Last night on American Idol, our remaining 6 contestants took on the songbook of Carole King.  If you tuned into the WBKR Waking Crew this morning, you know that her music has divided Moon and Chad!  Moon's a fan of Carole's voice and her songwriting.  Chad doesn't think Carole is much of a singer and, consequently, wrote songs that didn't require much "singing!"  So, which Idol hopeful manage to choose the RIGHT song?  Who was the KING of the last night's show?  We turn to our Idol expert, Steve Thompson.

From Steve Thompson:

Those of you who may have cringed or grinded your teeth to the gums when it was announced this was Carole King Week may be eating large amounts of crow this morning.  Maybe it was the presence of Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds-- or maybe these songs suited our contestants rather well.

Welcome to the Bottom Three

6)  Jacob Lusk sang Oh No, Not My Baby which was recorded by several artists including The Partridge Family.  Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you to consider a new word: scatastrophe and its sister word scatastrophic.  When the best part of your song is the part where you are scatting as opposed to singing, it may be time to rethink your whole song process.  Jacob is in big trouble again.

5) Casey Abrams sang Hi-De-Ho which was originally sung by one of my favorite groups of the early 70s, Blood, Sweat & Tears.  Now I've tried to sing this song in karaoke and I can tell you Casey probably made the right choice in how he sang the song-- but I don't know if a genius jazz riff will resonate with teenage voters. 

4) Lauren Alaina sang the theme from Gilmore Girls, Where You Lead.  This was a hit originally by Barbra Streisand (technically a hit twice because she also had it in a medley.)   I think Lauren did an okay version of this song but it still seemed a little safe.  She really needs to find a song she can knock out of the park in order to really contend for the win.

Your Top Three (Watch This Space)

3) Scotty McCreery sang You've Got a Friend.  Those of you who saw the PBS special last year featuring Carole King and James Taylor may recall she let James record the song even though it was on her album.  The rest is #1 history.  I've always liked how Carole sang her own song, but this is basically a James Taylor song from now until the end of time.  Scotty did one of his best performances by trying not to make it sound like a Josh Turner cover.  Left to his own devices and out of the competition, I wonder if he might be more of a risk taker.

2) Haley Reinhart sang Beautiful.  This was terrific.  Choosing a track from the Tapestry album that may not be as well known to those who are not fans-- yet presenting it in a crystal clear way and making it sound, as the kids say: current.  This was one of my favorite Haley performances, but I still wish she had tackled Smackwater Jack.  I would've had her at position one except for...

1) James Durbin  who sang Will You Love Me Tomorrow.  This may be the best I've heard James sing all season.  Back in the old days, when you had David Cook and Chris Daughtry taking familiar songs and putting a nice spin on them, this was the kind of performance that would stand out on a good night.  Good to know somebody's still trying to follow in their footsteps.

I think Jacob is in major, major trouble and Casey may have one foot out the door as well.  All credit to Casey, though.  He goes ahead and takes chances regardless of whether the audience joins him.  That may bode well for his future-- but maybe not on this show.  Of course, we all know by now you don't have to win to win.  Just ask Pia.

We'll see Thursday night.

@April 27, 2011   Stephen W Thompson