In a competition where five contestants remain, the competition is only getting more and more intense between those five that remain in the competition. The theme was "Songs From Now And Then," which originally meant songs from today and songs from the 1960's. It turns out that the bounds were much more laid back, because the songs were from the last few years (their time) and a much longer time period (around the time most of their parents were growing up). Time period or not, there's no denying that the performances were excellent in their own ways.
There were three key performers of the night, James Durbin, Scotty McCreery, and Haley Reinhart, the latter being mentioned for the first time in my "top list." She appears on the top list, because of her excellent rendition of "House Of The Rising Sun," which went together like burgers and fries. She had to make some kind of recovery from her Lady Gaga performance, and indeed she did. Scotty rocked his performance of "Gone," and it was great to see him perform "Always On My Mind," which has been done many of times, most famously by Elvis Presley and later Willie Nelson.
James, who has consistently been my favorite, had a pretty interesting week. His performance of "Closer To The Edge" was a typical "James Rocks It Again" performance, but his emotional performance of "Without You" was just "punch in the gut" emotional. James has been able to find an emotional connection with each of his performances, and "Without You," made famous by Harry Nilsson, did the trick. While the song is intended to be about and obviously about a breakup and/or being left, if you look deeper and deeper, the song could also be about death. When translating "No, I can't forget with evening, or your face as you were leaving, but I guess that's just the way the story goes," just think about these lyrics for a minute and then come up with a meaning. I can continue by giving you the lyrics to the entire song, but you could easily find them by clicking in "Without You Lyrics" and just to be safe, include Harry Nilsson's name. Anyway, the song could very well have an intended meaning and an unintended meaning. Also, the song was originally written and performed by Badfinger, and both writers committed suicide. Back to our main focus, James gave what was the most emotionally successful performance on American Idol in a long time.
The results show... you had Lady Antebellum, Jennifer Lopez (with her hit "On The Floor"), and the remaining Idol contestants taking a trip to Hell's Kitchen, where they cooked an omelet and participated in a taste test. Anyway, the bottom two was spot on. Lauren Alaina and Jacob Lusk were the two performers that did the least to make an impact on Wednesday's show. Lauren's performance of "Unchained Melody" could have been much more than it was, and ultimately it reminded me of the Leann Rimes performance, but fell short. It especially fell short with a lost opportunity with the high note. Still, it's very tough to match up to The Righteous Brothers originally, which happens to be one of the best song performances of all-time. As for Jacob, he came into the week being the one most likely to be eliminated, and that's exactly what happened. Jacob Lusk started out really strong, potential front runner material. However, fifth was as far as he went. I actually predicted that he would finish in fifth place, so there are no surprises on my end.
Next week's theme is music from Leiber and Stoller, who were a songwriting team back in the 1950's who wrote music for such singers as Elvis Presley, The Drifters, and The Coasters. It'll be a week to look forward to. I expect a few Elvis performances and a rendition of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," but from whom I do not know just yet. At this point, Haley may very well outlast Lauren in the competition. Then again, this is a competition that all comes down to votes. This means that anyone has a chance at staying or going in the competition. We'll just have to wait and see how everything pans out.