Top six night begins. Ryan, possibly feeling The Voice breathing down their necks, tries to get the energy of the Idol audience going. He introduces the finalists and then the judges enter – Jennifer in gold, Steven in silver, Randy in a varsity sweater. The two guys dance.
It’s Carole King night, and turns out she wrote everything. There’s a package about her.
Jimmy’s guest mentor is Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds (what happened to Will.i.am?)
Jacob is first. He’s singing “Oh, No, Not My Baby” and he goes through a million tries. Jimmy says he’s in trouble. He’s also wearing a highly distracting outfit. So distracting I had a hard time concentrating on his singing, which is a problem. But I think it was good, if oversang. The judges are lukewarm at best.
Lauren gets her very own guest mentor – Miley Cyrus herself. She’s singing “Where You Lead”, and is encouraged to find the confidence she has lost. Or they say she’s lost. Also to find some high notes. She looks flatironed and cute enough. She loves her cowboy boots, I guess. She goes to a random boy in the audience and twirls with him and he sits down on the stage. She does a decent job, but the judges focus on the one note she missed, but say it was the best part of the song. I don’t even know.
Ryan questions the boy, who is nineteen, and sends him back to the audience for being the wrong age for Lauren. (Where, according to reports, he shook her parents’ hands and left the building. So maybe not so random?)
Haley and Casey do another duet. This won’t be voted on but will get some judge commentary. They’re singing “I Feel the Earth Move” and they kill it. It’s fun and happy and Haley just shines. Steven loves it – he’s the only one who speaks.
Scotty is going out of his zone a little big and singing “You’ve Got a Friend.” Babyface tells him to start airy and then build, and Scotty listens. He listens very well as, holding his mic normally, he gives what I think is his best performance. There’s a bit of twang, but it’s NOT the same song he always does. The judges LOOOOOVE it.
James gets another sit-down with Ryan. Does this happen every week? He thinks Scotty did a great job, better than even dress rehearsal. He himself will not have marching bands or a flaming piano – just him, a band and his guitar. He’s singing “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” He starts off a capella, and it sounds fine, although I do wince a time or two. And then the band and his guitar kick in and it’s a rock version and it doesn’t work for me. He shouts this tender song. If he’d stayed a capella, it would have been better and very powerful. The judges think that this is the performance of the night, and Randy even declares him the winner and goes up to hug him.
The next duet is the country kids, Lauren and Scotty. They’re singing “Up on the Roof.” Ryan tries to imply there’s a romance but they claim to be mostly brother and sister. And then Ryan says he doesn’t want to be awkward. Too late, sweetie. The duet is fine. They don’t harmonize as well as Haley and Casey, but they manage. It helps that Scotty is willing to be the supporting voice so it all works. Jennifer heaps praise upon them, but especially Scotty.
Casey is next, and he’s singing “Hi-de-ho”, apparently channeling Matt Giraud in both his hat and his piano playing (that’s only for a moment, though) and his jazzy presentation. I like it a lot. He’s a bit growly and hello, faces, but this is his best style. The judges love it, of course, but Jennifer thinks he’s stiff.
Haley goes last,and she’s singing “Beautiful”. She calls it “groovy and uplifting”, and she’s killing it. She got a shot of confidence and it shows. The judges love it, except Randy didn’t love the beginning.
And finally, James and Jacob, who recognize that they are a combination not found in nature, sing “I’m Into Something Good” and…well, we have two men who will not harmonize because neither is going to be second to the other. And they sing to Jennifer, who has to cross her legs very fast. However, they do have a couple of cute moments in the mix. Steven…doesn’t know where they were going.
Predictions – Bottom three will be Haley, Jacob and Casey. Jacob is going home.