Then there were four. The four that have made it to this point of the competition include James Durbin, Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, and Haley Reinhart. There were two themes this week, which unlike last week, did not coordinate with one another. The first theme was inspirational songs (more so "songs that inspire them" as oppose to the inspirational songs that "Idol Gives Back" featured) and the second was songs written by Leiber and Stoller, a musical team from the fifties and sixties. The mentor was Lady Gaga, who has nothing to do with music from the fifties and sixties or Leiber and Stoller's music.
The performances were fairly mixed, as Lauren Alaina did a good job on her first song and not as good on her second. Haley Reinhart, on the other hand, did better on her second song than her first. I do believe that the rise in breath in order to build suspense as suggested by Lady Gaga wasn't necessary. I feel that it was just a filler. It was still a good comeback like last week. Scotty McCreery did a good job on each of his performances, injecting the right mix of a typical country style Scotty performance for the first round and an upbeat Scotty performance for the second. As for James Durbin, I must say that he continues to be consistent. I'm was actually amazed by a "Don't Stop Believin'" performance that wasn't by Journey (for the record, I have heard this song performed several times, though I still like the song). Even better, when he did "Love Potion No. 9," he made that exciting as well, and that's a song I'm not such a fan of to begin with.
The results show was surely going to be an intense one. The top four week was when Chris Daughtry was eliminated back in season five. However, Daughtry would go on to have a better career than anybody in that season. To warm us up, we heard performances from Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Jordin Sparks, and Steven Tyler (Lady Gaga's was from a special and Steven Tyler's a video). Then, came the results, and they... were a punch in the gut.
James Durbin, who I believe was the most talented, consistent, and entertaining performer not only this season, but the most talented, consistent, and entertaining performer since Adam Lambert back in season eight, has been eliminated. This was the most shocking elimination since Daughtry's season five elimination. Week after week, I would look forward to seeing what James was going to do, what kind of arrangement he was going to have, and how was it going to turn out. Unfortunately, it won't be happening anymore, and it's unfortunate that it just about takes away from the excitement as to who will win it all. James is also the first finalist to have Tourette's and Asperger's, which surely contributed to his devotion and image for ideal performances. People with Asperger's are known for being able to excel in their field or fields of interest, and James is no exception. Speaking of which, I did not agree with the fact that they edited out the Asperger's part of his opening audition, and simply using the high-functioning Autism blurb of his statement. While Asperger's may be high-functioning Autism, it is still a title of its own and should remain a title of its own. While he described what it was, even if it's not described, people can easily take the extra time to look it up.
Okay then, we've got our final three. Those in the final three include Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, and Scotty McCreery. At this point, Scotty is the only one that really grazed in James's league, grazing being the key word. I was looking forward to a James and Scotty finale that would deliver more excitement than any finale to date. However, James's elimination may have all came down to location. Since Scotty and Lauren are from the south, they are the ones in the hot spot of America, as the south has been known to deliver success on American Idol. As for Haley, I have trouble figuring out who her voting circles are. The fact that she outlasted James continues to surprise me, and she may very well make the finale if the south vote simply splits. I can only imagine what her homecoming is going to be like. I totally believe that the competition would be completely different had James made it to the final three (let alone the final two).
There will be three songs next week, one chosen by the contestants themselves, one chosen by Jimmy Iovine, and one chosen by the judges. I can only imagine the song choices that will be made, but I guess we'll just have to tune in to see.