'American Idol' results: Jacob Lusk eliminated
Jacob Lusk got some good news, and alas, some very bad news on "American Idol" on Thursday night, in which the top five was whittled down to the top four.
The good news: He makes a better omelette than three of the other remaining contestants.
The bad news: His time on "Idol" is up. The voters -- who cast season-high 60 million votes, host Ryan Seacrest said -- have sent him home.
In truth, it almost seemed like a foregone conclusion that Jacob would be this week's eliminated contestant. Ryan waited until well into the show to tell us that we "might be surprised" by the results, but even that teaser seemed half-hearted.
Chef Ramsay also tortured both Lauren and Jacob by blindfolding them and feeding them mystery foods including beef, tofu and hot dog. (Hope neither of them is a vegetarian.)
But the real torture happened as Ryan built his two little contestant collections, calling each contestant forward to be re-judged for their Wednesday performances by mentor Jimmy Iovine, who has a proven track record of using words other than "amazing," "beautiful" and "in it to win it."
James was first: Jimmy didn't think James controlled his emotions well, and while Jimmy usually considers him a 9 or a 10, Wednesday night, Jimmy felt James was only an 8. Ryan asked James to go start a group on one side of the stage.
Lauren was next: Jimmy thought she did great with "Flat on the Floor," but pulled back on "Unchained Melody." Her lack of confidence, Jimmy predicted, may keep her out of the finals and land her in the bottom two this week. Ryan directed her to start a new cluster.
Then Ryan let James and Lauren dangle while judge Jennifer Lopez performed "On the Floor" and debuted her new hunks-on-the beach video, "I'm Into You," which features the words: "You got me hooked with your love controller."
Jacob next: Jimmy said Jacob had a "rough night last night" and thought "his nerves are getting the best of him." He said both songs "were slightly off" and gave Jacob a 6. Jacob was sent to stand with Lauren.
Haley's turn: Jimmy felt that Haley had to do "something dangerous and risky" to launch herself back into the running for the top slot. Taking issue with the judges' critique of Haley's first song, the unreleased Lady Gaga number she did at Jimmy's suggestion, Jimmy said: "On all points, Haley gets a 10." She won the night, and if her confidence continues, he said, "she's a lock for the finale." Haley -- who mouthed "Aw, thanks, Jimmy" -- was sent to stand with James.
And last … Scotty: Jimmy thought Scotty's performance of "Gone" was stellar, though he "came up a bit short" on his second song, "Always on my Mind." Nevertheless, Jimmy called Scotty "a great, great natural talent," adding, "No doubt Scotty will have an extraordinary recording career whether he wins this show or not."
Ryan told Scotty that last week, though he was the last person standing next to Casey Abrams as he was eliminated, "the truth is, you've never been in the bottom two." Tonight, Ryan said, "It is no different. You're safe."
But there's safe, and there's safe, and Ryan pulled Scotty back from the brink only to impose a new form of torture.
He directed him to stand with the cluster he thinks is also safe.
Scotty, to his enduring credit, balked. "I'm not doing that," he said.
Ryan finally pushed him over to Haley and James and declared them all safe.
Lauren was in tears and Jacob looked sunk. Ryan, twisted the knife a bit, asking us: "Is this what you expected?"
Then he talked poor weeping Lauren down as he went into a commercial. ("Hang tight, hang tight," he pleaded.)
Anyway, when we got back, we found out, not surprisingly, that it was Jacob who'd be going home. (Lauren, you can stop crying now.)
Jacob seemed OK with the news, though reluctant to give up the mic. "I got to share the love with America and I think America fell in love with me," he said, adding that he looked forward to making the Luther Vandross-like album he was always meant to make.
What do you think? Are you sad to see Jacob go? Or had you had enough of him? Weigh in.
-- Amy Reiter
Photo: "American Idol's" final five, clockwise from top left, James Durbin, Lauren Alaina, Jacob Lusk, Scotty McCreery and Haley Reinhart. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox