|It was certainly a shock to see Casey Abrams go home last week. Many were figuring him for a final three if not final two. Surely everyone thought he’d make final four. The remaining five get two shots to impress us tonight with a now and then theme, with one current hit, and another from the 60s. Jacob Lusk might struggle with that, as he hasn’t done much that was current.
Randy Jackson starts it off mentioning that line he mentions at least once a season, “Who is in it to win it?” He thinks we’re all wondering that, but really we’re just all wondering when he’ll stop saying it. He says now is the time to do it.
Helping Jimmy Iovine get these kids in it to win it as mentor tonight is Sheryl Crow. She notes everyone on the show is amazing, and she was excited to get Jimmy’s call. Happy to be able to share some of her expeiences, Sheryl wants to see each one of them revealing who they are. She thinks this will be the most interseting show and that we’ll see some very interesting sides to people.
The contemporary songs are up first, with James Durbin starting us off. He’ll be singing Closer to the Edge by Thirty Seconds to Mars. Sheryl sings along with him when he debuts the song for her. James figures there probably isn’t a big list of people to be able to say they’ve had that chance. She feels just as honored, and feels she can officially retire now. Jimmy thinks his voice fits in this material better than 1980s rock, and doesn’t see anything between him and greatness tonight. It starts off a little flat, but he gets it going on and finds his place with it. It’s the perfect type of song for him.
Steven Tyler tells James, “I think you kicked that song’s ass.” The way he worked the audeince, he’s ready for Freddy. Jennifer Lopez thinks he’s ready for stadiums. She mentions that while they talked about who was going to come out and grab it, it’s been him the past few weeks showing he wanted it. They’re feeling it there, and she thinks the people at home are as well. It’s his to take.
Randy figures everyone didn’t understand when James said he was going to sing Thirty Seconds to Mars, but Jimmy certainly did. It’s a great contemporary rock song, and it’s now showing us where he could go as an artist. He’s not as dated in an older rock category. He proclaims James is in it to win it and that James wants it.
Jacob Lusk gets stool chat with Ryan, and he tells him he feels like he could win it. He tries to bring something different each week, as he is tonight, and he’s going to take it to the top. He still feels like an underdog, and finds it amazing to make a positive showing.
The first song Jacob is singing is Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown’s No Air. The man producing him tonight is Harvey Mason, Jr., the guy who wrote and produced the song, which James calls “stupid.” Sheryl notes it’s a really hard and challenging song, but she thinks he’ll do it, because he’s got the range and vulnerability when he sings. Jimmy thinks he should ask Harvey to write another one for him, and thinks it’ll be tough for him to sing both parts of this duet. Jacob starts the song out tonight out of breath as he tries to fit it all in. He’s a little pitchy and a little screamy. And comparing yourself to an Idol is never a good thing anyway.
Jennifer is glad Jacob said in the package that this is the type of thing he’ll record, as it’s one of the things she’s been wondering about. There’s no doubt he has the showmanship and that his voice is one of the best ever on the stage, but she was struggling with what kind of sing he’d do, and his choices are so different. She thinks it will be important for him now at the end to show the audience what he wants to sing.
Randy differs with that opinion. He thinks Jacob is one of the greatest singers there, but he doesn’t think it’s the direction for him and doesn’t think anyone should be trying to sing both parts of a duet. It made it a little corny for him and was a little sharp. Jennifer interrupts to say they can’t tell him who he is. Randy knows that, but he doesn’t see him as a Jordin/Chris guy, but a church/Luther guy. It didn’t wear well on him. Jennifer notes Luther was R&B too, yet that’s just it. Randy loves him with the Luther R&B, but not the Chris Brown/RIhanna R&B.
Steven jumps in to say they love where Jacob is going with his voice, and they’re wiaitng for him to find his niche, that thing he does the best that will make him the American Idol. Steven loves Jacob’s voice, but he’s waiting for 100% Jacob. Jacob thinks he’s an artist that appeals to everybody, and he notes Luther didn’t just do big ballads, and doesn’t think he should either. Randy agrees, and says he can do uptempo, but not this, as his voice is bigger than either Jordin’s or Chris’.