Seven are left and tonight they sing songs from the 21st Century. In other words, songs you have probably been hearing on the radio recently.

Opening number with the six who had been eliminated was lame at best. Paul was way off key and, face it, it just didn’t work. Should have let them go just like the American public told them to.

But before you read any further, here are my early rankings of tonight’s performances:

1 Casey

2 James

3 Haley

4 Lauren

5 Scotty

6 Stephano

7 Jacob

Here goes:

Scotty McCreery – “Swingin” by Lee Ann Rimes. –

Jimmy told him to add a rocker feel to the song. He was told to move around to keep his voting constituency on his side. Did he? Sorta. I didn’t really get the sitting down part. Slowed it way down. And will going No. 1 hurt him? Maybe.

Steven: “I love you. I would love you if you just boot scooted a little more. I guess that was your idea of the Rolling Stones. But I liked it.”

Jlo: “I love your story telling quality. It’s time to pull out the big guns. We were expecting more from Scotty.”

 Randy: “At this point in the competition it’s who is in it to win it. That was so safe that was boring from you. It could have been a better song for you to sing.”

James Durbin – “Uprising” by Muse –

Bit with the scarf and the high notes from the other contestants was amusing. By the way, no pun there aimed at the artist of the song he sang. Yes, very theatrical; screaming got out of control, though.

Jlo: “That is going to be theatrically the best performance of the night. That was really amazing. That was the highest we heard you sing.”

Randy: “I hope you follow this direction when you leave. The whole thing was unbelievable up there. I think this will be the best performance of the night.”

Steven: “You stay out of my closet now. That was crazy good. T-Rex direction. I love that about you.”

Haley Reinhart – “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele –

Love the song. Can Haley sing it? Yep, oh, yep…

Randy: “I think you chose a perfect direction for you. I’m really happy that you chose that. You went a little sharp, but a great performance.”

Steven: “I thought it was great performance as well. A little slow at start, but you brought it up. You did it in a middle but I thought it was beautiful.”

Jlo: There were moments that you brought Haley to it. That’s where I thought you really shined.”

Jacob Lusk “Dance For My Father” – Luther Vandross –

His dad died when Jacob was 12. Jacob cries during rehearsal. Dedicated song to all fathers. I just didn’t like the song choice. Way too emotional, sentimental for this show. And his scream near the end didn’t do much for me.

Steven: “You are so good. You remind me all the time of why I love music.”

Jennifer: “It’s hard to perform when a song means that much to you. Emotionally it was a great performance.”

Randy. “Emotionally it was a great performance. Vocally it was good, but it didn’t make me jump up and down.  I need to see the old Jacob. Don’t hold back any more. Go for it.”

Casey Abrams – “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5 –

They make fun of Casey’s beard and that’s funny. This guy is crazy creative. But you already knew that. Hard not to like him just for that fact, whether you like his voice or not. Casey kissed JLo at the end and you can’t blame him for that.

Jlo: “Casey’s not playing fair! Casey’s got soft lips! I loved it….the performance. It was really, really great. You took a pop song and took it all the way rock. It was really great. Good job.”

Randy: “Always it’s about surprise, surprise, surprise. I enjoyed it. Continue to take chances. Amazing job.”

Steven: “You already are a cult hero. (Steven got bleeped twice). You’ve changed so many people’s mind.”

Stefano Langone – “Closer” by Ne-Yo.

Like the song. Was it a good choice for him? I don’t think so. But he’ll get a lot of tween votes from this effort.

Randy: Dude you turned me around. You did a very good job, you smoothed it out. You took your time singing the verses. You worked the dance steps out a little.”

Steven: “I hoped you would dance and you did. Good job.”

Jlo: “Speaking for the ladies…You really had your swag going on. It felt like a concert, like a performance. Really good job.”

Lauren Alaina – “Born to Fly” by Sara Evans –

Made fun of her accent and her talking talking talking. Jimmy gives her some great advice about not holding back. Song choice could have been a whole better. Going last to her advantage.

Steven: “You’re so good naturally, you have such a great swagger. Sing Allison Krause, Shania Twain, Faith Hill.”

Jlo: “You have so much character and color in your notes. Try it…you can do that. Let it out.”

Randy: “You can sing anything. You don’t think you can sing those high notes. You must believe. Challenge yourself Lauren.”