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Now Down To Four: Jacob Lusk Sings Goodbye And Haley Reinhart Hits A ’Homer’ On ’American Idol’

Originally Posted: May 05, 2011

Judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson during 'Idol' auditions enjoying a laugh when the pressure was not so intense on them or the contestants. (Courtesy Photo: FOX Television)

Southampton - Now down to four, Jacob Lusk is voted off on Thursday. On Wednesday's show, the five remaining "American Idol" contestants hit the stage, and after some sound advice from the judges, guest Sheryl Crow, and 'Idol' contestant mentor Jimmy Iovine, the 'Fabulous Five' performed two songs each spanning "today/contemporary" and "songs from the past/classic."

Host Ryan Seacrest kept Wednesday's program moving briskly even when pointing out Sir Anthony Hopkins among fans in the audience. On Thursday, Lady Antebellum performed, as well as 'Idol' judge Jennifer Lopez, with all the pyrotechnics, sultriness and sexiness this lovely diva is well known for.

On Thursday's program, the magnificent vocals of contestant Jacob Lusk (23) were not enough to keep him in the running. Voted off, he exited blasting those pipes covering the Luther Vandross song "A House is Not A Home." Having been compared to the late Vandross throughout the competition, perhaps it is time for Lusk to finally find his own niche and perform the music he loves, and not be so concerned about pleasing others. This is not a voice to be silenced for any reason, so Lusk should 'Go to church' with the full power of his talent, and enjoy a long career in R&B and Gospel music.

On Wednesday's program, he performed a cover of former 'Idol' winner Jordin Sparks' "No Air." There appeared to be no air in the studio as the judges and audience listened intently in the hopes Lusk would finally use that voice we all know he has - alas, the performance was not so great as judge Randy Jackson stated "I don't think that's the direction for you. Most of it was sharp. It doesn't wear well." An obviously disappointed Lusk did redeem himself with his second performance of Nazareth's "Love Hurts." Indeed, it has hurt to watch this young man with such a gift continually miss the mark week after week.

On Wednesday:

Lauren Alaina (16) - Alaina performed former 'Idol' winner Carrie Underwood's "Flat on the Floor." Judge Steven Tyler issued his usual "It was beautiful." Her second performance of "Unchained Melody," was a beautiful cover of this well loved song; a tender moment as she sang the song for her parents. Lauren, like James may be one of the two to duke it out for the final victory. Alaina took her first trip to the bottom on Thursday's program (with Lusk) and was definitely unhappy about it - don't think she'll be there again if she can help it.

James Durbin (21) - Durbin is most definitely "in it to win it" according to Jackson. His first performance of 30 Seconds to Mars' "Closer to the Edge" kept his fans, the audience and the judges dancing in their seats. He next performed "Without You" by Harry Nilsson, and was so overcome with emotion during rehearsals that he had to take a break. Keeping it together on stage however, Durbin again delivered - according to Jackson "It wasn't perfect. But it was emotionally perfect" which completely summed up what Durbin himself relayed which is "Week after week I leave everything on this stage," and he does and it shows.

Scotty McCreery (17) - McCreery brought that country charm front and center performing Montgomery Gentry's "Gone." Judge Jennifer Lopez enthused "I lost it there for a second. I was so excited," while Tyler offered "I swear to God I saw you dance with the devil." His second performance of Willie Nelson's "Always On My Mind" proved he can match vocals with the best of them, even Crow announced during rehearsals "I can't wait for him to get to Nashville."

And then there was Haley. . .

Haley Reinhart (20) - After having experienced the scorching hot seat week after week, things didn't bode well for Haley with her first performance of an unreleased Lady Gaga tune "You and I." Risky and it didn't pay off with the judges - she was admonished to have chosen a much more well-known song, but then Miss Haley came back for her second performance of The Animals "House of the Rising Sun" - this was a near perfect performance which brought the judges and audience to their feet for the only standing ovation of the evening. Haley hit it big time - Jackson said it was the best performance of the show and he was right - this was one of the best covers of this tune ever.

Down to four...two boys...two girls...one Idol...the competition is now smokin' hot!

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: Contestants Feel The Heat", and "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.

Updated: May 4, 2011, 5:24 pm
Appeared In: the arts >> main articles