We’ve reached the final three on American Idol and before last night I would have been sure Scotty would make it to the final. Lord, I hope he makes it to the final! But it was an amazing night, with the three contestants much more evenly matched than Fox can have hoped for to keep people watching and voting.
And with Haley Reinhart falling on stage during her performance, she’s looking good for some sympathy votes. Remember the lipstick incident, folks! She did pick herself up and carry on performing like a true professional, so Lauren should be worried right about now.
Last night, we got to hear three performances from each contestant. They picked a song themselves, Jimmy Iovine picked a second song for them, and the third was assigned to each contestant by the judges.
Scotty McCreery kicked off the night with his choice, Lonestar’s “Amazed.” He looked hot leaning oh-so-casually against the piano and it was a good performance with a nicely handled key change. “Scotty man, I think you just keep getting better and better… and did I hear you get angry during that modulation where you went upstairs and kicked that song into the middle of next week?” Steven said. “I’m sure there’s a million girls out there wishing you were singing to them,” Jennifer said. Well, there was one of those girls right here!
Lauren Alaina’s self-picked song was Faith Hill’s “Wild One.” Her earrings were wild, but her performance was okay, if a little shouty. “That was very good,” Jennifer said, loving the attack and the earrings. Randy said, “I love seeing you having fun… I think that was a nice song choice for you, and I could tell that in your heart you were loving it.”
Haley Reinhart brought her Dad up on stage next, to accompany her with his electric guitar. Never let it be said that the Durbz was the only Idol contestant pulling the tricks! But that didn’t save her from a fall on stage during “What Is and What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin. The fall made me gasp more than her performance did but earned her a standing ovation and some corny words from Steven. “Haley, did you fall for me?! It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up. That was superb!” Steven said. Randy called it one of Haley’s performances ever and said “this girl is slaying.” I’m not sure what she’s slaying, though. Not the competition as she’s been on the Stools of Shame more than once. Randy praised her fearlessness, which is true; Haley seems to do something new each week so that I’d have no idea what an album of hers might be like.
Haley won the first round with the judges. Take out the fall, though, and I’m less convinced.
Scotty McCreery moved us into Round 2. Jimmy Iovine had picked “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” by Thompson Square for him and it was cute to see Scotty’s playful side again. “There were so many moments in there that I loved so much,” Jennifer said. “It was really perfect, right in your range… you’re approaching that Garth [Brooks] level,” Randy said.
There was another hurdle for an AI contestant as her pantyhose ripped right before her next performance so she had to have make-up put on her leg. But her performance of “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry was much better than her first. Clearly, Lauren must never again be allowed to choose her own song in the competition! “You, Lauren, have the most beautiful tone of our finalists, it’s a magical thing that you possess… you got caught up in the honesty of what you were creating,” Jennifer said. Randy remarked on some pitch problems but said she was “definitely in it to win it too.”
For Haley Reinhart, Jimmy picked “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac. She started fantastically but couldn’t sustain it, I feel “I think you did a good job with it… it was more of a somber moment for me,” Randy said. “Somber” doesn’t sound too good for an “American Idol” semi-finalist! But Jennifer was complimentary as ever. “It was a beautiful moment.” Even she couldn’t resist a small criticism, though, saying, “I thought you were gonna take it a little further at the end, but it was a nice contrast to what you did earlier… a beautiful, ethereal moment.” Yep, the song had further to go, but does Haley?
The judges were split on who won Round 2. Steven gave it to Lauren; the other judges (and Jimmy) gave it to Scotty. I’d pick Scotty, too.
Before Round 3 there was a preview of Beyonce’s new video for “Run The World (Girls).” I preferred some of the AI performances to this but it was nice little rest before the final round.
Scotty McCreery kicked off Round 3 singing the judges’ choice for him: “She Believes In Me” by Kenny Rogers. OK, I fell in love with him all over again. I believe in you, baby – to paraphrase J-Lo just a little. “Scotty, I haven’t heard you sing a chorus like that yet — you put it over the top for me just now,” Steven said. The high notes were pretty good, as Randy remarked. “Seeing you believe that you could hit those notes… I’m telling you, you were so sweet and tender in the front, you hit the chorus — very nicely done, dude.” Randy said.
And just to show where Scotty gets his adorability factor from, his dad sang a few notes of “Baby lock them doors!” Yee-ha, Papa McCreery!
Lauren Alaina’s final performance of the night was “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. This was just gorgeous, especially the little riffs she added to the melody. She hadn’t sung like that in weeks, so no wonder Jennifer praised: “You gave me goosies from head to toe, that was beautiful, beautiful,” Jennifer said. “You walked out there like you own the Grand Ole Opry!” Steven said.
For the last performance of the night, the judges chose Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” for Haley Reinhart. This was just weird, man. What were the judges trying to do to Haley? The verses were too low and too fast for her to really pull off. Sure, the choruses were great, the rest was a car crash. “Those were some amazing choruses by you… I’m telling you what — Haley is in it to win it,” Randy said, perhaps feeling guilty about the verses they’d forced her to sing.” Steven was left speechless: “Amazing, I don’t know what to say.”
Steven Tyler gave that third and final round to Haley, but I have to agree with Jennifer and Randy and give it to Lauren.
So things seemed too close to call on “American Idol” last night. Each contestant stole a round. No-one was incredible, but no-one was awful either. But we know one thing: a country singer will make it to the Top 2!
Who do you think should go home? Who do you want to see in the final 2??