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American Idol Final 6: James Durbin and Scotty McCreery vie for top spot

American Idol recap: Singer-songwriter Carole King brought out the best in American Idol contestants Scotty McCreery and James Durbin this week. Will it be enough now that the odds are 50/50 for landing in the bottom three?

By Correspondent / April 28, 2011

American Idol finalist Scotty McCreery poses at the American Idol Finalists Party in Los Angeles, March 3, 2011.

Chris Pizzello / AP Photo

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American Idol’s final six contestants took on the diverse songbook of Carole King Wednesday night for their individual performances as well as a few duets used as filler.

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Jacob Lusk started the night with, “Oh No, Not My Baby.” Judges Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez noted that Jacob struggled with some pitch problems (um yeah, the whole song was a pitch problem!) but worked it out (must have missed that part). While it would be easy to blame Jacob for this, viewers should actually blame the judges who wisely told Jacob to tune things down a few weeks ago, only to do a “180” last week, and urge Jacob to never hold back. C

Lauren Alaina followed with, “Where you Lead.” During her rehearsals record producer Jimmy Iovine surprised Lauren with a visit from Miley Cyrus. Viewers may recall that Jimmy commented a couple of weeks ago that Lauren’s voice was much stronger than Miley’s. It was good to see that Miley wouldn’t let that stand in the way of a little self-promotion and some advice for Lauren. Miley explained to Lauren that no matter how big of a star you are there will always be people who put you down and criticize. The pep talk seemed to give Lauren that little extra bit of confidence that has been sorely lacking. While the song choice was a little boring, Lauren infused it with personality and her voice sounded better than it has in some time. JLo was so proud to hear Lauren pushing that it brought tears to her eyes. B+

Haley & Casey, who performed a great jazzy duet a couple of weeks ago, sang “I Feel the Earth Move.” The earth, unfortunately, did not move and the pair failed to live up to their previous performance.

Scotty McCreery's performance of “You Got a Friend,” was not only his personal best but also the best performance of the season. He even held his microphone the normal way! Finally a contestant experiences a real moment on stage and the normally jubilant judges opt to be tepid!? Randy said it was excellent but warned Scotty not to fall off the high notes and Steven Tyler said he doesn’t think Scotty ever sang better. OK that is high praise, but where was the enthusiasm and cheering? A

Oh right, they were saving it for James . . . again

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