Idol Beat: Five For Fighting

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Dear American Idol:

I don't like you - I think that's been pretty well established at this point - and I know you don't like me, otherwise you wouldn't still be dragging along for 90 minutes on Wednesday even though there are only five contestants left, and singing two songs of an average 2.5 minutes each (for those bad at math, that's 25 minutes of performance).

There are only three weeks left, so let's just get through it and, as is the case with most of my ex-girlfriends, we'll never have to speak again.

"Who's in it to win it?" Randy - and America - want to know. The problem is, at one point or another, Randy has claimed each remaining hopeful has been so. And last night, all but on became so again.

Sheryl Crow is a mentor, which must mean she has a new album coming out. Whatever, I'll just be happy if we never see will.i.am again.

James Durbin was up first with "Closer to the Edge" by 30 Seconds to Mars, and my television must have different audio systems than the Nokia Theater, because I thought he sounded horrible. The judges disagree, and Ryan Seacrest says he brought the "full monty," which doesn't make any fucking sense unless some frontal nudity got edited from the network feed.

Next up was Jacob Lusk, who sang both parts of "No Air" by former Idol winner Jordin Sparks and that guy who beat up Rihanna. How the holy hell is this dude still here? J Lo liked it, Randy is less effusive, and much time is eaten up by the two of them arguing. Steven's "waiting for him to find a niche."

What? There's three weeks left, for christ's sake, how much time is this man-child supposed to get?

If there's a criticism to be made of Lauren Alaina's performance of Carrie Underwood's "Flat on the Floor," it was that she didn't put some space between herself and her d-bag fiddle player. Other than that, strongest performance of the night so far.

Scotty McCreery doing a song by country band Montgomery Gentry? The hell you say. What is there to say at this point? He doesn't take risks, and nobody cares. And a third of the way into the show, and Randy has already pulled out all three of his verbal trademarks: "Yo," "felt like we were at a [insert contestant name] concert," and "in it to win it" - everybody by Jacob so far.

An unreleased Lady Gaga song ("You and I")? Boy, it sure is odd the Idol producers got it. Almost like she was going to be performing on the show twice in the remaining weeks.

Haley Reinhart isn't the best choice to do it, and doesn't bring it here. J Lo doesn't like it - and Haley looks like she wants to kick her in her substantial posterior - neither does Randy. But as long as Haley wears tight pants, she'll always have a fan in Steven.

We've now seen everyone perform once...so obviously it's time to HAVE THEM PERFORM AGAIN. Hot damn. Here's a run-down:

James cries (dumbfounding Sheryl Crow), sings Nilsson's "Without You," cries again, J Lo approves, pre-adolescent female vote secured.

Jacob...out of tune on "Love Hurts" (Everly Brothers), brings to mind "strangling the cat" line from Goldeneye, Anthony Thor Hopkins grits teeth

Lauren, like all of us, wonders if Jimmy Iovine is fooling anyone with the hat. "Unchained Melody," she's taller than Seacrest, but then so was Frodo.

Scotty deep-throats "Always On My Mind," makes us wish for Willie to come out and strangle him with his ponytail. Scotty is what Nick the Lounge Singer would have sounded like if SNL was shot south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Haley closes out with "House of the Rising Sun." Nothing endears yourself to American prime-time viewers like singing a song about a whorehouse. She may have saved her ass this week, however.

Tonight, one goes home. It has to be Jacob, doesn't it?

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