Say what you will about Jacob Lusk’s colorful ensembles on Wednesday night’s Carole King-themed “American Idol” performance episode. But all the purple bow ties and electric-blue vests in the world cannot distract this viewer from a simple fact: It’s time for the guy to go.
Though I’ve been in a (very vocal) minority for weeks about Jacob, telling anyone who will listen that his grating personality, screechy falsetto, preening stage presence and complete lack of commercial prospects are reason enough to get rid of him, it seems my fellow “Idol” experts have finally come around and seen the light.
For one of the first times all season, all four prognosticators in this column agree: Jacob is headed for the “Idol” phantom zone.
“There was an audible ’boo’ after Jacob survived last week, so I imagine he had the most to prove last night, and while the judges loved the growling ’character’ he debuted on ’Oh No Not My Baby,’ I think it will get him sent home,” opined MTV News “Idol Party Live” host Jim Cantiello. “Not to mention that the South was being overcome with storms and tornados, so the gospel loving community supporting their hometown hero may have had more pressing things on their mind. (Jennifer Hudson got booted when a huge storm hit her Chicago hometown.)??”
Jim also felt that Casey Abrams’ latest scowly-faced growlfest on an obscure blues/jazz King tune would probably not appeal beyond his base and would land him in the bottom three. With James Durbin and Scotty McCreery killing it, and Haley Reinhart doing an acceptable job, he though the third seat would likely belong to teen Lauren Alaina.
“That plaid outfit would be enough to put off anyone voting for him,” joked “Idol” blogger MJ Santilli about Lusk. “But really, his performance was vocally solid, even if the sight of him running around the stage was a little distracting. Jacob is doomed because he performed first and has already made a few trips to the bottom three.”
Village Voice music editor Maura Johnston made it unanimous. “The conspiracy-theorist side of me thinks that the producers (and Jimmy Iovine) picked this theme with the express purpose of sending [Jacob] packing,” she said. “I thought he was great — pitchy, yes, but at least he had artistry — but his stank and his Herb Tarlek suit do him no favors.”
Santilli agreed Abrams would probably wind up next to Jacob but be safe and Haley will hit the skids again, but escape once more.
To recap, here’s our prediction for the bottom three. Agree with our picks? Let us know your list in the comments below.
» Gil Kaufman/Maura Johnston/Jim Cantiello/MJ Santilli: Jacob Lusk (out), Casey Abrams (safe), Haley Reinhart (safe – Kaufman) Lauren Alaina (safe – Cantiello, Santilli)
Don’t miss “Idol Party Live” every Thursday at noon on MTV.com for analysis, celebrity guests and even some karaoke — get in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #idolparty! In the meantime, get your “Idol” fix on MTV News’ “American Idol” page, where you’ll find all the latest news, interviews and opinions.