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'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. 

By the time Ryan got into the thick of collecting two clusters of contestants on either side of the stage, the results almost felt like an afterthought. We'd watched the top five sing "So Happy Together" in a way that made it sound like an "American Idol" Ford music video, and then we'd seen the Ford music video, too. We'd watched Lady Antebellum perform "Just a Kiss" and James Durbin mouth the words from Ryan's teleprompter as Ryan told us about next season's auditions. We'd watched a cute segment in which the contestants explained how they picked their songs and their clothes. (Scotty McCreery, with his card trick, and Haley Reinhart, with her hat trick, were particularly amusing.) And we'd watched Lauren Alaina impress Chef Gordon Ramsay with her omelette-making skills ("tastes quite nice" and is "seasoned beautifully," Ramsay cooed) in a mock "Masterchef" segment.

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.

'American Idol' recap: The top 5 do something old, something new

Full Show Tracker coverage of "American Idol"

-- 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

Comments () | Archives (40)

I "had enough" of Jacob at least a month ago. He over-sings and over-emotes everything, and he thinks way too much of himself. Therefore, I'm not only not surprised he's gone, but glad.

Scotty should go next week. He's a terrific country singer and he seems like a real decent guy, but his performance skills need a lot of work. First thing I'd do is try to get him to find a much less awkward way of holding a mic. Not to worry though: Nashville will snatch him up in a second. He's the second coming of George Jones.

Haley has stunned me. She was pretty ordinary until a few weeks ago when she really broke out the charisma and vocal range. She has turned out to be one helluva performer and singer. I am concerned, however, that she's losing her voice. Her speaking voice is an obvious indication that she's not resting her pipes enough. I'd hate to read one day that she has developed nodes.

Lauren probably won't make the top two. She's a wonderful performer and may one day be a wonderful singer, but she hasn't quite found herself yet. But she's an amazing talent and she'll have her day.

James will probably win Idol '11. He's not the best singing voice of the season -- that honor probably belongs to Pia -- but he's an electrifying performer, and that's what the people who buy concert tickets want.

Jacob should never have been chosen to go home. Jacob should have come in second best. I believe James should win, I have always thought so. Right from the very first show James has stood out way ahead of the others, as the best singer. No one else has his vocal range or singing abilities.

Was Jacob being pushed by the Vote for the Worst web site? It was completely ridiculous, his endurance as a contestant, sending better singers home week after week. He wore ridiculous clothes, sang songs that werent right for his voice, and is now deluded into thinking he has a career beyond the summer tour.

This one had better save every check he's gotten from 19 and Fox. It's the last serious money he'll earn from singing.

America isn't racist...there have been several African American Idols. The homophobic thing may ring a bit true...although Adam Lambert won and he is a flamer. Do we even know Jacob is gay? No we don't...he is just very flamboyant and people jump on the gay thing immediately. He is a sweet kid with an interesting voice...he has a lot of tricks in his bag but has yet to figure out how to put them all together smoothly.

Haley impressed me for the first time this year. She did less growling and more singing. That growl should be the "jewelry" of her singing ensemble, but she has been wearing it as the main outfit. Finally...

James is by far the most impressive of the group simply because he is different than anything ever seen on the show. A rocker who can SING. That is even rare in the rock world.

Lauren has a nice voice, but her deer in the headlights attitude is killing her. I don't blame her though...at 15 I would have already thrown up on national TV if I were her.

Scotty...cute, but again needs more maturity. What Lauren lacks in confidence he more than makes up. He drives me nuts with his crooked crooning though...stand up and sing, boy! He is such a young stud. LOL.

The right one was let go. James and Scotty will be the final two, with James the winner!!

Haley really needs to go find Casey and leave the planet!! She sucks and so does crybaby James. He screws up and it is ok because he is emotional. Get a life James. The judges have their favorites and it is James and Haley. Just because they want them to win, does not make them right!!!! We the public have to listen to them, it is awful!!! NO MORE SCREAMING!!!!!!!

Wasn't that a mock "hell's kitchen" segment?

