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'American Idol' recap: Top 7 Perform

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American Idol, Season 10, Top 13

© Fox / Michael Becker

We've had memorable movie songs, tracks from the year they were born, and songs from their favourite artists, but this week on American Idol was all about the 21st century, as our Top 7 chose music released from January 1, 2000. All studio performances are now available as single tracks or as a compilation album on iTunes.

First up is a rendition of Pink's 'So What' featuring this season's eliminees. The performance begins with Naima Adedapo, Pia Toscano, Ashthon Jones, Thia Megia and Karen Rodriguez, before last week's casualty Paul McDonald joins them on stage. We also see that Dancing with the Stars professional Mark Ballas is in the audience (he's slated to dance to a track by Pia on next week's DWTS results show).

Here's what the judges said about the Top 7:

Scotty McCreery: 'Swingin' - LeAnn Rimes

"I guess that was your equivalent of the Rolling Stones!" says Steven. He likes the performance but wishes Scotty would have "boot scooted a little more and sashayed around". Jennifer agrees that there was something missing. She loves him and the storytelling quality in his voice but thinks he needs to move out of his comfort zone. "You had a decade of country music and any song to choose from and I feel like maybe we were expecting more." Randy agrees, saying that Scotty's performance was "so safe it was almost boring" for him.



James Durbin: 'Uprising' - Muse

"I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that will theatrically be the best performance of the night!" says Jennifer. "That was really amazing. I think that's the highest we've ever heard you sing or anybody on the show!" Randy says that Muse is one of his favourite bands and he hopes James follows that direction in his career. He goes one step further than J.Lo when he says he thinks it will be the best performance of the night. He also says that he heard Muse frontman Matt Bellamy (who attended an Idol taping recently) had challenged James to go an octave higher on the last chorus, which he nailed. Steven jokes that James should stay out of his closet, describing his black ensemble as "Mad Max meets Storm Troopers on Melrose". He adds: "You'd be surprised how expensive it is to look this cheap!" In terms of the performance, he loved it, and likes that James is going in a T-Rex direction.



Haley Reinhart: 'Rolling In The Deep' - Adele

Randy says that he is not just looking for who will win the show, but what sort of artist they will be and what record they will make. He thinks she chose the perfect direction for herself and he can see the amazing qualities that Adele has in Haley. There were a couple of sharp points in her falsetto but it was overall a great performance. Steven agrees, saying he liked the way she started slow but brought it up in the middle. Jennifer appreciates that it "takes a lot of guts" to take on a record that everybody knows and loves, but says Haley did a great job of bringing herself to the performance.



Jacob Lusk: 'Dance with my Father' - Luther Vandross

"Luther Lusk!" jokes Steven. "Baby, you are so good. You remind me all the time of the reason why I love music." He thinks Jacob stumbled at one point but pulled through. Jennifer appreciates that it's hard to perform a song when it means so much to you (Jacob was singing for his late father) but says the trick to being a great performer is to bring your emotion and also retain control. "Emotionally, it was a beautiful performance," she adds. Randy agrees that the emotion was great but says the vocals didn't make him "jump up and down". He encourages Jacob to stop holding back in his performances and take James's lead. "It's like someone has taken a racehorse and put the restraints on," he tells Jacob. "Don't hold back anymore."



Casey Abrams: 'Harder To Breathe' - Maroon 5
Casey takes to the stage with his guitar and ends the performance by kissing J.Lo on the cheek! "Casey's not playing fair!" she jokes. "Casey got soft lips!" Steven jokes that Casey has just done what he's been trying to do for four months! But, getting back to business, Jennifer says that she "loved it" before quickly clarifying that she meant the performance. "You took a very pop rock song and took it all the way to rock." Randy loves that Casey always surprises with his performances, takes chances, and can play with lots of different genres. Steven starts telling Casey that he is already a cult hero to millions to Americans but the rest of his comment is cut off by the censors! "The wheels have fallen off this programme!" jokes Ryan, before pointing out to Casey that he just kissed the World's Most Beautiful Woman.



Stefano Langone: 'Closer' - NeYo

Randy admits that he was worried this would be a karaoke performance, but thinks Stefano did a "very good job". He likes the fact he "smoothed" the song out, took his time with singing the verses and even attempted some dance moves! Steven also loves the dancing, saying that he had hoped Stefano would move on stage. Jennifer says she is "speaking for the girls in the audience" when she tells him: "I thought it was very good! You really had your swag going on!" She thinks the whole performance seemed like a concert and Stefano owned the song.



Lauren Alaina: 'Born To Fly' - Sara Evans

Steven thinks Lauren is a naturally good singer and has "great swagger" but he wants her to try some Alison Krauss, Shania Twain or Faith Hill the next time. Jennifer thinks she has a "very special voice" because it has so much colour and character. She points out that in Lauren's pre-performance package, the singer said she was worried about falling behind because the other contestants hit the high notes she doesn't. J.Lo tells Lauren that she believes she can reach those notes too if she practices, which Randy agrees with. He knows Lauren can do the high notes and encourages her to believe in herself. He thinks it was a "cool performance" but Lauren can do anything she wants and needs to challenge herself.

> Poll: American Idol: Who should go home?
> Gallery: American Idol - 21st Century Songs

American Idol continues tonight at 8/7c on Fox when another contestant will be sent home and Katy Perry and David Cook will perform

All Images: Copyright: Fox/Michael Becker

> Read our full American Idol coverage here

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