"American Idol" has a new power couple.
The freshly-saved-by-the-judges Casey Abrams and bottom three magnet Haley Reinhart rocked Elton John night on Wednesday, and here's the best part: They're supposedly hooking up.
The rumor mill is churning that Casey and Haley are an item -- and if it's true, it's doing wonders for their performances.
A week after he was granted Season 10's one-and-only save (and nearly passed out onstage), Casey trimmed his beard, dropped his silly "antics" and sang an especially heartfelt rendition of "Your Song" (perhaps he was thinking about Haley?)
Randy called it "brilliant," Steven called him a "true artist" and we thought it was the most perfectly imperfect performance of the night.
Randy's vote for best performance of the night, on the other hand, went to Casey's rumored gal pal Haley, who without a doubt gave her best performance of the season so far singing "Bennie and the Jets." Haley all but definitely graduated from the bottom three (at least for now) with the polished, sexy performance, and the song really showed off the unique tone of her voice.
Toothpaste poster boy Paul McDonald is still holding his own near the top of the heap, though Jimmy Iovine wants him to prove that he's more than just a guy with a great smile (and a $4,500 white suit -- he wore it again). Randy called his soft performance of "Rocket Man" a "quiet comfort," but Jennifer wondered if he's holding back.
(Meanwhile, we're wondering if Paul could be an "Idol" winner that everyone could be happy with. Little (and big) girls think he's cute, he's different and he has talent. But we digress …)
Lauren Alaina also showed off her sensitive side on "Candle in the Wind," and we agreed with Randy that it was one of her best performances so far. But is it just us, or is her personality a little annoying sometimes?
James Durbin gave a one-man rock ‘n' roll concert as usual, doing backbends and jumps that even cheerleaders couldn't do while singing "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting." One thing's for sure: You get your money's worth with James. (Classic moment: When James worried that the burning piano would set his hair on fire in a Michael Jackson-esque "Pepsi moment," and Ryan corrected him with "Coke moment." There's a reason why Ryan earns those big paychecks.)
As for Jacob Lusk, if there's one thing he does well, it's emote. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" was a little overly dramatic for our taste, which Jimmy warned him it could be. But like Steven, we're impressed by "how far out there (or in there)" Jacob can get.
Pia Toscana is still up there in front-runner territory, and she still fits the "American Idol" mold better than anyone. She ignored the judges and sang "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" -- ANOTHER ballad -- and it was pretty enough to make Steven "cry on the inside." But Jennifer feels like Pia's trying to "break the barrier on the performance side," and it's true -- she doesn't quite have the stage persona that some of the other contestants have this year.
We always love Scotty McCreery, but we have to admit we were a little bored by "Country Comfort." At the very least, he definitely got the grandma vote this week.
And that brings us to … predictions. We're not sure about the rest of America, but we're putting Naima Adedapo, Stefano Langone and Thia Megia in our bottom three.
We actually liked Naima's reggae version of "I'm Still Standing" more than the judges did, and her singing sounded better than ever. But we're sure some people absolutely hated it, and she seems destined to go home soon (if not this week).
Fellow wild card pick Stefano also seems to be losing his momentum. Jennifer thought he finally connected with the audience on "Tiny Dancer," but our attention started to wander during his performance (and how weird is it that his dad looks exactly like Howie Mandel?)
And Thia didn't quite manage to break away from "high school play mode" with her earnest performance of "Daniel." She certainly has a beautiful voice and she gave it her all, but Randy thought it was a bit of a "safe" choice. We'll see how safe of a choice it was when the votes are counted on Thursday night.
-Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman