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Idol Chatter With Brian Gary

What a night on American Idol last night! The theme was “something old and something new” and it may have been the best show of the year so far. Tonight’s elimination show should be riveting. Jennifer Lopez will perform as well as Lady Antebellum who will sing their new single “Just A Kiss” and one of the five will be sent home. Last night each contestant performed 2 songs, one from today and one from the 70’s.

James Durbin
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

James Durbin, who I have always felt was a lock for the top 2, knocked out the judges with his version of 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Closer to the Edge” and a very emotional version of Harry Nilsson’s “Without You”. James broke down singing “Without You”, saying it makes him miss his family so terribly bad. The crowd loved him and the judges say he is “in it to win it” but I honestly felt it was the most off key he has ever been. I felt he tried too hard to play in the crowd and forgot to really sing it. I love James but if we are going on last night’s performances alone, he could be in the bottom 3.

Jacob Lusk, who is an amazing singer but annoys the heck out of me sometimes, did the Jordin Sparks/Chris Brown tune “No Air” and Nazareth’s classic rocker “Love Hurts”, an all time favorite of mine. Jacob is blessed with incredible pipes but I am just not a big fan of the type of songs he does. I don’t see myself ever being able to listen to a whole disc of his music. He sang very well but I just didn’t get into it. The song “Love Hurts” should be delivered with a bit of heart felt pain but it sounded like he was in actual agony, like he burst his appendix at the end of the song. He will be in the bottom 3.

15 year old Lauren Alaina continues to get better and better and better. This week she knocked me out with Carrie Underwood’s “Flat on the Floor”. She totally owned the stage, looked fantastic and has improved every single week. She rocked it big time. Her second tune was the challenging “Unchained Melody”. It was very nice but not mind blowing in any way. Although I loved her, she could be bottom 3 bound.

Scotty McCreery
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Scotty McCreery again showed me he is the man to beat even after last week’s less than stellar performance. Scotty flat out tore up Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone” and tastefully tackled the old gem “Always On My Mind”. I am blown away at his stage presence. This kid is ready to be a country star today and should safe of elimination tonight.

Haley Reinhart was the final contestant and was hit and miss for me. Her first song was an unreleased song by Lady Gaga called “You And I” which no one in the audience had ever heard before. I am not sure that was a good idea. She sounded ok but doing a song no one knows is not a good way to get into the finals. Haley’s second song was “House of the Rising Sun”. I didn’t think that I ever needed to hear that song again. I have heard it sung by so many people over the years and didn’t think there was anything I hadn’t heard done with the song before. WOW! I was so wrong. She turned in one of the best vocal performances I have ever seen on American Idol and has now made her a contender for the title. When she picks the right song she is as good as anyone who has ever been on the show. Watch the video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=035GStnLOaI

My prediction for tonight…Scotty and Haley will be safe with Lauren, James and Jacob in the bottom three. Jacob will be packing his bags tonight.

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