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Thursday
Apr072011

'American Idol' Top Nine Sing Songs from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- American Idol's top nine contestants sang songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Wednesday night, with judges Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez on hand to offer their opinions.

Here's what happened:

Jacob Lusk went with Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" at first, but he didn't feel comfortable with it. He switched to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" because he believed in the message of the song. Tyler said the performance was beautiful and well done. Lopez said it was perfect in every way and on every emotional level. Jackson applauded him for going with a song he believed in and called the performance hot.

Haley Reinhart took on the Janis Joplin classic "Piece of My Heart," playing into the judges' request to hear her get grittier with her vocals. Lopez said she showed everyone she was a contender with this performance, and Jackson said this is the Haley they loved when they first saw her. Tyler said he couldn't find anything wrong with the performance. He loved it.

Casey Abrams considered doing The Police's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," but changed his choice to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain." Jackson said he made Creedence proud with that one. Tyler said he was a true musician who brought something different every time he plays. Lopez said she would pay top dollar to be front row at his show.

Lauren Alaina sang "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin this week. Tyler said she'd turned into a natural born woman, and Lopez said she was amazing. Jackson said this was one of the most difficult songs to pull off, and he thought she did a good job with it.

James Durbi slowed it down with the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" in an effort to take a chance as an artist. Lopez enjoyed seeing the other side of his personality, and Jackson loved the emotion he showed during this performance. Tyler liked seeing him really connecting and crying during the song.

Scotty McCreery paid tribute to his childhood hero Elvis Presley with a performance of "That's All Right," keeping a promise to show off his rock side this week. Jackson said he was in it to win it and showed a new side of himself. Tyler said he brought Presley into the house, and Lopez thought he showed a little bit of hip-hop/R&B flavor this week.

Pia Toscano finally showed some flair with Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High," working the stage in a black and white sleeveless pantsuit. Tyler said there were a million guys in a million bars having a million drinks about her following her performance. Lopez said this proved she could tackle an up-tempo song, but she wants her to start studying big performers like Tina Turner. Jackson echoed Lopez's thoughts and said she needed to work on her onstage movement. Jackson added that Toscano is in it to win it.

Stefano Langone sang Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman" with a bit of falsetto at first. Lopez said she knew he had it in him and thought this performance had a whole other level of emotion for Langone. Jackson wasn't jumping up and down about the performance, but Tyler liked the old-school vibe at the beginning of the song. Tyler thought Langone nailed it.

Paul McDonald tried to get a little crazy with Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," playing acoustic guitar and rocking out more than ever before. He got a standing ovation from the audience, and Jackson had three words for him -- "I loved it." Tyler called him a "perfect, imperfect boy" and Lopez said it was a perfect way to end the show.

Someone is going home on American Idol's results show Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. 

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