I'll be honest from the get-go: Before tonight started, I wasn't sure I'd know any of Carole King's songs. Turns out, I did know a few (thanks, Mom & Dad), but I'm not expert on how things should sound, how the song was meant to be performed, or the emotions intended, etc. All I'm going on is what I heard tonight.
Best to Worst:
James Durbin for the WIN! Blew the other contestants away. BLEW them AWAY! From the 1st strum on his guitar, I had goosebumps. And they never left until he was done. Randy is right: James will win this whole thing if he keeps this up. Yes, James, I WILL still love you tomorrow!
Haley - Honestly, I think hers would be the only record I'd BUY. She's just so my style - her voice is so interesting, and just so good! I've never heard Beautiful, but I loved the way that Haley did it. I'm glad JLo commented that she had one of the best voices in the competition because Haley deserved some good praise tonight!
Scotty - I had him in the #1 slot until James and Haley performed, because I really liked how he took a little bit of the country out of You've Got a Friend, and just made it smooth. I also think he toned down the sideways microphone and eyebrow waggle, which helped.
Casey - I tell you why I like him: I had a boyfriend once that would take me out to this seedy jazz bar where the bartender had a heavy hand, the room was filled with smoke, and you couldn't even see the other patrons because they were hunkered down in their dark booths listening to incredible jazz. I can't help it - I like the piano, the trumpets, the hat.
Lauren - She's 16. When I was 16, I'd wake up at 4:30am and spend hours primping so I looked perfect for school. I had self-confidence issues, and I didn't have the entire country blogging about the size of my ass. Was her performance stellar? No. Did the judges throw her a bone when her voice cracked to save her from breaking down? Absolutely. But I felt a pang of sadness when I saw her tear up, because she's SIXTEEN and I've been a 16 year old girl.
Jacob - I'm convinced that his stylist goes home and night and tells her husband "you're not going to believe what I convinced this kid to wear today" and then they laugh and laugh. (I'm not even commenting on his singing. I'm done. It's just getting ridiculous here.)
Bottom three should be: Jacob, Lauren, Casey
Bottom three will be: Jacob, Casey, Haley
I worry that Haley might be going home this week. Which would be wrong.