Credit: Michael Becker/FOX Photo: Paul McDonald Reaches Higher on April 6, 2011

They say rock and roll is here to stay, and judging by last night’s Idol performances, that’s the truth. It was an excellent night all around — there’s no obvious dead weight in the Top 9, and it’s clear that the contestants are, as Randy loves to shout, “in it to win it.” We’re singling out our three faves, and two contestants we think will be in danger tonight.

Best All-Around: Paul McDonald’s show-closing performance of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” was an absolute delight. Okay, that bright white smile didn’t quite fit with the gravitas of the Man in Black’s bluesy stunner, but Paul’s performances was one of the few last night that truly rocked.

Boldest Move: What can we say — we’ve become Haley fans! Ms. Reinhart took on the iconic Janis Joplin and she absolutely pulled it off. We groaned when we heard her song choice, but by the time she finished, we were convinced.

Vocal Adrenaline: Despite some corny moves, Scotty McCreery’s take on Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right, Mama” was an incredible showcase for his rich voice. Plus, Scotty clearly had a blast performing a song by his childhood idol.

Our two picks for the Stools of Shame:

Jacob Lusk’s performance of “Man in the Mirror” was absolutely fine. However, it wasn’t amazing, and coupled with his early performance slot, it could spell trouble for him. Also, never having been in the bottom three could work against him, if his fans get complacent. Then there’s the fact that he flat-out blamed America if he doesn’t end up safe.

Stefano Langone also did fairly well on “When a Man Loves a Woman,” but was it a memorable enough performance to bring in the votes he needs to keep him safe? We’re not so sure. He avoided the bottom three last week, but we’re expecting him to make an appearance tonight.

 

Watch all the performances here!

Get the info on your fave contestants here!