Gordon Ramsay doesn't like Stefano Langone's mom's penne.
In an 'American Idol' first, 'Idol' finalist Langone's mom's pasta was brought on stage before Langone performed. Apparently she had made some for the contestants, and there were a few leftovers.
After Langone performed, Ryan Seacrest brought the pasta to Gordeon Ramsay, seated in the 'Idol' audience, and asked what he thought.
Ramsay, almost holding his nose, muttered "Fine."
Judge Jennifer Lopez, off camera, said "Mama's not happy!"
A quick shot of Langone's frowning mom backed that up.
Ramsay's pasta jab was about the only negative comment on a night where everyone was so good, it was hard to predict who will wind up in the bottom three.
Pia Toscano was one of the standouts as usual, with Steven Tyler calling her "the closest star in this 'American Idol' universe. Meaning, the person who is most likely to win, and we'd have to agree that she's the major front-runner right now.
Jennifer Lopez and Randy, however, think Pia needs to kick it up a notch from the safe ballads --- but between that powerhouse voice and amazing body (not to mention the backless dress), we'd say she's definitely safe. One strike against her: She sang a song -- Stevie Wonder's "All in Love Is Fair" -- that isn't very well known.
Thia Megia was also exceptionally good, finally busting out of her Disney princess routine and getting a little sexy with Martha and the Vandellas' "Heat Wave." J-Lo said it was great to see Thia "let loose," but now she wants more. We think Thia could be more of a threat than she lets on, now that we know she can move!
Oh, and she can't forget the words like she did last night, either, although none of the judges seemed to notice, as none of them mentioned it.
James Durbin gave what might have been one of the best performances of the night singing Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City." J-Lo was left "speechless," and Steven called it the "perfect song for his voice," which it was.
But he had serious competition from Jacob Lusk, who gave his "other best performance on this stage in the entire history of the show" singing Marvin Gaye's "You're All I Need to Get By." Steven even jumped on stage to give him a hug.
Lauren Alaina recalled the days of her initial front-runner status singing The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging On." She looked beautiful, Steven said she "ripped that song another beauty mark" and Randy commended her "swaggeress."
And lovable Scotty McCreery just keeps getting better and better. Departing slightly from his usual style, Scotty sang Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life" -- and it was touching, sweet and humorous all at once. Randy called him a "lady killer," and he definitely killed us. And how the heck did he make that basket?
Casey Abrams (who finally combed his hair) and Paul McDonald are two of our all-time favorites on the show -- "Idol" has never seen anything like them, and they're always exciting to watch.
But once again, we wondered if Casey displayed a little too much humor and screechiness on "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." As for Paul, it's always a treat to hear that distinctive voice, and he also played guitar on Smokey Robinson's "The Tracks of My Tears." Ryan predicted that he'll get the cougar vote (guess we're not the only ones who've noticed his blindingly white smile), but we think the performance may have been a little sleepy overall.
But if we had to predict the bottom three, we'd call out Stefano Langone, Haley Reinhart (who was actually better than usual) and -- dare we say -- Naima Adedapo.
Let's start with Stefano, who probably gave the weakest performance of the night singing Lionel Richie's "Hello." The judges thought Stefano failed to connect emotionally, but we think the song was just a bad fit for his voice.
Or maybe he was having bad reactions to his mom's cooking.
Haley might also wind up in the bottom three mainly because … she always does. She was extra throaty and sexy singing Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "You Really Got a Hold on Me," and the judges thought she was the "Haley they fell in love with." But Haley somehow doesn't have the professional sheen of the other contestants.
Naima once again gave us something we've never seen on "Idol" before (as least as far as we can remember) -- an African dance routine. She totally pulled it off, and if America sent her home this week, it would be a great note to go out on. Her singing on Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street" was better than usual, too (though not perfect). J-Lo "got the goosies," but as Simon Cowell (remember him?) used to say, at the end of the day, it's a singing competition.
--Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman