Credit: Michael Becker/FOX Photo: The Top 5 Finalists Pose Together on April 28, 2011

Being an American Idol finalist can be a bit of a balancing act. The show has a majorly talented behind-the-scenes supporting staff, from TV producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick, to musical producers Jimmy Iovine, to the Idol judges themselves. Pleasing everyone while “staying true to yourself” is something our finalists have to struggle with every week. The Los Angeles Times recently spoke to the Idol finalists about how they stay sane amid the conflicting opinions.

Remember that week when Jimmy and Randy Jackson gave Jacob Lusk totally opposite advice? Well, Jacob says that drama is now over, and he’s feeling the love from Jimmy. Said Jacob, “I feel a lot more support this go-round. I didn’t feel like it was a shark attacking. I feel like Jimmy is a partner now. I don’t see him as the guy who is trying to be mean to us. He’s a partner and he’s trying to make it happen for us.”

The recently ousted Casey Abrams had this to say about those pesky contradictions: “... I think we’ve all had Ken and Nigel say this, Jimmy will say another thing, and the judges will say something completely different. ...You just have to do this big balancing act.” While Casey was always pretty good at staying true to himself, we can all see now where lobbying the American vote might have gotten him further in the competition.

Another contestant who has heard very conflicting things is Lauren Alaina. Said Lauren, “They really try to lead you that other direction. [They say,] 'Ultimately, it’s your choice, but I’m just telling you what America is going to love.’ I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that.”

There’s no doubt about it, this show is all about people pleasing... We can’t wait to see who makes it to the end of the Idol tightrope!

Source: The Los Angeles Times