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’American Idol’ - Contestants Feel The Heat And Casey Abrams ’Scats’ Off

Originally Posted: April 28, 2011

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"American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, with host Ryan Seascrest. (Courtesy Photo: FOX Television)

Southampton - The six remaining "American Idol" contestants were instructed to perform songs written by the legendary songwriter and performer Carole King on Wednesday's program. Performing both individually and as part of a duet, the contestants received advice from not only Jimmy Iovine, but also R&B hit maker and producer Babyface Edmonds.

"American Idol" said goodbye to Casey Abrams (20) on Thursday's program. On Wednesday's show Abrams performed "Hi-De-Ho." Not a very well known King classic, but judge Randy Jackson commended his performance by saying "You took me back to my hometown of New Orleans." Abrams has long indicated his love of jazz, but that was not enough to keep him in the Idol competiton. His exit song included a kiss for judge Steven Tyler - perhaps the kiss he bestowed on judge Jennifer Lopez last week ruffled some feathers among fans. The judges seemed quite surprised with his elimination, as both Jacob Lusk and Scotty McCreery shared the bottom three with him.

Casey Abrams was eliminated on Thursday. (Courtesy Photo: FOX Television

Abrams is an accomplished musician, however, I was never a fan of his overdone attempts to master 'scat' (best left to the master of it - Ella Fitzgerald), and he will most certainly enjoy a long career in music - be bop bye Casey - and good luck.

Only Lauren Alaina and James Durbin have escaped the hot seat so far - and it is shaping up to be a he said/she said battle to the end as both are obviously the front contenders.

The way it played on Wednesday:

James Durbin (21) - There is a reason why Durbin has emerged as a particular fan favorite - he deserves it! He puts out a consistently good performance each week, and delighted fans and judges with his rendition "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." Mixing it up a bit to accommodate his own style and vocals, judge Jennifer Lopez called the performance "magical," and said he was the "star of the night." Judge Randy Jackson commented "You could win the whole competition" and proceeded to give Durbin a big hug at the suggestion of host Ryan Seacrest.

Lauren Alaina (16) - Alaina took on "Where You Lead," and successfully led the remaining contestants on a tough road as to who will occupy that number one spot. No doubt this girl can sing and appears to be the strongest contender (along with Durbin) for the Idol victory.

Jacob Lusk (23) - Lusk 'went to church' and performed a powerful cover of "Oh No, Not My Baby." Not the most well-known of King's vast catalog of songs, Lusk donned a colorful outfit and finally used those pipes to the judge's satisfaction. Lopez commented "You killed it." Once again, Lusk was saved from elimination on Thursday's program.

Mention must be made as to the unprofessional and disrespectful comments made by mentor Iovine as to Lusk's outfit - very rude and very crude - hey, Jimmy, James Dean called and wants his white tee-shirt and leather jacket back! Keep it as real as these competitors are keeping it or keep it to yourself - no one cares about your fashion sense and what show you think Lusk should be on. Iovine has been gunning for this young man for weeks - knock it off.

Scotty McCreery (17) - McCreery performed "You've Got a Friend," which is most closely associated with James Taylor. Attempting to keep his voice from exhibiting too much country, and singing in a higher vocal range, McCreery is in it to win it, and stretching himself to accomplish that goal. Judge Steven Tyler was impressed and told McCreery "You never sounded better." Saved from the hot seat again on Thursday, this country boy with the seasoned voice needs to really knock the next one out of the stable.

Haley Reinhart (20) - Reinhart chose "Beautiful" for her solo performance. Tyler was correct when he stated "[I] heard God in [your] voice." This young lady has been to the hot seat many times, but enjoyed a cool, safe seat on Thursday.

None of the duets were particularly impressive, Reinhart and Abrams teamed up for the night's first duet on "I Feel the Earth Move" evoking an amusing observation by Tyler that perhaps Abrams was in love with Reinhart during the performance.

Alaina and McCreery teamed up on "Up on the Roof." Lopez liked it, and they have performed together on prior shows - nothing particularly noteworthy about this time. McCreery is and has been focused, focused, focused - he's not leaving if he can help it.

Lusk and Durbin performed as a duet on "I'm into Something Good." Tyler observed and commented on perhaps what many were thinking which was they appeared to have fun with it, "But [he] wasn't sure where they were going with the performance." It didn't matter where they were going the 'cool guy' and the 'voice' appeared to have an absolutely great time.

Performances from Bruno Mars, and former Idol contestant Chrystal Bowersox were not all that engaging on Thursday's program, and the sleeping dog on the couch during Mars' performance seemed to illustrate the stifled yawns many viewers may have felt during both performers sets.

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: Bring It To Win It", and "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 totally agree. Jimmy Iovine had no business commenting on Jacobs Lusk's choice of clothing. This is a singing contest, not a fashion show. Unfortunately, though, I think Lusk is next to go. Bruno Mars was disappointing...it seemed like he wanted to be somewhere else. I think James Durbin knocked it out of the park (and is probably the winner)...I loved it...but not as much as I love Steven Tyler ;-).
May 1, 2011 4:45 pm


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