American Idol Malfunction Not Enough To Stop Jacob Lusk

Now I’d be lying if I told you I was a Jacob Lusk fan (Save it. I’ve already been told repeatedly in the comments that not enjoying Gospel makes me racist…), but did anyone catch the curveball thrown his way last night by American Idol’s techs? While it wasn’t enough to stop his performance it was enough to give him pause and a few confused glances tossed around the stage (video of the incident below).

Entertainment Weekly spoke with Idol’s arranger and vocal coach Debra Byrd who was on the set to witness it first hand:

The only thing I can say is there was a technical mishap. I was looking at a monitor, just off to the side [of the stage]. So I can’t see on the stage. Whatever technically that happened that through him off, threw [the string players] off as well. It was quite an evening for Jacob! And I think he handled it well, because I thought he was going to stop, and he didn’t.

I’m glad he didn’t stop, but it freaked me out.

You can see how it all played out in the video segment below. During the judges’ commentary Jennifer Lopez was either trying to provide cover for the incident or was as equally confused about what just happened. Jacob tries to explain he was getting the wrong track in his earpiece, which you can see he plucks out early in the performance. Kudos to Lusk for keeping it together and pushing on through.

What do you think? Technical mishap or American Idol sabotage?

Image credit: Dan D’Addario

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60 Comments

  1. I think damage is already done. AI didn't acknowledge its fault last night when Jacob tried to explain it to Ryan.. What if he leaves tonight? How pathetic!

    • Joan, You're absolutely correct, they are afraid of Jacob's talent whisch is the purest sound on that stage.

      • Conspiracy theory, much? That's ridiculous. Who is this "they" you accuse of being "afraid of Jacob's talent" and why would "they" be interested in sabotaging him to get rid of him? If he has such talent, wouldn't "they" be better served by keeping him around, getting "them" ratings for as long as they can? Before he goes off and presumably justifies "their" fears by producing a well-received CD?

        What an absurd notion.

        Personally, I assume incompetence over intentional sabotage. Which has the advantage of being a logical assumption and not an outlandish conspiracy theory about "THEM."

  2. Jlo is usually on target but she really screwed up here. What happened was not his fault and he dealt with it like a pro! and she didnt even admit AI made a major flop

    • Don't you know? AI is NEVER at fault – only the contestants. Have you noticed how they start criticizing a contestant when they want to get rid of him or her? Doesn't matter how good the contestant is, they find a way to criticize them when they are ready to drop them from the contest.

  3. I think the sound has been inferior most of the season. Last night when Paul and the girls sang their group number, Pia's mike was off for a short period of time. If AI wants the best singers, then give them the best backing musically. Jacob was another victim. I liked his performance last night better the recent weeks. It reminded me of the first time I heard him sing and got goosebumps. I couldn't imagine trying to sing that song soon after my dad died. I couldn't have gotten through it. He handled the technical problem professionally as well. Irreguardless of who AI has already handpicked for the finals, every person performing should be given a fair chance.

  4. I think the sound has been inferior most of the season. Last night when Paul and the girls sang their group number, Pia's mike was off for a short period of time. If AI wants the best singers, then give them the best backing musically. Jacob was another victim. I liked his performance last night better the recent weeks. It reminded me of the first time I heard him sing and got goosebumps. I couldn't imagine trying to sing that song soon after my dad died. I couldn't have gotten through it. He handled the technical problem professionally as well. Irreguardless of who AI has already handpicked for the finals, every person performing should be given a fair chance. Sorry if this shows up twice. It didn't seem to go through the first time.

  5. I applause him for not stopping and figuring it out. I think he is very talented although not my favorite but he earned some points last night. When I watch it again I will verify but Ryan did make a comment to support that there was a technical problem and kudos to Jacob for not letting it stop him.

    • Now how did Ryan know and Jennifer not know? That's not believable. So why wouldn't she acknowledge that.

      Jacob is obviously very professional to have been on top of that as fast as he was!

  6. I'm a live sound engineer.

    After watching the video, Jacob messed up. He pulled the microphone down to his waist while singing. He can't say he heard drums because there was no loud percussion. As a musician, you listen for the instrument you are keyed off of…in this case, the piano These guys practice the songs with the band prior to the show. I when I saw that mic drop down, I knew it was his mistake. Professionals know how to the ignore distractions and continue on. If there's a problem with your ear piece, take it out while you sing and focus on the main instrument you are going off of.

    He did get very defensive when asked about it.

    • They did say it was a different trac on Jacobs earphone when he started, but they corrected it right away. By then, the damage was done. I feel sorrow for Jacob – that was not his fault. It took him completely by surprise, but he recovered very well.

  7. They better not kick him off tonight, I wonder if any other contestants would overcome this the way Jacob did, only a true musician could follow through the way he did. I would hope that if he didn't get enough votes, someone would do something to prevent his losing.

  8. YAH – They better not kick jACOB 2nite – or there will be a revolution!! vote 100000000000000x for JACOB

  9. Jacob is great. This mishap and how he overcame it shows his professionalism. I have been to concerts before where something like this has happened. The show was stopped to correct the fault and then continued. Jacob didn't stand a chance (sabotage). I still think Idol is fixed, especially since Pia who is much better than Stefano, got kicked off either that or American is stupid and don't know good music when they hear it.

