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Jacob Lusk falls prey to American Idol's soul singer problem, hits the road

It was no surprise to anyone that gospel-drenched soul singer Jacob Lusk was given his walking papers on American Idol Thursday; and not just because his version of Jordin Sparks' No Air sounded like one long flat note the night before.

Lusk fell prey to Idol's biggest recent problem with soul singers; the show pressures R&B belters to become little clones of Luther Vandross or Jennifer Holiday, only to grow bored with them if they delve too deeply in the genre.

Lusk seemed to fall into that trap one too many times, counting on his stratospheric vocals to pull out a win, while nerves and a creeping conviction he was soon headed off the show seemed written over his face.

When he finally stretched into new territory this week, the efforts didn't work and he was pointed toward ejectionville.

Now, the show really gets down to it, with just four competitors -- Scott McCreery, James Durbin, Hailey Reinhart and Lauren Alaina -- left in the toughest competition this show has seen in years.

Too bad Jacob couldn't master his style and his nerves to stay in the game.