After Wednesday night's performance show, it's easy to see who most likely saw their last day competing for Idol glory. While James Durbin, Haley Reinhart, Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery proved they are "in it to win it," Jacob Lusk floundered.
While we all saw him get a tough critique from the judges, it was nothing compared to what was going on when the cameras weren't rolling. So what exactly did we see from our seat behind the judges table? And is Lauren feeling the heat from Haley?
The best word we have to describe Idol contestant Jacob Lusk is: lost. From his cover of Jordin Sparks "No Air" to his pitchy "Love Hurts," no one in the Idol audience had any idea what kind of performer Jacob was trying to be.
Obviously, in this stage of the competition, every performance really matters. We couldn't help but feel a tiny bit bad for Jacob who never got the "in it to win it" affirmation from judge Randy Jackson.
If Randy, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler seemed a little tough on him, it was downright uncomfortable to witness in person. As the judges rattled on about what he should or shouldn't be doing, the studio audience felt very hollow. The vibe in the room went cold and it almost felt like being stuck in a room with your BFF who was having an argument with their significant other. Awkward!
Being on American Idol is no walk in the park, and it seems that the pressure is getting to Jacob. When cameras are rolling Jacob has a big smile on his face, but prior to his first performance, he sat with a glum look while wardrobe de-linted his jacket and Ryan Seacrest prepped him for the opening of his segment.
While Jacob's studio video packages played, he seemed nervous. He was pacing back and forth, not looking at anyone or anything. It was a stark contrast to the easy confidence James and Scotty display week after week as if to say, Hey, this Idol thing is no big deal! We got the impression that Jacob has pretty much given up on the competition, and tonight was his last attempt to garner votes from fans committed to more popular contestants.
Speaking of popular contestants, Haley has proven to be the dark horse coming up from behind to make it to the finals. While she was in the bottom three in the first few weeks of the competition, she has blossomed into a force to be reckoned with.
After Lauren's slightly goofed cover of "Unchained Melody," it was hard to love it. Especially with her Dynasty-esque gown that Scotty stepped on, almost causing a serious OMG moment at the end of the show when the contestants were walking offstage.
Although Lauren has been a fan favorite since day one, Haley's "House of the Rising Sun" stole the show. We noticed a look of worry flick across Lauren's face when Haley got a standing ovation from the crowd when the show was recapped with voting numbers.
We have our prediction of who will make it to the finals. Do you? Were the judges too tough on Jacob? Should Lauren feel threatened by Haley's talent? Let us know in the comments!
(Originally published May 4, 2011, at 8:52 p.m. PT)