Trent Harmon looked like an American Idol frontrunner during and after his performance of ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" last Thursday. Mentor Scott Borchetta says he's playing the part off stage as well, but stopped short of admitting Harmon has passed La'Porsha Renae as the singer to beat.

Borchetta called Harmon the "real deal," adding that the 24-year-old has grown faster than any remaining finalist. On Thursday night's episode (Fox, 8PM ET), Harmon will sing Justin Timberlake's "Drink You Away." It's a song Borchetta picked and the first time the pop star has ever granted permission for one of his songs to be used on Idol.

“He’s arguably the hardest worker, behind the scenes," the Big Machine Label Group mentor tells Taste of Country of Harmon. "He wants it, he’s got the bit in his mouth. Yesterday on set he told me ‘Hey I’m No. 10 Syracuse.'" It's a reference to the 2016 NCAA basketball tournament, in which underdog Syracuse University advanced to this weekend's final four.

“It’s the first time all season one of them has really stepped up and said, ‘I’m gonna take this by the throat,'" the label head adds.

The episode will begin with all four remaining contestants singing their hometown tribute song. Then one will be eliminated and the other three will go on to sing their Borchetta-chosen song and judge's pick. It takes all song choice pressure off of the four finalists. That's likely a relief for a singer like Renae, whose selection of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" was part of last week's controversy. She plateaued, Borchetta says, while Harmon and Dalton Rapattoni had their best nights of the season.

Renae's will sing Lorraine Ellison's "Stay With Me" on Thursday. Rapattoni will sing Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" and Mackenzie Bourg will sing Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon."

One thing to think about, Borchetta says, is where ousted singer's votes go. Who will take Sonika Vaid's votes, now that she's no longer a part of the farewell season of American Idol? Viewers may find out quickly on Thursday night.

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