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American Idol: Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina Are Headed to the Finale

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I know a lot of people are shocked and upset at last night’s American Idol elimination of Haley Reinhart. I am not one of those people.

I thought that Haley was coming into her own and peaking when sAMERICAN IDOL: Scotty McCreery advances to the final of AMERICAN IDOL airing Thursday, May 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. L-R: Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery, Haley Reinhart and Ryan Seacrest. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. he needed to, which I love, because she provided a couple fantastic Idol moments. However, it was obvious from the beginning of the season that Idol was looking for a younger singer to appeal to a younger demographic just based on the contestants that were getting through from the beginning like Jacee Badeaux and Brett Loewenstern. That said, I am definitely not surprised at Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina both moving on to the finale. (Also, just based on the hometown footage alone, I felt like Haley’s package was put together as if it was an afterthought and as a major hint that she was going to be eliminated. Not cool, Idol.)

Wednesday night’s show was pretty good. All three of the contestants kind of had mini-moments.

I thought Scotty made a smart decision singing Lonestar’s “Amazed” as his personal song choice. He showed that he could handle a big contemporary country hit. Plus, who doesn’t just love that song? I thought “She Believes in Me” was an old fashioned and lame song choice from the judges, but Scotty did what he could with it.

I really liked Lauren’s performance of “If I Die Young” by Band Perry, which Jimmy Iovine picked for her to sing. We finally saw some true emotion from her! It was one of my favorite moments of the night.

Haley had three really great songs, but I felt like the only one she completely pulled off was “What Is And What Should Never Be” by Led Zeppelin. She sounded amazing and just rocked it out. I love that her little stumble up the stairs didn’t throw her off at all.

With “Rhiannon,” I thought she sounded like she was mumbling part of the first verse. I didn’t think she really connected with that song well at all, because she was just trying to remember the words. It actually really made me miss Didi Benami’s performance from last season.

I really had hoped “You Oughta Know” would be an absolute showstopper, but I felt like it fell flat. I think she tried to kind of mimic Alanis Morissette’s phrasing, when she should have just sung the song in her true voice.

Overall, she had a decent night. All three contestants had a decent night. If you saw my live-blog, I actually thought it would be Scotty and Haley moving on to the finale.

I wasn’t a fan of Lauren’s first song at all. I thought she that if she was going with Faith Hill, she should have sung “The Way You Love Me.” Like I already mentioned, I loved “If I Die Young,” and I thought “I Hope You Dance” wasAMERICAN IDOL: The Final Two: Lauren Alaina (L) and Scotty McCreery (R). CR: Michael Becker / FOX. alright, but looking back on her overall season, I didn’t feel like Lauren had lived up to her initial potential.

That said, I do hope both Scotty and Lauren pick great songs for next week and really just sing their little teenage hearts out for us. I think depending on their song choices, this could be a really great finale next week. Idol’s never had an all-country finale, and even though I’m not a huge country music fan, I’m excited to see them sing it out. (Unpopular opinion, I know!)

So let’s hear it! What did you think about last night’s results? Who are you rooting for to be the next American Idol?


Photo credit: Michael Becker/FOX

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a writer and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her long-running music blog, Wait...WHAT, at waitwhatmusic.net. Follow Kirsten Coachman on Twitter: @KirsCoachman
  • Mamapaulette

    I enjoyed the three contestants on Wed night. I feel like Scotty is the most comfortable on stage and has a great voice. I really hope he wins because I feel he will represent America well

  • I think voters went for the bland this year, rejecting the quirky. The level of talent overall has been high, and when Scotty and Lauren grow up, they may do great things. But Lauren in particular still seems too green, too immature. [Possibly all Scotty needs is to lose the goofy onstage mugging and channel his inner Elvis more often.]

    My favorite performances of the season were Casey Abrams performing “Nature Boy” and James Durbin doing “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Casey was probably always too odd to win, and arguably he was just not into Idol all that much; but he has more musical talent than just about anyone ever on the show, period. Durbin was certainly uneven, but on the Carole King song and on “Maybe I’m Amazed” he showed an emotional pop versatility and virtuosity that may yet yield hit records.

    But the thing about past performers like Melinda Doolittle, David Cook, Adam Lambert, and Crystal Bowersox was that they made Idol more interesting than it normally is. Of course, only Cook pulled off a win, against a bland teen not much less talented than this year’s two finalists.

  • Yemanou

    My guess is that it’s all demographics: a pretty blonde singing Led Zeppelin works for middle aged men but not prepubescent girls. It probably pissed off some jealous girl friends as well. To win this it would have required sing yet another more popular Lady Gaga song or whatever pop chick there is in the charts right. Yet, she can be proud that she stayed true to herself and even brought her Dad on the stage to pull of that rock performance with him. How beautiful is that? She is obviously a rebel and that’s what rock is all about and more importantly makes here believable to me. I am just genuinely disappointed that she won’t sing again next week, although there will be some performance on Wednesday is my guess. No wrath again Scotty and Lauren the got the votes and will be very marketable to their fanbase.

  • Sherry

    Handyguy – I think Scotty and Lauren built up fan bases really early and they stuck with them. Casey seems to be a good musician, but there is no way to say he is the best ever when the contestants have only been able to play instruments on the show since season 7.

    As far as interesting – what about Taylor Hicks? Taylor won the show, even if you didn’t really like him you can’t say he wasn’t interesting. I think Blake Lewis would also count as an interesting contestant and he was second.