Last week the judges opted to save Casey Abrams from elimination and as a result the entire Top 11 is back!  Additionally, Fox will probably get a nice little ratings boost tomorrow night since not one but two people will head home.  But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s find out who rocked/made a mockery of music tonight!

The theme was Elton John, and the wrap-around segment was an Entertainment Weekly Idol fashion photo shoot.  I am not thinking that I am a part of the target audience here.

Scotty Mcreery – According to the photographer Scotty has a “natural elegance.”  I don’t think he and I use those words in the same way!  Ladies, what do you think?  Scotty found Elton’s only country song and delivered maybe his worst performance yet.  He played the guitar and I think that distracted him from the tune of the song.  It wasn’t a bad performance, just nowhere near his best.

Naima Adedapo – Naima performed a reggae version of “I’m Still Standing.”  The arrangement was one of the best alternate versions of a song this season, the only problem is that Naima can’t sing on key.  Her vibrant personality has kept her in this competition, but I can’t recall a performance where she really sounded like someone who could win American Idol.

Paul McDonald – Rod Stewart, I mean Paul, chose “Rocket Man.”  Unfortunately, “Rocket Man” is way too big of a song for Rod Stewart and it didn’t quite work out for Paul either.  Paul is a solid performer, but his range doesn’t extend close to Elton’s and it showed.

Pia Toscano – Pia chose to ignore the judges plea for an up-tempo song and chose “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.”  It was another great ballad performance though.  If Scotty can perform a slow country song every week and not be criticized by the judges, then Pia should be able to rock a ballad every single week if that’s what she wants to do.  The double standard is getting old.  For me, I do think an up-tempo song would be nice, but I can’t deny how much she rocks the big songs.

Stefano Langone – Stefano chose “Hold Me Closer Tony Danza,” I mean, “Tiny Dancer.”  Stefano was in the bottom two last week, and while he sang well this week he may end up there again.  Stefano has a bit of difficulty communicating the emotion of a song without looking like a cheeseball, and while he did better this week it was still pretty awkward.  I, for one, hopes he gets kicked off so that he can go ahead and do a duet with former Idol David Archiletta.  We won’t know who is who!

Lauren Alaina – “Candle in the Wind” is such a famous song, and Lauren seemed to have a lot of trouble with it.  She seemed unsure from the beginning, and by the time it came together the song was over.  The judges and audience loved it though, so maybe I will be in the minority here.  Steven Tyler got the line of the night though – “Keep singing like that and you’ll be able to afford the rest of that dress.”

James Durbin – OMG HE STARTED IN THE CROWD.  ZOMG THE PIANO IS ON FIRE!!!  Alright, Mini-Lambert brought the rock again tonight and “did his thing” as Randy says.  I’m glad that James finally brought some fun theatrics tonight.  His singing wasn’t as strong as usual, but stuff was on fire so really, who cares??

Thia Megia – Thia performed “Daniel.”  I guess the energetic Thia was just a one week show, and I for one am glad for that.  It was a solid enough performance, but not really mind blowing in any way.  I think that is Thia’s biggest problem though, she is a great singer especially for her age, but there isn’t much outside of that which makes her special.

Casey Abrams – Casey had a big scare last week, and I was very interested to see how he would respond.  Apparently his first response was to get a haircut and trim his beard.  Good for Idol, bad for looking like Mick Foley.  He sang “Your Song” with hardly a hint of the gravely aggression of the last two weeks, and it was one of the most moving moments this week.  It was clear that last week really brought him around.  For the first time in awhile it seemed like he was really happy to be on stage at American Idol.

Jacob Lusk – Jacob did “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.”  Jacob is the best singer in this competition.  End of story.

Haley Reinhardt – “Benny and the Jets” is such a great song, and I’ve been begging for Haley to find the right song.  I’m not sure if this was quite it, but it was a huge step in the right direction!  She sang the song very well and gave it her own style, it was definitely one of the highlights of the night!

Last week everyone brought it, but this week was a little more rough.  Haley, Casey, Pia, and Jacob were the highlights, but after last week I don’t feel comfortable trying to pick the bottom two.  If it were me, Naima and Stefano would be in the most trouble.

What did you think?

Related – Casey Abrams Saved On Idol

Follow the Prophet of Pop on Twitter and on Facebook!

More from Beliefnet and our partners