Are you ready for an all-country 'Idol' finale? Well, ready or not, it's what you've got! Tonight, Scotty and Lauren will face off for your votes, and tomorrow, after two hours of more fluff and filler than you can possibly handle, we'll have a winner.
Lauren and Scotty will sing three songs tonight. They'll each get to pick their personal favorite from the season and we'll hear their "coronation" single. In addition, Lauren will sing a song chosen for her by Carrie Underwood and Scotty will sing a song chosen for him by George Strait.
Of course, this is assuming Lauren will be able to sing tonight. TMZ is reporting she's completely lost her voice and Haley is standing by ready, willing and able to step up!!! Wow!
Let's get it on.
We open with a video of young Carrie Underwood and David Cook singing. "How will the Dream End?" Clips of Scotty and Lauren's auditions along with some video of them as younguns. Looks like Lauren's in. Ryan tells us this is the "Final showdown."
Voiceover man welcomes the judges. JLo is wearing some sort of spangly corset dress. Ryan comes out in a tux. There's Jacob and Naima! We are, of course, at the Nokia Theater, which give us a whole new perspective. Ryan tells us 7,000 'Idol' fans are "here to party tonight." Ryan brings out Scotty and Lauren. Sorry, Haley, looks like Lauren's had a miraculous recovery.
Ryan tells us about the story. He asks her about it. She says, "I'm here. I'm ready to sing. Don't worry about it." The doctor comes out to explain. He says that during the rehearsal, Lauren was really pushing her voice and blew out one of her vocal chords. He's got her on medication and says she'll do great.
Scotty McCreery - "Gone" (Montgomery Gentry)
Scotty enters through the audience. He's much more animated than he was the first time around. He's really working it and looking every bit the champ. Great arrangement, good energy, good choice. Looks like we won't have any judges comments until the end. I'll say it for Randy. "Scotty's in it to win it!"
Lauren Alaina - "Flat on the Floor" (Carrie Underwood)
Lauren doesn't sound all that much worse for wear. Must be some good medication! I'm really not feeling this all-country 'Idol.' JLo is with her. Lauren's voice is a little hoarse, but overall, not terribly bad, all things considered.
I'm giving round one to Scotty, barely.
Scotty - "Check Yes or No" (George Strait) picked by George Strait
Scotty's playing his guitar and makes all his peculiar faces. Good song choice. I like the band playing with him. Scotty doesn't seem at all phased at being in the finals. He's incredibly comfortable and loose. I'm impressed.
Lauren - "Maybe it was Memphis" picked by Carrie Underwood
Carrie has said she wanted to sing this on the show, but it wasn't cleared for her. Lauren is wearing a hideous short gold dress with a poufy skirt and cowboy boots. A friend commented that it looks like a lampshade. Her voice doesn't sound bad at all. She's giving it all she's got, that's for sure. I liked this one better than the first one.
I'm giving round two to Lauren.
Randy says America did a fine job and that it is even. He loves everyone. He gives round one to Scotty and round two to Lauren (slight edge). JLo loved "Gone" but wasn't as impressed by Scotty's second song. She agrees with Randy. Steven gives both rounds to Lauren because she is prettier than Scotty. Randy shouts out, "They're both in it to win it."
Tio Cruz is singing the Coca Cola single. He's accompanied by a robotic drumline and is heavily autotuned. The audio goes out for a while. No big deal. The song is about thinking positive. It's positively awful. This wonderful song is available for download.
Ryan reminds us that the Top 11 are heading out on tour. Really?
Scotty - "I Love You This Big"
Jimmy tells us this is a big moment and Scotty's got a big voice. The swaybots are working overtime. It's a dirgey ballad. I'm waiting for the rainbows and unicorns. Scotty actually flops over the notes. Horrible song and he's really not doing it terribly well. Plus, they're showing videos of him in the background. Mama is crying. Horrible song and really, I think this is his worst performance of the entire season.
Randy is marveling in the fact that we've got the youngest contestants ever. He does admire the range of the song. He calls it a brilliant vocal and repeats that Scotty is "in it to win it." JLo says Scotty is a great storyteller and that he did an amazing job with the song. Steven says Scotty has come a long way. "You nailed it again."
Lauren - "Like My Mother Does"
Jimmy thinks this song will showcase Lauren's future career. Swaybots are swaying along. And she's killing it. Totally killing it! Mama's got her hand up. Lauren's voice breaks towards the end, but then she goes down to her mother in the audience and they hug. It's a freakin' moment! Honey, you just might have won yourself this competition. Mom and Dad are crying and hugging. Lauren is crying.
Randy says it was a great song and ode to her mother. "Lauren Alaina has arrived, America. That was amazing." He stands up. JLo says Lauren may have won with that song. Lauren starts to cry again. Steven says the first time he saw her she was his American Idol and he thinks America will feel the same way.
Round three to Lauren by a knockout.
Randy says round three was tough, but gives it to Lauren. JLo says it's a tight race. Steven picks Lauren, "hands down."
David Cook closes the show with a live performance of "Don't You Forget About Me." A video tribute of to the season is on the screen behind him. Love the performance.
- Scotty - A/B+/C+
- Lauren - B+/A/A