James Durbin Gives Encore Worthy Performance on ‘Idol’ Wednesday

April 20, 2011 11:14 pm

The ‘American Idol’ top seven theme of Wednesday night was Songs From The 21st Century, which finally allowed the audience to give a better perspective of where each artist will fall amongst the powerhouse chart-toppers of today. Where some shined like James Durbin and Casey Abrams, some played it safe like Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, and some fell a little short like Jacob Lusk. The judges cracked the whip more so than usual, expecting more out of all the performers. Here is a brief recap of Wednesday nights performances:


Scotty McCreery, “Swingin’ ” by Leann Rimes. Scotty started the show off on a mellow, safe, and anti-climactic tone. Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson both felt that he needed to break the mold, and he was a bit boring. With an entire decade to choose form, they felt Scotty could have picked something out of his element for once.  Scotty played it cool with all the criticism by saying “I totally understand what they’re saying, I was having fun though.”

Grade: C



James Durbin, “Uprising” by Muse. James took his shot at a contemporary song while wearing a futuristic outfit, as Steven Tyler called it “Mad Max, meets Storm Trooper on Melrose.”Of course his star quality shined through the performance as it does every time he steps on stage, while coming out with a drum-line. “You were unbelievable up there.” said Randy. While Jennifer rebutted “You’re going to be the best performance of the night.”   Grade: A



Haley Reinhart, “Rolling In The Deep” by Adele. Haley picked the perfect song for her raspy voice, and revealed several amazing components that were her own. Better than Adele? Maybe not, but still respectively had its own brilliant moments that showcased her individual flair. The judges collectively felt that she did very well, although not expressing too much excitement overall. Grade: B




Jacob Lusk, “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross.  Jacob sang a song very near and dear to his heart. Having lost his father at a young age this song not only hit home, it was also done by Luther Vandross, who Jacob had been compared to all season. At this point it seemed like the judges are expecting more from all the performers as they all felt he could have performed it better. Jennifer felt that along with controlling his emotions, he should have released more at certain points of the song. Randy exclaimed that he wanted to hear the old jacob again. Something was missing from Jacob.  Grade: C+


Casey Abrams, “Harder To Breathe ” by Maroon 5. Casey’s song choice week after week showcase not only his eclectic music range, but also his depth as an artist. There is literally no genre he won’t touch. Casey had fun on stage, while playfully slapping the audiences hands (instead of high fives), and sealing the performance with a kiss on Jennifer’s cheek. Casey did Casey and it paid off, even had Steven Tyler and Randy getting bleeped for inappropriate language. He had Ryan Seacrest walk out with an Abrams beard saying “thanks for changing the course of this show.” Grade: A


Stefano Langone, “Closer” by Ne-Yo. Stefano gave a glimpse of the route he is pursuing musically. The pop vibe he went with on this song, was a good fit for his whole persona. He even showed off a few of his dance moves and had the girls off their feet in the audience. Jennifer once again expressed how good looking she thought he looked. Saying “Speaking for all the girls here, you definitely brought your swagger to the stage.”  Grade: B+



Lauren Alaina, “Born To Fly”  by Sara Evans. Going back to her country roots, Lauren gave an upbeat performance that could easily have been a headliner at the Stagecoach country music festival. However there were times where she lacked the confidence, and the judges took notice. From the beginning when practicing with Jimmy Lovine, to the end of the performance in front of America, the question still loomed about her confidence. At this stage in the competition, this should have been answered  several episodes back. Not a good sign this late. Grade: B-


With this being dubbed the best season yet by so many viewers, let’s leave with a quote from Ryan Seacrest that best sums up the difficulties in voting, “At this stage of the competition, how do you vote?” Good question Ryan. Guess we will have to stay tuned on Thursday to find out.


*The opinions in this blog do not express the opinions of Ryan Seacrest, American Idol, Fox Television, or 19 Entertainment.