Opening with the replay of Pia leaving - they're certainly making a big thing of that which I don't get. We now know that she wasn't getting top votes in previous weeks either. Anyway, it's Movie Theme night. Who'll ruin what? Who'll choose something good? There sure was something for everyone. Really difficult to call - it should be Jacob that goes. Only Scotty, Stefano and Haley should be safe. James, Casey, Paul and Lauren - any could well be joining Jacob on the chairs.
Paul ♪7 ☼7
Old Time Rock n Roll
Fun, reasonably competent. Not particularly inspiring although I like his individuality and he's pretty reliable as a show opener. There's no 'moment' though. Winners need a 'moment' when you just stop and say 'wow'. Even if you don't like them that much. You feel that his voting graph over the weeks is like a straight horizontal line at a level enough to keep him safe so far.
Lauren ♪4 ☼8
Ugh. What is she trying to do? Miley Cyrus had some teenage appeal but Lauren looks twenty something. Pretty awful note selection and, despite polite audience applause and fans cheering, that was rubbish. No-one's going to play that out of choice. Why don't the judges criticise? They must have thought 'Hey, that's not so good. She can do better.' That's when you realise how relevant Simon Cowell was. He would have panned her or probably told her to get something more suitable. She could be vulnerable but surely there can't be another girl departing this week? So she'll scrape through.
Stefano ♪9 ☼8
End of the Road
Or something like that. Brave choice for someone who might have thought that's where he was. Not my type of track but he did a good job and will have won a lot of extra support for that. Good voice, nice style. A bit boring and he still needs to find that song that defines who and what he is. Reminds me of Kris and the little David who surprised us in previous years.
Scotty ♪10 ☼9½
I Cross My Heart
Nice work, Scotty. You felt you were watching the winner. In a way, I suppose it was just a country song and not the most memorable one at that - no Carrie Anderson look or exceptional appeal - he just gets up, sings, hits the best notes and has something that you know is Scotty. The guy's a star already. AI has a habit of making the real stars come second, though, so there's still a chance for someone!
Casey ♪?? ☼??
Oh boy. What was that? Jazz meets Idol. Brave move. Didn't quite work in places - he looked like he was making it up as he went along. Hated bits but loved bits. What on earth the public will make of that I do not know. One thing's for sure: neither will he lose votes to someone else nor nick votes from someone else so if he survives that'll be because he has one big following of his own. This is turning into one memorable, and slightly weird, series.
Haley ♪9 ☼9
Excellent! So good to see her enjoying what she is so good at. Nice track, kicked off strongly unlike so many others' efforts and this should work well for her. Judges were critical of her but could have been of the others which I know someone in the audience on the night found unfair but I guess that's life. Who knows? It may even prompt a few more fans to vote for this attractive and talented girl. She certainly shouldn't be going home this week.
Jacob ♪4 ☼7
Bridge Over Troubled Water
For a moment I thought he'd made a good choice and I would forgive and forget what had been before. But, no, a few bars in and he was wailing at me, screaming words that just weren't written to be screamed like that. Paul Simon should have walked on and whacked him. Hated that and so hope he goes. This is no idol. OK, he's got something but it's not something I want. Bits were dreadful but no judge comments?
James ♪9½ ☼7½
You have to hand it to the guy - he loves singing and loves that heavy style. James brought his world to the Idol stage which will not have pleased some viewers but tonight has been a night where no-one would like everyone anyway. As usual, spot on vocals. The lengthy guitar solo from the rock ace he brought on wasn't going to help his votes, though. He'll get a contract soon enough from this publicity, whatever happens.