Wednesday night…

First, critiquing the efforts, at the bottom of this post rankings for the week…and then we will also have a guest ranking…

James Durbin “Closer to the Edge” by 30 Seconds to Mars –

Contemporary songs first, then oldies later… Certainly not his best effort…screaming didn’t work…nor did the interaction with the crowd…wrong song…boring at best especially for James…Sheryl Crow is helping to mentor tonight and she actually said she was excited to be singing with James during the rehearsal! What? Puh-leeze! If I recall Ms. Crow once said she didn’t care for Idol…guess money talks…only thing worse than the song, the judges’ comments…

Steven: “James man, I think you kicked that songs ass. You’re ready for Freddy.

Jennifer: “You’ve been showing us that you want it. Grab it take it. It’s yours to take. Now you’re showing us where you could go as an artist.”

 Randy: “James is in it to win it America. He wants it Ryan. He wants it.”

Jacob Lusk – “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown –

Jacob believes he can win! Good for him… But this song, this rendition is really downright awful…what was he thinking…the longer the song went the worse it got…

Jennifer: “No doubt you have the showmanship. One of the best voices that’s ever been on this stage. It’s going to be important that you pick songs that reflect who you are as an artist and what you want to sing.”

Randy: “I don’t think that’s the direction for you.  It was a little corny for me. Most of it was sharp. I don’t see you as Chris Brown or Jordin Sparks. You’re the church kid, I see you as Luther. It doesn’t wear well.”

Steven: “We’re waiting for you to find a niche. I love your voice, but I’m looking for that thing that’s 100 percent you. Not trying to be other people.”

“I think I’m an artist that appeals to everyone,” says Jacob, who says Luther sang in many different styles.

Lauren Alaina – “Flat on the Floor” by Carrie Underwood –

“It’s a hard song!” Lauren said….pure country and the song was a brilliant choice for her…she has certainly found her niche…maybe this will be the best performance of the night by the end of the show

Randy: “That is the direction for you. This direction I agree with 100 percent. I love you showing the fun song. Lauren is in it y’all.”

Steven: “As good as it gets. You know where you’re going. I think You’re in it.”

Randy: “You ate that up. I saw you. You want it. Do it just like that every time.”

Scotty McCreery – “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry –

Sheryl sings harmony with him in rehearsal…he is really workin the stage like never before…thought the song choice was a good one for him, but the version could have been better…but he did well with it…better than I thought he would…

Steven: “Up to now you’ve been like a puritan. Tonight I saw you dance with the devil. And that’s a good thing for you. That was really beautiful.”

Jennifer: “I lost it there for a second, I was so excited. You owned that stage. I heard some growling in there. I liked it! That’s some American Idol stuff right there.”

Randy: “I felt like we were sitting at a Scotty concert. Who knew you could rock the stage like that.  It don’t matter what age you are. This guy’s in it to win it, too.”

Haley Reinhart – “You and I” – Lady Gaga

Jimmy Iovine brought an unreleased Lady Gaga song for her. For starters I am not a Lady Gag-Me fan so I didn’t start off too high on this…pretty much an unknown song might be a big mistake…don’t really know what to say other than I think she probably did it better than Gag-Me does…

Jennifer: “I love the way you sounded. I’m just not sure it was a cool idea to do an unreleased Lady Gaga track. I’m not sure that’s the better advice Jimmy gave you.”

Randy: “I’m not sure it’s that great of a song. It’s so risky to do a song nobody knows. I don’t know if this whole thing did you any favors.”

Steven: “OK, so maybe that wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, but she took a risk. I think you are one perfect song away from being the American Idol.”

James Durbin – “Without You” by Harry Nilsson –

James cries as he sings it in rehearsal….he thinks about his family as he sings it…pitchy and not really one of his best overall efforts although it had its good parts…not a great night for James…

Randy: “This is a mark of a truly great performer. For you to give a vocal like you gave, no the performance wasn’t perfect, but it was emotionally perfect. Some of the notes were chalky, flat. The competition is yours to lose.”

Steven: “That was just as beautiful as it gets. Pitchy a little bit in a James Durbin sort of way. Your emotions were incredible.”

Jennifer: “Everyone knows you can sing, You have the heart and soul to back it up. You are a true true artist. It takes a lot to control your emotions and deliver what you just did.”

Huh? He controlled his emotions?

Jacob Lusk – “Love Hurts” by Nazareth –

Sheryl sang a few bars of the song to hopefully keep the screaming to a decent level …starts out way too high and then screams out of the building…whatever Sheryl told him he didn’t hear the same thing I heard…he tried to go louder than loud and it was worse and worse as it progressed…

Steven: “You kinda got lost in the song, but everyone got lost in the song.”

Jennifer: “You bring out the tricks in the end. It was just amazing. It takes you to another place. Really good.”

Randy: “You redeemed yourself on this one. That was the real Jacob right there. That might have been the highest note ever sung on this stage.”

Lauren Alaina – “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers –

Sheryl cautions that it will take a lot of maturity to sing this song….one of the best songs of all-time…certainly not perfect, but good…actually thought she would be better with it…and the growling didn’t work at all…

Jennifer: “Nothing to judge. It was beautiful.”

Randy: “This girl can sing like a bird. Very nicely done.”

Steven: “I loved that song. It was perfect. I could listen to you all night. There was nothing to judge.”

Scotty McCreery – “You Were Always On My Mind” – Willie Nelson

Sheryl can’t wait for Scotty to move down to Nashville….he is at his best when he slows things down and this was a good example of that…typical Scotty and typically good…

Jennifer: “You show us what a well-rounded artist you are. So beautiful. Nothing awkward about you up there. And that’s what I love.”

Randy: “We call you our youngest veteran. If that makes any sense. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. You do country music so well. When you do the simplest thing, they get the loudest reaction. I love it dude.”

Steven: “America loves your voice man. You’ve been taken us up and down the trail.  I cannot pick that apart.”

Haley Reinhart – “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals –

Sheryl suggests she sing it A’capella. Jimmy thought it was her song or would have been in he ‘60s…and she does it A’capella at the beginning…best song choice of the night and if this doesn’t save her then nothing will…amazing…this will be her signature effort of the entire season…gave me cold chills.

Randy: “The award tonight for best performance of the night goes to Haley! You’re so good now that was amazing.”

Steven: “Sweet and sour, raspy, that really sells a song.”

Jennifer: “I don’t know if you came out angry at us…that song has never been sung like that before.”

IdolChatter’s Top 5 after Wednesday’s show:

1 – Scotty

2 – Lauren

3 – Haley

4 – James

5  – Jacob

And guest ranking from Mrs. IdolChatter:

1 – Scotty

2 – Lauren

3 – Haley

4 – James

5 – Jacob