American Idol Top 30 Performances of All Time: No. 29, Jacob Lusk, “You’re All I Need To Get By”

Top 30 song, Top 5 dresser?

Top 30 song, Top 5 dresser?

Thanks to Scotty McCreery’s winning only because of his creepy deep voice, Season 10 of American Idol gets overlooked as one of the better seasons the show has had. Look at the talent that didn’t win; Pia Toscano (eliminated because the judges made a horrible choice to blow their save early on mediocre-at-best Casey Abrams), Haley Reinhart (who would have won if not for the influx of country music voters, who made their voices heard loud for the first time in the show’s history) and even Paul McDonald, who wasn’t really that good but I loved the shit out of him because while covering “Tracks of My Tears” in Week 11 he said “masturbating” instead of “masquerading.”

And then there was Jacob Lusk. Blessed with one of the most brilliant voices the show has ever seen, Jacob threw away any chance at winning Idol thanks to his ideals. A man of religion, he wanted to sing songs with purpose and meaning and that doesn’t win American Idol – but it did give him our No. 29 performance of all time.

THE SITUATION: Motown Week was Jacob’s time to shine. There was no doubt he was going to crush whatever song he picked. I mean, he was the only black guy left, so it wasn’t going to be hard for him to show what he had.

Jacob chose “You’re All I Need to Get By” and it was a perfect selection; the song is well known, thanks to the brilliance of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, but also thanks to Puff Daddy, who sampled the song on his remix of Method Man and Mary J Blige’s song of the same name. There wasn’t any rapping for Jacob and he didn’t need to – Motown Week always shows who has the best voice and Jacob won the night from the first note of his performance

HIGHLIGHTS: He looked dapper in his cream suit, white shirt with the top button casually undone, holding up a perfectly pastel pink tie. He started the softly and it sounds like he stammers, but he finds pace leading to his moment. As soon as the song gets loud, Jacob shined. The background singers only made it sound better and Jacob’s ability to go high, low, then high again? Unmatched. But that wasn’t the best part – because nothing is better than Jacob moaning “deeeeee-termination,” followed by his little shuffle on “as long as I got you/you know that you got me.”

WHY IT’S HERE: It’s hard not to include such a terrific performance from any Motown Week of any season. The expectations that week were outrageous and Jacob fulfilled them. It wasn’t his best performance of the season – his Hollywood Week performance of “God Bless the Child” is the stuff of legends, but it wasn’t live so it didn’t make this list – but if you belt out a Motown Week song like that, it’s going to get noticed.

PREVIOUSLY: No. 30: Nick Mitchell/Norman Gentile, “I Am Telling You”

NEXT UP: No. 28 – a big man shows his soft side.