Will be: Jacob, Haley, Lauren with Jacob going home.

But what do you think?

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