The May 4 performance show of "American Idol" had "Now and Then" as the theme. The five remaining contestants performed two songs: one current song and one tune from the 1960s. Jimmy Iovine was joined by Sheryl Crow to mentor the gang this week.
The competition started with contemporary songs and James Durbin opted to sing "Closer to the Edge" by 30 Seconds to Mars. Though it was not so special, the judges only had good words for him. Steven Tyler called it "nice going" and "beautiful", while Randy Jackson said, "Now you're showing us where you could go as an artist...James is in it to win it, America."
Jacob Lusk came out next with "No Air" by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown. Randy thought he does not fit in the pop music, stating "I don't think that's the direction for you...I don't see you as Chris Brown or Jordin Sparks," but Jennifer Lopez had a different opinion. She stated, "If this is the direction, let's keep it there."
Lauren Alaina picked "Flat on the Floor" by Carrie Underwood. Unlike Jacob, she did fit in the song well. "That is the direction for you...I thought it was amazing," Randy said, and Steven agreed, "I think you're It."
Montgomery Gentry's "Gone" was Scotty McCreery's choice. Beside proving his consistency, he also delivered a visually enjoyable performance as J.Lo stated, "You just owned that stage." Steven said, "I saw you dance with the devil tonight and that's a good thing for you," while Randy gushed, "I felt like we were sitting at concert Scotty."
Next, there was Haley Reinhart with Lady GaGa's song "You and I", which was something suggested by Jimmy. The strategy, however, did not work as J.Lo thought, "It would have been a better choice to choose something that everybody knew." Similarly, Randy said, "You're a great singer...I don't know if this whole thing did you any favors," but Steven loved what she did.
Later, James showed up on the stage again to deliver his pick for 1960s' song which was "Without You" by Badfinger. He got emotional and cried during his performance. Randy said, "No, it wasn't perfect, but it was emotionally perfect." J.Lo chimed in, "You are an artist...You are a true, true artist."
Jacob went on with "Love Hurts" after Jimmy told him to do the song. The mentor gave a good advice as Randy said Jacob "redeemed" himself on this one. Steven added, "What a delivery. What a beautiful thing," and J.Lo commented, "You bring out the tricks at the end...Really good."
Lauren picked "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers. She made a right choice once again as Steven gushed, "It was perfect." J.Lo agreed, "It was a beautiful song sang beautifully by you," and Randy added that Lauren proved she "can sing like a bird".
Scott opted for another Elvis Presley song with "Always on My Mind". Steven admitted he could not criticize it, saying "I cannot pick that apart. That was a beautiful, beautiful rendition of that song." J.Lo stated, "You can do anything. You can sing anything," while Randy added, "You're a huge country music fan and you do it so well...I love it."
Haley wrapped up the competition that night with The Animals version of "The House of the Rising Sun". She scored a standing ovation from judges as Randy declared it "the best performance of the night." Steven simply said he "loves it", while J.Lo praised her "great job".
Vote result for these performances will be announced in "American Idol" result show on Thursday, May 5.
James Durbin's 'Without You':
Jacob Lusk's 'Love Hurts':
Lauren Alaina's 'Unchained Melody':
Scotty McCreery's Always on My Mind:
Haley Reinhart's The House of the Rising Sun: