S10E33: This was the day we all saw coming, the day Jacob Lusk left American Idol. While I thought he would have gone home long before fellow cast-off Casey Abrams (who I think should have been in the top three at the very least, if not the top spot), I knew this day would come. Jacob is very, very talented, but the truth is that as great as his voice is, it simply doesn’t have a place in mainstream music. He could be very successful as a jazz singer, but not as one who’s supposed to sell out stadiums and that’s who Idol looks to crown.
Before we get to Jacob’s swan song, I have to make my piece with Fox, who in lieu of actual content now that there are only a handful of contestants left shoved Chef Gordon Ramsay down our throats so we’d watch Hell’s Kitchen and later did the same with Jennifer Lopez’s new album. Talk about some shameless self-promotion. The chef thing was just so weird. It came out of left field and was such obvious cross-promotion that it’s almost insulting, but the Lopez performance was stranger. She’s become so much of a maternal or teacher-like figure as a judge that seeing her get up on stage in MC Hammer pants and a fringe belly shirt and shake around on the floor with Pitbull was like those weird moments when you see your English teacher out on a date or really anywhere else outside of school. It’s weird. It’s uncomfortable. It feels unnatural. Not to mention the fact that I’d give JLo the same criticisms I’ve been giving James: all show, little substance. That’s not good when you’re supposed to be the teacher. While eliminations are really becoming painful at this point, I was almost looking forward to them after that.
When it came down to it, we found Scotty McCreery, James Durbin and Haley Reinhart were safe. By this point, we know I’m not the biggest James fan. I still think America must have a hearing problem or something because the guy’s voice just isn’t pleasant — and that’s putting it lightly. On the flip side, I am thrilled to see that Haley wasn’t on the chopping block. It seems that her risk (performing that unreleased Lady Gaga song) paid off just like Jimmy Iovine (and I) hoped it would and she’s jumped from a straggler to a front-runner. Unfortunately that means that Lauren Alaina and Jacob were in the bottom two. We knew it would be Jacob, but I don’t think it would have been a shock if it was Lauren. I adore the girl and she really had a moment on Wednesday night, but with folks like Scotty and Haley and the inexplicably unstoppable James, I doubt she’s got a chance.
For his final performance, Jacob went with the man he’d been compared to all season: Luther Vandross. He slayed the performance of “A House is Not a Home” and I think he made us all a little more upset that he’d be leaving. I hope he finds some success as a jazz singer, because he truly does have an amazing voice.