The top 9 finalists of "American Idol" were back on the stage Wednesday night, April 6 to belt songs with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame theme. Jacob Lusk was the lucky number one, singing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" which was his last minute pick as he decided to sing something close to home instead of something that he wasn't comfortable with.
It turned out the audience loved it and so did the judges. Steven Tyler said, "Every time you sing you bring another little piece of yourself to the party." Randy Jackson gushed, "Dude, there were Jacob moments all over that," adding that he liked the way Jacob went with his "moral conviction."
Haley Reinhart came out next, singing Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" and channeling her inner rocker. Steven compared her to the real singer, saying "Janis gave the voice to rock and roll back in '68 and you did it again tonight," while Randy apparently thought she is back threatening other contestants, saying "Welcome back."
Bringing on his bass, Casey Abrams delivered his version of "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" by Creedence Clearwater Revival after his "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" during rehearsal sounded like a rumba. He made a right choice as Jennifer Lopez said, "That's exactly where you belong. I'm paying top dollar to be in the front row."
Lauren Alaina did Aretha Franklin's "Natural Woman", which Randy said one of the most difficult songs of the night. She seemed to nail it after will.i.am and Jimmy Iovine told her to find her "countroul", which is country and soul combined, as Randy said she did a "good job."
James Durbin slowed it down with George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Despite a few pitch problems, he earned praises from J.Lo and Randy who liked that he took chances and dug deep into his emotional side. James admitted to Ryan Seacrest that he'd been working on that song for years and that it really reminded him of his family.
Scotty McCreery did not want to leave his root, belting out Elvis Presley's "That's Alright, Mama" which has a combination of rock and country. He won girls' hearts with it, with some of them rushing to the stage at the end. Randy said, "Scotty is in it to win it," and the other judges thought it was good fun. J.Lo gave him a suggestion to try a little rap or hip-hop because she thinks he's got it in him.
Pia Toscano picked Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High", making J.Lo bounce on her seat. "There's a million guys, in a million bars, having a million drinks about you tonight," Steven said. Randy added, "You showed me what I already knew."
Stefano Langone went romantic with "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge. J.Lo loved it as she said, "I knew you had it in you," but Randy wasn't that impressed as he stated, "I liked it, but I wasn't jumping up and down."
Paul McDonald came the last, singing Johnny Cash's "Prison Blues". Jimmy advised him to sing it like he was "out of his bleeping mind." J.Lo called it a "perfect way to end the show, right in your lane," and Randy simply said, "Loved it!"
"American Idol" will return with a live result show on April 7 when another contestant will be eliminated.