Angel, you name belies you, and Dave if live in NoHo your spot on with whom you are

I think it will come down to James and Haley at the end, and considering past experience, "America" will vote for the SAFE choice - for Haley - just as they did not vote for Adam Lambert, clearly the better choice over . . . who was it?

By the way, bong (above) could have included in his list of best performances ever SUMMER TIME . . . as done by (uh, oh . . . hope this is not faulty memory) Fantasia? (Or was it the other early favorite who got booted off prematurely that season . . . ?)

Since Pia left, while admiring many performances no one contestant has stood out for me until the last two nights. On Wed., I was entranced with Haley's per formance level and her voice. The following night, I had walked out of the room during the 5 member entry number. Away from the visuals, one voice resonated - Haley's!

p.s. Adam Lambert didn't win, remember? It was Chris what's his name...

I was glad that Scotty told Ryan that he would not stand next to the top vote getters. Ryan and the producers get carried away with their drama.

American I-Yell is not racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic or anything else like that. It is telecentric. It is about television, it is about putting asses in the seats, eyeballs to the screen, a receptive and docile audience delivered to its advertisers. What this show does is remove finalists until the least offensive person remains. It really doesn't matter who it is. Talent is defined as the ability to appeal to the largest advertiser demographic, with the least annoyance. Don't change the channel out there, all you drones! Watch the cute Idol-ettes make lousy (but cute) omelets, park cars cutely by remote control, shill for Bing! Watch them screech out classic songs of which they have not the slightest understanding, while they stalk around a set designed to look like a pinball machine. Watch three humanoids give their "opinions", drool cleverly disguised as English.
American Idol is to music as Donald Trump is to politics.

I was not surprised that Jacob was sent home. I seem to be one of the few who did not 'get' his style of singing at all. H 'screamed' too much, his songs were not my favorites. At this point in the contest, they are all winners in a way - some are just more talented than others. I thought Jacob would be voted off long before Casey. Casey is by far the most talented of the two.
However, my favorite of all is James. I believe he sings better than any of the others - he has style, stage presence, crowd appeal, a great voice, and personality. He seems to be liked for himself as well as his singing.

Jacob had the most amazing performance of the season, but that was several weeks ago. His more recent performances have been more off than on---a little too one-dimensional. Haley keeps improving and surprising---she got sex appeal in spades. Meanwhile, Lauren is more recently getting by because we all think she's fantastic and bound to have a great career. As for Scotty and James? It's probably James' contest to win or lose because he's a great combination of real singer and performer--he's never dull--- but like a lot of people, I can't help but think Scotty is going to have a massively successful career. The kid not only has country chops, he's got charm.

Like you Joe, I too was glad that Scotty would not commit to Ryan's request for him to stand next to the group he felt was the favorite. But I do believe that coming up with dramatic stints as this one, helps to keep us interested in the show; and therefore is good for ratings.

I believe the next American Idol will be Scotty. I chose him when he auditioned and he just keeps getting better. I love his deep deep voice. Also, I am waiting for his first CD to go retail.

Idol is not racist. He just did not get the votes. If America wanted him they should have voted more for him. Ruben made it and so did Fantasia. Get over it racist lol. Who is president? Who are the judges? Who are the fans that vote? America the melting pot.

Stopped watching Idol, so can't offer any thoughts on performance, but it's very surprising that the final four are two males and two females. I was convinced, based on the direction of the results during the first 3 or 4 weeks of voting that there would be four guys left or, at best, one girl and three guys. Either I am wrong about the voters (teen girls and/or tweeners) and their tastes in music or "idols", or the producers have tweaked the results to get more of a balance between male and female competitors. If those persistent, repetitive voters turn out to be country fans, then Scotty should be a shoe-in. If the producers are tweaking away, then I would guess that James or maybe Haley will win. In other developments, the X-Factor (USA) should dwarf Idol in it's first season - since the judging team will be vastly superior with the reunion of Simon and Paula at the top of everyone's must see list. Meanwhile, those eliminated from Idol this season look like they will cash in on the exposure - especially Pia (a can't miss star) and (I think) Naima, who is an all-'round performer - if she has the right management. I am very curious what the "X-Factor" will have for talent in its first season.


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