It’s IDOL TIME!!!  You may notice that the site looks just a little different, that’s because we are now using a different blogging platform.  It also explains why I’ve been so quiet this week, but I’m back baby!!

Tonight’s Idol theme is mo-town, let’s see what happened!

Casey Abrams – Casey is a natural fit for the mo-town genre, and his choice of “Heard It Through the Grapevine” was a strong one.  Only problem – it sounded like he was singing the Creedence Clearwater Revival cover over the original mo-town version.  Casey has a great pure voice, but this performance was way too aggressive for the style.  Mark this down as the first time he has disappointed me.  Jennifer Lopez commented that there is no artist out there like Casey right now –  J-Lo needs to listen to music that isn’t top 40, Casey is a great performer but he isn’t unique in the indie rock and folk genre.

Thia Megia – Was tonight the night we got to hear Thia do something other than a ballad?  Sure was!  She performed “Heatwave” and I have to say that she really brought it vocally and really owned the stage.  It was pitchy in spots, and a bit repetitive, but it was a watershed performance for the young singer who to this point hadn’t shown much more than a strong voice for ballads.

Jacob Lusk – Talk about a genre night built for Jacob, and his performance of “You’re All I Need to Get By” was one of the best of the night.  It was strong song choice and an even stronger performance.  The producers expressed that he needed to hold back vocally to give the song a place to go, and that suggestion led to one of his best performances.  It seemed the audience really felt it too, because after the performance the entire front row of girls came up to give him hugs and kisses.

Lauren Alaina – “Keep Me Hanging On” was her song of choice, and with this performance it really seems Lauren is back in this competition!  The song was big, sassy, and perfect for her.  I only wish she had taken it further vocally, but it was still a really strong performance.

Stefano Langone – Stefano chose the classic male Idol anthem “Hello.”  It was decent, but I’m never really bowled over by Stefano.  Tonight was more of the same.  Last week was pretty great, but this week was weaker.  The judges criticized him for a lack of emotion, and I really think that is what is holding him back.  As young as he is, it is hard to imagine him connecting to the emotion of the songs he has been performing.  Maybe he should try out the Rebecca Black classic “Friday”?

Haley Reinhardt – I feared Haley might struggle with mo-town week, but she really did the best she could in a genre that is not kind to her vocal style.  With that in mind, this may have been her best performance yet.  She fought through it with emotion and just the right amount of gruffness.  I’m ready to hear her do a rock track!

Scotty Mcreery – Scotty took “For Once In My Life” and gave it a little country turn – and it was actually really well done!  He was the first to put their own spin on a track, and it worked out really well for him.  Scotty is the opposite of Haley – he knows who he is but he is a one trick pony.  Haley has a lot of potential but hasn’t figured out who she is yet.  Both could do really well in the music business today.

Pia Tuscano – Pia’s performance of “All In Love Is Fair” was the rival to Jacob’s performance for best of the night.  Both were over the top great vocally and emotionally.  I do think she’ll need to grow as a performer though, she doesn’t command an audience yet because she is so focused on her singing.  However, Carrie Underwood was the same way on Idol and she’s been plenty successful, so what do I/the judges know?

Paul McDonald – Scotty wasn’t the only performer to do his own version of a song, Paul took “Tracks of My Tears” and turned it acoustic pop-ways.  He really worked it with the acoustic guitar and always sounds great with this style.  Kudos to him for doing his own thing with it and making it a significantly different song, it is nice to see some creativity out of this bunch.  Also, Randy picked up on how much he sounds like Rod Stewart, finally!  When I close my eyes during Paul’s performances all I see are Rod Stewart’s uncomfortable hand gestures.

Naima Adedapo – “Dancing In the Street” with actual dancing and African drumming – interesting!  It was certainly unique, and the dancing portion was a really great twist.  She sang the song well, but there wasn’t really a great flow between the two parts.  I think Naima brings a lot to the table, but I wasn’t as high on this as the judges were.  She is certainly getting better each week though.

James Durbin – There were a lot of performances of Stevie Wonder tonight.  I really wish someone would tell them that there are other motown singers besides Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson.  As far as James, he did well enough, but his vocal styling isn’t ever going to mesh really well with mo-town.  It was strong though, he hit all the notes and got the audience involved.

This is the first night where there were no truly bad performances.  As a result, it is really hard to say who might go home.  Based on the latest results Haley or Thia could be in trouble, but it will be interesting to see what America has to say!

Related – Karen Rodriguez Kicked Off Idol

Follow the Prophet of Pop on Twitter and on Facebook!

More from Beliefnet and our partners