  10. I personally think that James should be the next Idol. He has not failed on any of his performances. Totally consistent! If I were to pick the top two consistent and talented performers at this point it would be James and Lauren! Both have talent and are likeable!

  11. It is time for Jacob to leave – he might have a good voice (not my type of voice but I can certainly recognize that he has a nice vocal) but it takes more than that to become an idol, you need the whole package to become one….for exemple, James has the whole package, the voice, the apparence, his wild side, his soft side, his emotion (pain), his good sence of humor, etc.etc. My opinion – James is the best……

  12. I love Haley's performance! The vocal was incredible!!

    guys, if you really think Haley did great last night… PLEASE VOTE FOR HER AND KEEP HER AWAY FROM THE BOTTOM THREE coz she truly doesn't deserve it.

    I'm Asian so I can't vote. If I lived in America, I would surely vote for her until my fingers are swollen!

    Please keep her in the competition.

    She doesn't deserve leaving this early, at least NOT earlier than Jacob and Stefano.

    Anyway, I hope she will still get a record deal, just like Pia. I will surely buy Haley's albums!!

  13. Regardless of the incident it is time for Jacob to leave. Don't get me wrong he is talented but not as much as the others. I have not been impressed with American Idol this year so I would say sabatage. AI has been very wrong with how they promote one contestant more than the others. We all know who will win and it is all because of AI and promoting him. It has been this way from the beginning. And PIA being voted off by America was a set up also. All the polls had her in the top 3 or 4 so there is NO WAY she was the bottom 3. I had heard that the phone vote lines got mixed and people who called in to vote for Pia got another contestants name (don't know how true this was but AI never said a word).

  14. OMG! There is no Jacob conspiracy! They've all had trouble with those ear pieces! One or two of the singers are always yankin'm out! I was amazed and give him a lot of props for pulling himself out of that malfunction and finishing the song as well as he did considering how very fragile he seems emotionally. Jacob is a talent but his time on the show is tick, tick ticking.

    • thank you shoosh. I have been reading through the comments waiting to come across yours. Only Jacob made a big deal of it. I, too have seen multiple singer pull the ear pieces out during their songs. Jame, Scotty and others.

      • It was the same for me. I don't say it can't happen but, it doesn't look like something personal at all, after I saw other contests with the same problem. Particulary, I think Jacob is an amazing singer with an incredible vocal instrument and even a nice guy but, an american idol? At this point, I'm not sure.

    • Nothing ever goes wrong, unless it's intentional? That just doesn't make any sense. Is that how things work at your job? If so, I envy you your position.

  15. as a lipsynching artist, and as a fake artist, jlo basically was unable to give kudos to Jacob, who stood up there despite the faulty mic and went on like a pro. i really dont know why they have that attitude towards him, she doesnt know crap about soul when performing , what does she know..hateful. jacob was good despite the fault..kudos to him and boooo to the awful sound system and judges of american idol..

  16. Sabatoge? Seriously? No. There have been other "technical difficulties" on Idol. Jacob is not the first "victim". And if he or any of the others on American Idol really want to be a performer, they have to learn that technical problems do occur sometimes AND they have to know how to handle it. He handled it very well. So what's the problem? IF he is voted off tonight, American Idol is not to blame. It will be because of the fact that he didn't get as many votes as the others. His true fans would vote for him regardless anyway. I'm not a Jacob fan and not a fan of all his song choices but I can appreciate that he is good at what he does. Anyway, as for the "Sabotage of poor Jacob" by American Idol; the judges have been shoving Jacob and all his wonderfulness down our throats from day 1 and a little criticism won't kill him. I promise. Besides, nobody votes for someone based on what the judges say.

  17. He recovered just fine, so kudos to him. If he goes home, I don't think that's what'll do it to him. Anyway, I'm ready for him to go home, but I think there's a good chance he'll get the pity vote this week, for having had the mishap. My money's on Stefano going home, frankly. He's been in the bottom a few times and scraped through, but eventually, his fans aren't going to be able to manage to eke out those few extra votes.

  18. I seriously doubt if it was intentional because obviously, Jacob would have said as much. Any fallout in voting would have to then be addressed or there would be justifiably be an uproar. Why would AI invite that kind of scrutiny and bad press? Doesn't make sense.

  19. Okay, so now I'm wondering if Idol got scared of the repercussions and fixed this to get rid of Stefano. Sigh. Hope someone snaps up Stefano. What a sweet young cutie pie he is, with lovely "listenable" pipes.

  20. I'm not a fan of Jacob, but yeah, its a total SABOTAGE. And please, send CASEY home AMERICA! 😀

  21. I love Jacob's voice, but he really need to show us that he could sing different kind of songs, upbeat ones, etc. And he need to have make the stage more alive. If he could do it, I'm sure he can make it to the finale. Go for it Jacob!

  22. Not a Jacob fan at all, in fact I dont like his voice. With that said no I do not think it was sabatage. Technical malfunctions happen all the time and it just happened to be his turn. I think Jacob should be the next cut!!!

  23. no i think he is awesome he has astrong sound and he just like ashinin star u know an not sure about lauren's voice

  24. yes he is talented,he could do that to show every body how strongest his voice,no body can compiteted to him.he is just special and ashining star.

  25. thanks american idol to give us chance to lesson jacob's voice,he is amazing,has purest sound on stage wow………..

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