The moment has arrived! It’s down to the “American Idol” Top 2 – Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. After some pre-show hullabaloo about how Lauren might have lost her voice and Haley might have to replace her in the finals, it appears Lauren is fine. Or this is just a calculated move to see if a girl can win in the first time since Season 6.
The judges come out and J.Lo looks like a majorette, while Steven Tyler has just fully evolved into someone’s crazypants Aunt Helen. Seacrest looks dapper in a tuxedo. Randy has on a brown shirt.
The rounds are contestants’ choice, Idols’ idol choice and first single. We’ll do just like last week – pick a winner of each round.
Round 1 (Contestants’ choice)
Winner – Scotty McCreery, “Gone,” Montgomery Gentry
This is not the song for Scotty I would’ve picked out of his entire season-long repertoire. It doesn’t show his vocals enough. However, he does perform this one better than he did a couple weeks ago and he seems amped up for the night. His confidence is palpable. There aren’t any vocal miscues, it just doesn’t show off his strengths. No judges comments.
Runner-up – Lauren Alaina, “Flat on the Floor,” Carrie Underwood
Again, not the choice we would’ve picked for Lauren. Are they just pandering to the country fans at this point? Vocal problems taken into account, this is darn good. Vocal problems disregarded, this is OK. She is certainly having fun, but it isn’t quite as strong as Scotty. THe judges give her a standing O, presumably just for giving her all in the face of what is going on with her voice, which is completely warranted.
Even taking into account the vocals, Scotty did a pretty great job. I’m giving Round 1 to him by a slim margin.
Round 2 (Heroes choice)
Winner – Lauren McCreery, “Maybe It Was Memphis,” Pam Tillis
Carrie Underwood, to her credit, chooses a song by someone else and it is a
wonderful pick for Lauren. I hope she kills it. Her Judds outfit is
excellent too, just BTW. She’s like Grand Ol’ Opry Barbie! Anyway, she does really well on the song. You wouldn’t
even know she’s sick. Her phrasing/breathing is the only thing that
gives it away, but her sound is nice, even on the high stuff! Well done,
Runner-up – Scotty McCreery, “Check Yes or No,” George Strait
He chose his own song? Geez, George. The verse is a little speedy for him, but the chorus settles in nicely and key change lets Scotty really rip it up (for as much as Scotty can rip it up, for being such a bass voice). The performance wasn’t as fun as “Gone” and it still doesn’t show off his vocal strengths very well. I’m really looking for more of a moment from Scotty, like when he did “You’ve Got a Friend.” These faster songs don’t let them have goosebump-y moments, ya know? The ending note is nice, I suppose.
Lauren did great on “Memphis” and Scotty’s “Check Yes” was kinda boring, so Round 2 goes to Lauren.
We finally go to the judges and they agree with me – Scotty wins Round 1, Lauren wins Round 2. Well, Steven says Lauren wins both rounds because she’s prettier than
Scotty. Of course he says that. She still can’t sleep with you, Tyler.
She’s too young.
We take a bit of a break to listen to Taio Cruz sing “I’m gonna be positive” upwards of 27 times in the span of three minutes. There are a limited number of downloads available for that winner. Run, don’t walk, to get it now!
Round 3 (Debut singles)
Winner – Lauren Alaina, “Like My Mother Does”
Looking absolutely gorgeous in a white dress, Lauren kills her debut
single. It’s about moms, first thing. Secondly, it doesn’t expose
Lauren’s limited vocal range. It’s just right in her wheelhouse and
sounds great. The chorus is especially nice, she gets to have these
soraring high notes and then when the key changes, she goes out to her
mom and just starts crying and my god, Lauren could pull this off. She
could beat Scotty after that. The ending is beautiful.
Runner-up – Scotty McCreery, “I Love You This Big”
“I Love You This Big”? Is this a song written for a toddler? Terrible title. The lyrics are fairly appropriate for his age, though it’s hard not to snicker when he sings the title line. I don’t know that I hear this being a huge radio hit, but the rest of the song is OK. I guess. I mean, it’s not Scotty’s fault and he sings it alright, but there seemed to be some bum notes in there. Hmm. Randy’s “comment” is just a recapping of the season so far and then his catchphrase. Dude, you are not going to make “in it to win it” happen. J.Lo says amazing and Tyler says “you proved that you can’t make a 3-point shot from under the net.” Uh, no. I believe that’s been common knowledge since the early 60s.
Well, Lauren wins the battle of the singles (in that hers was better). She also wins Round 3. Easily. I didn’t think Lauren had a snowball’s chance in hell to win this until right now.
So – can she do it? Is Scotty still going to dominate? Or can Lauren pull this off?