‘American Idol’: Scotty McCreery Has Got A Friend In Carole King

Becky Bain | April 28, 2011 5:15 am

Who cares about The Voice, amiright, Idol loyalists? Although NBC’s rival singing competition premiered to stellar ratings and mostly positive reviews (including from us!), we won’t give up on American Idol just yet. Besides, there are six people left in the competition — two country singers, a rock/metal fan, a Gospel soul singer, a jazz enthusiast, and whatever you consider Haley Reinhart to be. Instead of grouping last night crop of performances into categories of Good, Okay and Bad this week, we’ve just ranked our favorites from Blarg to Best. Jump below and see if you agree who benefited the most from Carole King theme week.

#6. Jacob Lusk performs “Oh No, Not My Baby”. We couldn’t keep our eyes off of Jacob’s outfit, which we like to call Crayola Preppy. Anyway, about his performance. It was not out of this world, but it was not too over-the-top like usual. It was inoffensively lukewarm. If you like Jacob, you probably enjoyed it, and if you care not for Mr. Lusk, this won’t convince you otherwise.

#5. Lauren Alaina performs “Where You Lead”, but more importantly, she meets Miley Cyrus! The two young gals bond over their shared Southern accents, but shouldn’t this be more of an awkward meeting, since Jimmy Iovine told Lauren that she had a better voice than Miley when she sang “The Climb”? Anyway, guest mentor Babyface (sayonara, will.i.am) advises Lauren to belt out some high notes, and lo and behold, he was right — Lauren gets some added spunk and stretches herself when powering for those notes.

#4. Haley Reinhart performs “Beautiful”. We’ve signed up to be on Team Haley the past few weeks, but we weren’t head over heels for this performance. Although it’s a great song, it just didn’t seem like a great song for Idol. But by the end, Haley won us over yet again with that great, grizzly power note at the finish line.

#3. Casey Abrams performs “Hi De Ho”. This is the perfect song choice for a guy with a personality like Casey’s. He’s a total old school, New Orleans jazz-soul singer, and he’s completely in his element here. Plus, he bangs out a few notes on the piano, which brings his instrument tally up to four: Melodica, upright bass, guitar, and now the 88 keys. We miss any?

#2. James Durbin performs “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”. The leading player on our Idol Power List opens a capella, and sounds fantastic, coming off as very classic and understated. Best of all: No shrieking! Okay, just a little shrieking. But at least it was all on key. However, our joy we feel for James turns into disturbed aghast when Steven provides the night’s TMI moment by revealing that his first make-out sesh was to this song. (Some quick math – the song was released in 1961. Steven Tyler was born in 1948. Which means he was at least 13 years old when he got his first smooth. Darling.)

#1. Scotty McCreery performs “You’ve Got A Friend”. Scotty is not given the chance to sing a straight-up country song, which thrills us at the possibilities. Will he just refuse and pay for the rights to “I Walk The Line” himself? No, no — he sings King’s “You’ve Got A Friend” in an absolutely beautiful, subtle fashion, showing more of his range than his abnormally low register. It’s his best performance yet, and the best of the night.

And then there were the group numbers, which felt more like larks than anything. Let’s just grade them with the Randy Jackson Method Of Criticism:

Haley & Casey, “I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet”: That Was Tight!

Lauren Alaina & Scotty McCreery, “Up On The Roof”: No, Dawg.

James Durbin & Jacob Lusk, “I’m Into Something Good”: Just Aight.

TONIGHT: The Idols are whittled down to five (bye bye Jacob?), and Bruno Mars, Crystal Bowersox and Idol‘s very own Jennifer Lopez take the stage.