Tonight was the biggest night on television according to Ryan Seacret.  Someone should inform the Super Bowl so it can close up shop.  There are only four contestants left, Lady Gaga was there to mentor, and Coke was advertised – it was Idol time.

James Durbin – The contestant’s first song had to be an inspirational hit, so James started the night doing his best Steve Perry impression on Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”  It’s a really tough song, and he handled it well pitch wise.  While he deserved praise for that, I found the performance to be a little too straight and bordering on sounding like a really great karaoke performance.  It would have been a great early season performance to me, but was dull here.  His second performance was significantly more exciting, turning “Love Potion No. 9” into a rocker and getting the whole crowd involved.  This was James at his best and most over the top, bringing back everything I enjoy about the kid.

Haley Reinhardt – Haley went with the King of Pop, and man did it start out rough.  She started out soft and in her lower registry, and unfortunately singing everything flat.  Once the song got going though, so did the performance.  She was criticized for not singing a hit and for “screaming” but I those were the parts of the performance that I liked.  Her second performance was another minor key slow ballad.  The performance was superb, and I love minor ballads, but I’m afraid she is heading home.  You don’t sing two less than recognizable slow jams on Idol top 4 night and make it through.  Even so, this was easily my favorite performance of the whole night.  I hope Haley can go places.

Scotty Mcreery – Scotty picked the Alan Jackson 9/11 anthem “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?”  The performance was on par with his other performances, but man, that song choice was brilliant.  His audience will absolutely eat it up and I guarantee that he will be back next week, at this point I think he is going to win the whole thing.  Scotty went all upbeat for his second, showing his full range through a really fun performance.  The best part of the show though was seeing how uncomfortable he was being in the same room with Lady Gaga and her crazy make-up.

Lauren Alaina – The judges said that James sang the hardest song, but I guess they didn’t realize that Lauren was going to sing Martina McBride.  This was be far the best performance of the first round, and probably Lauren’s best performance ever on the show.  She nailed every note from start to finish and with her own style.  Her second performance as Elvis was quite a bit more sassy than her usual output, and that was a welcome change!  Even with the style switch she nailed every bit of the song, putting out easily the most interesting performance of the night.

Tonight was a pretty solid night for all of the potential Idols, but Lauren really showed the most.  I have never been a huge Lauren fan, but she brought it tonight and stretched herself further than any of her competitors did.  I think Scotty has the inside track to win it, but Lauren isn’t going down without a fight.  While I liked both of Haley’s performances, I’m afraid that she will be heading home.

What did you think?

Related – The Voice Premiere on NBC

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