American Idol Goes Motown, Gets Awesome

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A solid season of American Idol gave us a hint last night that we could be in for one of the best in the show's history.

The theme of Motown brought out the best in almost every finalist, as it's difficult to even determine the top performer of the night.

Was it James Durbin, who danced around on stage to a Stevie Wonder classic and even crooned directly to bassist Bob Babbitt on stage, earning a wild ovation and praise such as "incredible" and "unbelievable" from the judges?

Perhaps it was Jacob Lusk, who told viewers he can only sing songs with "meaning" and proceeded to deliver another soulful rendition, this time of Marvin Gaye's "You're All I Need to Get By." Watch his play with the melody a bit in this performance video:

Other finalists that stood out and will make this one of the most challenging eliminating episodes to date:
  • Pia Toscano, criticized a bit for performing another ballad, but certainly not for anything vocal on "All in Love Is Fair."
  • Naima Adedapo, who surrounded herself with horns and background singers, but turned it up and made "Dancing in the Street" into her own.
  • Lauren Alaina, who sang right at Randy during "You Keep Me Hangin' On," earning praise from the judge that she has her "swagger on."

The true sign it was an impressive evening all around? Casey Abrams, our favorite up until now, easily put on the worst audition of the night. But no way he goes home... right?

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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