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UPDATE: ’American Idol’ - You Have To Bring It To Win It!

Originally Posted: April 21, 2011

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"American Idol" heats up as the competition is at seven contestants (until tonight!). (Courtesy Photo: FOX Television)

Southampton - Not a total surprise, but the curtain finally came down on Stefano Longone (22). The gracious young man who has overcome horrific obstacles to make it to the Idol stage was voted off. He, Jacob Lusk and Haley Reinhart were in the bottom three - Reinhart was almost immediately sent back to the safe couch, while Lusk and Longone sweated it out.

An entertaining performance on Wednesday's program of Ne-Yo "Closer" came too late in the season for Longone. No stranger to the bottom three, this final elimination of the "Wild Card" did not appear to surprise anyone, including Longone. A visibly upset James Durbin rushed and grabbed his pal for a big hug even before Longone finished his exit song.

Longone has been a favorite of judge Jennifer Lopez from the very beginning, and it is hopeful this charming young man stays focused and committed to his singing career - as his female fan base is most certainly in place.

I may be in the minority here but I found Wednesday's performances on "American Idol" to be the most lackluster of this season, with each and every one of the contestants basically ignoring the judge's advice - and that of the music professionals who have all been working hard to make them shine. It apppeared to work for a few - but the majority remained firmly in their comfort zone.

Even host Ryan Seacrest appeared a bit off his game, and judge Steven Tyler put aside all decorum, and in his enthusiasm for one of the contestant's performance, let loose with such a string of profanities that when the camera came back to him, judges Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson had put tape over his mouth.

On Wednesday's show the contestants were merely instructed to perform a song from the 21st century - the choices - just awful! The evening also included a video of how each contestant feels about each other - truly childish and boring. Although Casey Abrams and James Durbin performed admirably, the entire show lacked some real effort and energy from all the contestants.

James Durbin (21) - Still glowing from last week's raves, Durbin delivered again with a dramatic rendition of Muse's "Uprising." This fan favorite is ready for his own tour, and included all the flash - including drummers circling the stage - that a great concert provides, prompting Tyler to state "That was crazy good - I just love that you're out of your mind - beautifully so."

Casey Abrams (20) - Abrams is most definitely a judge favorite, and solidified that with his kiss on the cheek to Lopez during his performance of Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe." He played the guitar this time, and dressed like a throw-back to the grunge era. Jackson called his performance "amazing." I call it cheeky - with or without the Lopez kiss.

Lauren Alaina (16) - Another judge favorite, Alaina chose to do a cover of Sara Evans' "Born to Fly." This girl can sing but the silly intro revealed that she is nervous about all the 'big notes' everyone else hits. Jackson's advice - "Challenge yourself, Lauren." Right now, this young girl has established herself as a very serious contender for the big win - but she needs to grow up a little faster to keep up with the others.

Haley Reinhart (20) - Hailey showed some moxie and performed Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." Lopez said she "shined," but the see-saw this girl has been on may have hit the ground for good.

Scotty McCreery (17) - The tide may be turning on everyone's favorite country crooner, as Scotty performed LeAnn Rimes' "Swingin'." Although enjoyable, this performance did nothing to impress the judges.

Jacob Lusk (23) - Jacob performed "Dance With My Father" by Luther Vandross - a seemingly personal choice bringing on tears during rehearsal. Although his performance was emotional, he is still holding back. It would have been great to see him take on "Power of Love" by Vandross and really let loose. Personally, I agreed with Jackson who said "Vocally, it was good but it didn't make me jump up and down."

Thursday's show featured a futuristic, bells and whistles, over exaggerated yet entertaining display by Katy Perry performing her hit song "E.T." and former Idol star David Cook, who has just released his second album, and urged his mother to finally stand up and grab a hug from judge Steven Tyler.

With six remaining, only Scotty, James and Lauren have avoided the hot seat, so now is most certainly the time for these four boys and two girls to bring it if you want to win it!

Who is my Choice? Who is Your Choice? Who is America's Choice? Post a comment and let us know who you are cheering for.

Read our other 'Idol' articles here: "American Idol: This Is Competition" and "American Idol: A Surprising Upset" and "American Idol Rocks On", and "This Is American Idol Season 10".

Stay tuned to Hamptons.com for weekly 'Idol' updates

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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Guest from Sag Harbor says::
I agree..this week was pretty dull and boring. I'm not sure who will be eliminated next, but it could be anybody at this rate. I really don't see a standout at this point...except for Steven Tyler, of course :-)
Apr 24, 2011 12:33 pm

Guest (charles) from fla says::
I agree, Enough with the crying, he should have gone!!
Apr 22, 2011 1:45 pm

Guest (sue) from st loiuis says::
James Durbin is amazing! I'm not a heavy metal fan to put it mildly. But I would buy his cd and go to his concerts. I can't say enough about him. He could go straight to a concert right now.
Apr 22, 2011 11:20 am

Guest (Len Matthews) from Vancouver Canada says::
Jacob has to the one eliminated tonight. He is now just BORING
Apr 21, 2011 5:36 pm


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