Well, it took all season, but when she needed it most, Lauren Alaina finally went for broke. In tonight’s American Idol season 10 final competition show, the country cutie took on the other country cutie, Scotty McCreery, in an easy and decisive victory. She hit all the right notes in song selection, performance, vocals and personality and she did it all with laryngitis. (By the way, did you hear the crazy TMZ rumor that Haley was gonna replace Lauren if she couldn’t sing?… Now that would’ve been a cool show, but I’m thrilled Lauren put the rumor to rest). It was such a clear-cut win for Lauren, most notably in her final triumphant song, that it seems obvious she will win…. However, I think any Idol watcher knows that would be a seriously naive thing to say. Because despite Lauren’s dominance, one should never underestimate the power of a Scotty McCreery fan. In fact, his biggest fans~ tween and teen girls, country fans, and the folks from the Red states~ are notorious for making their voices heard loud and clear on Idol. (And don’t forget previous winners David Cook, Kris Allen and Lee Dewyze were all outsung and out performed on their final competition nights and still won). So, we have a serious battle. And remember, Scotty did fine too. So it’s gonna be close. I just hope people realize who should win the show (ahem Lauren) and take a look at my rankings for tonight’s show for all the proof you need.
American Idol Top 2 Performance Rankings 5/24/11
1. Lauren- “Like My Mother Does”: on the song that will become her first official single, Lauren finally had the moment we’ve been waiting for all season. She gave us an incredibly emotional performance with beautiful flawless vocals that were authentic and totally moving. Yes, I had some tears in my eyes. (Oh, did I mention I was at the live show too?!!! And she was even better in person than when I watched the telecast back again at home)… The song was a perfect fit and seems destined to be a hit in the vein of her Idol Carrie Underwood’s song “Mama’s Song” It was so good, that the thunderous standing ovation seemed to go on and on. It was truly a palpable moment at the NoPia, ahem Nokia theatre, easily the most momentous of the night.
2. Lauren- “Maybe it was Memphis”: performing Pam Tillis’s 90′s smash country hit, Lauren found another perfect fit for her smooth tone and yearning vocals. Clearly, Ms. Underwood knew what she was doing picking this song. It was another home run for Lauren as she easily ran away with both the second and third rounds tonight.
3. Lauren- “Flat on the Floor”: with her first choice tonight, the encore of “Flat”, Lauren took a slimmer victory over peer. Nonetheless, she displayed a fire and commitment that had been missing a few weeks back and she had fun, working the stage like a pro with no hint of her damaged vocal chords. Clearly, she was in it to win it tonight. (hehe, I just echoed Randy Jackson’s incessant yammerings. Drink two!)
4. Scotty- “Gone”: on his best performance tonight, the encore of Montgomery Gentry’s hit, Scotty almost beat Lauren. He wowed the crowd and made the girls scream, and it was his best vocal of the night. However, it just wasn’t enough to stop little Lauren.
5. Scotty- “I Love You This Big”: singing his first single, Scotty sounded good on this ballad that felt like a retro 90′s country hit. Sure, he hit his notes and had a great deal of conviction, but the song still felt a bit cheesy. And Scotty also seemed to be straining a bit when watching it back on TV. This one was definitely better live. However, I’m not sure it’s the song country radio programmers were hoping for…
6. Scotty- “Check Yes or No”: Scotty’s idol George Strait chose his own song for the teen titan and it worked well for him. It would probably sound nice on the radio driving through a cornfield… But watching Scotty cop to all his vocal affectations and crazy facial contortions and the song lost its appeal. And why exactly was he playing the guitar if he was actually only strumming one out of every ten notes? I’m just saying… Don’t get me wrong though, it wasn’t bad. It was just pedestrian and a bit boring. Those are two things Scotty has been throughout the season despite good vocals and a winning personality. We’ll see if that finally catches up to him.
So, there you have it. The score board says it all. Lauren: 3, Scotty: 0… The golden girl got her groove back in this country Idol contest, but will one big win be enough to take the title? I’m not sure… I do know she’s got my vote and I’m thinking Hayley fans turned to her as well. Plus, she really has so much potential and it’s about time Idol had another female winner… And yes, they’ll both be successful, but Lauren has crossover potential while Scotty will remain squarely in the country lane. So, I’m thinking her fan base may be wider and is still growing. With that in mind, I have to make a crazy prediction… Despite all odds, my better intentions and conventional logic, I’m going to predict Lauren wins over the frontrunner in an incredibly tight contest! … Yeah, I may be throwing my money away, but I’m a betting man and I say “Let’s hear it for Lauren”. I mean Steven Tyler declared her the winner and we all know he’s not crazy… Oh, wait, he sorta is… Ack, can I get my money back? … Well, it’s too late. I’ve laid my bet on our Georgia girl. How about you? … Let me hear your thoughts and place your bets below… Oh and let me know if you gave a rat’s patootie about that random Coke contest song by Taio Cruz… And if you enjoyed the return of season 7 winner Cook on his performance of the awesome goodbye song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”~ even if it was pre-taped… And check back here tomorrow night for my final Idol wrap up of the season….
And one more time, let’s hear it for Lauren!