Interesting to hear Ryan Seacrest getting more applause than the judges at the start. Carole King was a good writer and anyone who wrote Pleasant Valley Sunday for The Monkees can't be bad either but this is still an odd choice. But there you go. Jacob Jacob Jacob for the bottom three.
Jacob ♪5½ ☼6
Oh No, Not My Baby
Just stop at the "Oh no," bit, please, and go home. And take that ridiculous jacket with you. Whoever told him to move around and attempt to dance? I mean, the guy must weigh a ton and his voice is wobbling around enough already. "Hopefully America will give you some votes and you'll stick around," says Randy Jackson, not terribly convincingly. To be fair it wasn't a disaster but if this guy stays then someone who could win goes and that's silly. I just can't see who on earth any record company would market him to in 2011, 2012 and I'm sure that by 2013 he'll be just a contestant name on a list we dig out from time to time.
Lauren ♪7 ☼8
Where You Lead I Will Follow
What she was doing bringing some boy onto the stage I suppose might be revealed at the end. Weak track, uninspiring performance. When she went to hit the high notes she may have done so well but a bunch of professional backing singers gave her insurance and we didn't notice whether she did or not. She's worked hard with the hair straighteners too again which certainly suits her. The UK audience really won't get all the fuss over the boy being 19 and her being 16.
Haley & Casey then break the monotony with a fun, cheerful and talented rendition of I Feel The Earth Move. They have a great style together and it works well. Whatever they do in their solo spot that should pull in some well-needed votes for each of them. I presume they'll all get to duets somewhere along the line tonight in amongst the solos. Although I still find the bear-like Casey an odd sight rolling around the stage and slapping the outstretched fingers of fans in the front row when he'd probably be better fronting a band with an instrument in his hand, Haley just looks totally at home there and is really turning into a contender. Subject to what Lauren's duet is like and Haley's own performance going well, she may turn into the second favourite.
Scotty ♪9 ☼10
You've Got A Friend
Nice work. Beam him up! Really professional performance. You could tell he was trying to make this his own and this track could sell a lot. There's a weakness we haven't seen before when he hasn't got the strength in his higher notes that would make him really really good. He made you listen and understand the words Carole wrote in a way that James Taylor never did and all credit is due to this guy for that. He's becoming unbeatable in theory but, of course, this being Idol, he may well come second! Certainly one of the two in my book.
James ♪9 ☼10
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Unplugged at the start was excellent. Then he really showed how good he can be with a fabulous fairly straight guitar and singing production that was simply superb. I didn't like the inevitable screech here and there, particularly the end, but that was one cool performance and with an otherwise unremarkable song he's blown my top two apart in just under three minutes!
Another duet follows - the delightful pairing of Lauren and Scotty again (well done the producers!) Sharing Up On The Roof, well, I say 'sharing' but with Scotty trying to sing to her she was permanently looking the other way and that kinda spoilt it all. It was a pretty light affair anyway. They do perform well together but The Drifters needn't worry about losing a grip on the best version by a mile, no, make that a hundred. It won't have harmed their votes, though. James has already done enough damage anyway.
Casey ♪9½ ☼8
Hi Di Hi
The Blood Sweat And Tears number and this guy was in his element. Totally natural and entertaining, cool and he just picks tracks that he really seems to enjoy performing. Again, I have no idea how he'll fit into the Idol scene but he'll have a ready market for his stuff and I can even see him creating a new wave of intresrest amongst youngsters who haven't yet caught onto jazz with a difference and scat. Nicely done. He may not get the votes, though, as it wasn't something telephone number pressers will have adored but he certainly deserves to stick around after that.
Haley ♪8½ ☼7½
This wouldn't have been my choice and she seemed to rush the slow bits with uncharacteristic nervousness. She pulled it back with lots of energy and fun in the groovier sections. I so wanted this performance to make her super safe but It didn't quite manage that. Pity. Never mind. Keep the faith. Fingers crossed too. and I won't walk under ladders until after the results show either.
James and Jacob then come on with a Herman's Hermits' number! "WTF?" as the girl who blogged at the live show yesterday so aptly said at the time! Actually it was pretty reasonable- Jacob stayed under control and James lead the way. It won't affect the votes though.