Jacob Lusk, "Dance with my Father" - When he holds a straight note that isn't a belt, his voice goes into goat warble. You know you're in trouble when you have to play the dead dad card for sympathy votes. He's not good when he's all over the place and he's boring when he's not. Unless he can find a happy medium, and soon, he deserves to go home. "Grace" by Jeff Buckley might be a good song for this guy though. If he promised not to ruin it. Performance grade: D
Lauren Alaina, "Born to Fly" - Aww, we love this song. But Sara Evans has a much more powerful voice than nervous-bird Alaina. She DOES have a big note somewhere. But her very young age is starting to show. This was a forgettable song choice and performance. She's good, but the competition is starting to overwhelm her. We don't blame her. That looks really hard. She didn't mess this song up, but at this point in the competition, and with this group, it needs to be more than adequate. Performance grade: C
Scotty McCreery, "Swingin'"- Our next American Idol played it safe, but it was pleasant. We think he's getting better and more able to stay on pitch. Performance grade: B-
James Durbin, "Uprising" - Did anyone else find this screechy, tuneless, and extremely strange? We love the weirdness, but we weren't into the singing, and we are certified James Durbin fans. Bring back the heavy metal, James. B-
Stefano Langone, "Closer" - We know, you are gasping that we are ranking Stefano so high on this list. But his nasal quality was minimal this week. We didn't even notice it. He DID take his time on the verses. We aren't digging the "sexy flirt" persona, mostly because Stefano is not hot. But that was a pretty perfect rendition of the song. B
Haley Reinhart, "Rolling in the Deep" - This was the first time Haley wasn't pitch-perfect. We heard the sharps. But this was a tough song choice. We wish she had dug deep into the jazz songs of the past and scatted a little like she did in the elimination hour with Casey. We think we've made it clear on this blog that covering ADELE just should not be done right now. She did much better than Gwyneth though. Not that that's hard. B+
Casey Abrams, "Harder to Breathe" - This was possibly his best vocal performance, even though we prefer a jazzy Casey to a rock one. He's so versatile. After the last two weeks, we are officially both back in his camp. A-
Ern is still rooting for Haley or James. Leeard is still rooting for Casey or Lauren.
Side note: Modern Family was really funny this week. That show was starting to bore us with repetitiveness, but it was cute last night. Anything with Phil and Luke is pure gold.