5) James Durbin
Song: "Love Potion No. 9"
Steven said: "What you can't do with your voice, you did tonight."
Jennifer said: "You know what that showed me James. that you can sing anything. 'Cause I wasn't sure about that song for you, I'm gonna be honest…but you just told me that I was absolutely wrong."
Randy said: "You're peaking at the right time, dude. You're having a moment every single week and I love it."
We say: If you have time to watch this back, just listen to the note that James sings before the guitar mini-interlude (0:59). This thing is all kinds of off, and it continues to shock me how much more leeway James is given than his fellow competitors, like Haley Reinhart. It's even more shocking to realize that James has been granted the "Idol" pimp spot not once, not twice, but three times -- and FOUR times, if you count his duet with Jacob Lusk (I won't, because I have mentally blocked it out).
6) Scotty McCreery
Song: The Coasters, "Young Blood"
Steven said: "Dude, you made Gaga's yaya go la-la. How could you do that?"
Jennifer said: "It seems like you really hit your stride right now, and now it's about the sprint kind of to the finish line."
Randy said: "You were actually having fun with Gaga. You're like a seasoned professional on this show now, dude."
We say: Scotty said of meeting Gaga, "I don't think I was prepared for how interesting it was." I'm going to venture a guess that he meant "interesting" in a bad way, and I could easily say the same about this performance. I didn't quite what to say about it Twitter, and I still don't. I actually really like the song "Young Blood" -- but what in the world is it doing on an "American Idol" playlist? The main problem, though, was Scotty's eyes… so transfixing, and so creepy. So, so creepy. Scotty should probably stop doing the funny thing until he really figures it out… in front of a mirror, just like Jacob Lusk would want.
7) James Durbin
Song: Journey, "Don't Stop Believin'"
Steven said: "You did it right, man. You couldn't have picked a more popular song right now…nice going."
Jennifer said: "It's so great to kind of listen to you and then to hear you go into your upper register…it's amazing, everybody can't do that."
Randy said: "I don't know what else is gonna go on tonight, but that was the highest degree of difficulty, and you did it!"
We say: James gamely acknowledged that he slipped up last week and told Ryan Seacrest that he was hoping to get back in the swing of things tonight. While nothing pleases a crowd like Journey, his voice once again faltered, veering even more off-key than usual. Granted, Steve Perry's shoes are some of the toughest to fill in music -- but James probably should have realized it wasn't working before he took it live. Of course, the judges -- and the studio audience, which is equally at fault for the Durbinator-lovefest at this point -- gave him a pass as usual. Randy never really takes "degree of difficulty" into account when a female "Idol" hopeful covers Mariah or Whitney, now does he? Yeah, didn't think so.
8) Haley Reinhart
Song: Michael Jackson, "The Earth Song"
Steven said: "That song showed me that you can. It wasn't a hit song but you sang it, you nailed it."
Jennifer said: "That song has a beautiful message, no doubt, but I want you to be thinking about (what everybody else is doing) when choosing. That's part of competing."
Randy said: "Just keeping it really real…it confused me with who you are as an artist. It felt like to me you were screaming; you were at the top of your range."
We say: "Earth Song" is now Haley's version of Lauren's "Unchained Melody" -- both women chose those songs for personal reasons, not strategic ones, and ultimately ended up suffering for that bias. As is her wont, Haley laid the drama on thick from the start, turning one of MJ's grimmest songs (sorry, but it's true) even grimmer. After really seeming to hone her identity last week with "House of the Rising Sun," this was a real step backwards for Haley -- and her reaction when the judges critiqued her made it infinitely worse.
Final verdict: It's a tight race right now, and there's no room for error -- that is, unless your names is James Durbin. In that case, feel free to mess up all you want! As for Haley, her 'tude will cost her a ticket back to her hometown. That's my prediction and I'm sticking to it.
What do you think? Will Haley be sent packing tomorrow? If not, who's your pick? Is James Durbin getting too many passes? Was Scotty's "Young Blood" number totally weird, or was it just me? Let me know in the comments!