This week the six remaining idol contestants had to take on songs by Carole King, which was sort of a random choice considering that I don’t think many of the performers parents were conscious when she was famous, let alone the performers themselves. However, it actually worked itself out pretty well, since it turns out Carole King songs are the perfect type of heart-tugging crowd pleasers that the Idol audiences eat up, which is to say, everyone did well. Well, everyone except for Casey, that is.

First up was Jacob, singing “Oh No Not My Baby” in a fancy checked suit and bright yellow vest, looking sort of like a puffy Andre 3000. He did well, taking the judges advice to bring back the churchiness and cutting loose on the stage. They did that awkward thing tohugh where because the song’s being sung by a guy instead of a girl they switch the genders in the lyrics, which for Jacob was a little…off, you know what I mean? Anyway, I thought he performed well, and so did the judges. Maybe he won’t be in the bottom 2 this time? (He probably will.)

Next: Lauren, performing “Where You Lead.” Jimmy decided to surprise Lauren in the studio this week by bringing in Miley Cyrus, despite the fact that he basically crapped all over her vocal talents two weeks in a row. Miley seemed to be cool with it though, and rasped something in her cigarette whiskey voice about how Lauren needs to follow her dreams or something. After the Hannah Montana pep talk, Lauren took the stage with one of her better performances of the show. Her voice was solid, and so was her stage presence. She even did this cute/creepy thing where she brought a guy on stage and serenaded him. Cute because she was all flirty, creepy because he wound up being 19 so it’s technically illegal. But statutory potential aside, girl did well this week. Kudos, Lauren! You’re winning me over. (Also, did anyone notice Penny Marshall lurking in the background behind Randy Jackson with her little round sunglasses? Creepy!)

In addition to individual performances, tonight we also get some bonus duets as well, and Haley and Casey were first, performing “I Feel the Earth Move.” From the way the two of them act with each other you can tell that there’s definitely some funny business going on between the two of them back at the leaky Idol mansion. I mean, it makes sense after all, since they both have the same growly goblin voices and eyes that are too close together. They seem like they would live in a van or something. But anyway, their performance was cute, and arguably better than their individual performances that came later.

Following the van-dwelling lovebirds was Scotty, who showed us his softer side with “You Got a Friend,” and it was good! This time, instead of his typical smirky booming voice stylings he sang a little higher, and a little more tender, like how I imagine he would sing if he was cradling your head like a fragile baby. Also, I think he was wearing a leather shirt?

Also showing a different side was James, who chose the doo-wop-y “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” instead of his typical arena rock thing. I have to admit, I was skeptical, but he did well. The judges and audience ate it up too. James is definitely the one to beat right now.

More duets! Lauren and Scotty are up this time, and like Casey and Haley they seem to have something going on as well, but they both say they’re like brother and sister, though who knows what that means what with them being from the South and all (cheap joke, I know). Despite that ick factor, the performance was cute.

Casey took the stage after the lovebirds, singing a terrible rendition of “Hi De Ho.” He tried to make the performance all cool and jazzy, interacting with the musicians and stuff, but as usual it devolved into him screaming and making demon eyes at everyone. So yeah, it was bad. Hopefully this will be the week America wises up and says enough of his darksided ways. Hopefully!

Haley, the growly yin to Casey’s bearded yang, rounded out the group with a performance of “Beautiful” that wasn’t TERRIBLE, but it definitely wasn’t her best. Like I mentioned earlier, her performance in her duet with Casey was a lot better. However, to be fair, they mentioned that she was having some technical difficulties, so that might have contributed to her lackluster performance. The judges didn’t seem to notice though, and gave her hyperbolic platitudes (Steven: “I just saw God.”)

James and Jacob closed things with the last duet of the night, and it was suuuuper random and awkward. They basically said as much in their interview, and it was obvious that they knew how weird it was. So, in that perspective, they did ok. But yeah, it was weird.

So that was the night! Each week it gets tougher to tell who will go home. Now that Stefano is finally gone, there’s nobody that really stands out as being the obvious choice. I think James, Lauren, and Scotty are definitely safe, which makes Casey, Haley, and Jacob the bottom 3. If I was a betting man, and if I was putting points down in one of our Idol pools, I’d go with Jacob being sent home, just because he has consistently been towards the bottom the last few weeks, and I’m not sure his good performance this week was enough to win people back. But we’ll see tomorrow! Maybe he did just well enough to claw his way out of the abyss, and Casey will go home. Hopefully?