Steven Tyler broke from the judges’ table last night on American Idol, walked up on stage, and hugged Jacob Lusk (a.k.a. Baby Luther) after his performance of “You’re All I Need to Get By.” Host Ryan Seacrest then told Lusk to go give his grandmother a hug in the audience before inviting the first row up to embrace Lusk back on stage. Watch it all unfold below.
I have to admit: My first response was that Steven crossed a line. But then I remembered the judges on this show aren’t actually voting here (except for that one save), and really, it would be unfair to condemn Steven now for his visible appreciation of talent when it’s what we’ve been praising him for up to this point. Still, that simple action — and a bemused Seacrest inviting the audience to shower Lusk with love — is the kind of thing that could make some voters look for another contestant because we all like an underdog. I don’t think that will happen to Lusk — he giggled his way through the praise, making him even more endearing. (Anyone else wish Pia Toscano would’ve looked just a bit surprised when Jennifer Lopez compared her to Celine Dion? I don’t care how many times she’s heard it. It’s Celine Dion.)
What was your reaction to the fanfare after Lusk’s performance? Warranted, weird, or warranted and weird? Perhaps part of the enthusiasm, too, was that he had so much pressure on him because it was Motown week, right in his wheelhouse, and he crushed it. As the judges said, he controlled his power and let loose at the right times. And, you felt he believed the lyrics and was able to communicate them in a way that felt genuine. As Annie Barrett said in her recap: “In fact, what I loved most about this performance was how clear it was that Jacob loved this song. His phrasing on some of those last text-heavy lines was so natural, it was almost conversational.”