|Which two Idols make the finals?|
I'm still thinking Lauren and Scotty, but would happily take Haley over Lauren. I'm so uncertain that I've prepared three photos for my Syracuse.com blog, one of Haley and Scotty, another of Lauren and Scotty, and one of Lauren and Haley! At this point, however, I really don't care who makes it or even who wins. I don't think I've ever been this disinterested in who wins at this stage of the game. Sad, but true. But we soldier on, valiantly!
Here's a preview for you. Over 95 million votes were cast last night. That's the third highest vote total ever and double that from last year's Top 3 (Crystal, Lee, and Casey James). In case you've forgotten, here are the rest of the Top 3 castoffs in order of their seasons: Nikki McKibbin, Kimberley Locke, Jasmine Trias, Vonzell Solomon, Elliot Yamin, Melinda Doolittle, Syesha Mercado, and Danny Gokey.
Enough of the history and speculation, let's get on with the show.
Cold opening featuring the very best of the performance show. Voiceover man intros the judges and Ryan. Karen Rodriquez and Jacob are sitting in the audience. People have "In it to win it" signs. Casey is sitting with Marc Anthony. Ryan is beside himself with excitement. He tells us about the vote tally - the biggest non-finale vote in history. We are reminded that next week's shows are Tuesday and Wednesday. The Top 3 come out looking calm, cool, and collected. Lauren's jeans are just not right on her.
Last week the Top 4 went to a VIP screening of Super 8. There's James. The director tells them he started out making Super 8 movies and thought it would be cool to make a movie about kids doing just that. The scenes are super scary. When it's over, they get their own Super 8 cameras.
After the clip (there's Naima), we meet Elle Fanning, one of the stars in the movie. Elle's six-year old cousin is a huge fan of the show. Her fave from the beginning has been Scotty. No surprise there.
Back from the break, we watch Haley's hometown visit to Wheeling, Illinois. It's raining, but lots of people are on hand to greet Haley. People are hysterical. She gets the day named after her, although the President (not Mayor) of the town pronounces her last name wrong. Haley says she doesn't want to cry. Haley stops off at her parents' house. And she cries. "Three months feels like forever," she says through her tears. She gets a parade to her high school. She cries the whole time. Her security guy is beefy.
Back on the road to a racetrack, which is full of 30,000 people. Haley sings "Sweet Home Chicago" and her dad plays guitar. We return from the break and the security guy is on stage with her, crying.
Ford video time. Just three now. They sing "Smile." Now for a performance by some young Italian group, Il Volo. They sing "O Solo Mio." They're actually very, very good.
Now for Scotty's hometown visit. He's happy to lay on his bed for a little while. Then he stops at Garner High where he pitches a couple of balls. There are Scotty signs all through the school. They love him. He cries. Then Scotty gets to stop at the grocery store where he used to work. He puts on his old apron, takes some video, and they is off to a park to sing. He is completely overwhelmed. Josh Turner stops by to surprise him while he's singing "Baby Lock Them Doors." They sing it together. Scotty tells his adoring fans that he is going to win this thing and bring it back to Garner. Even a callous old fool like me can't help tearing up a little.
Now for Nicole Scherzinger and 50 Cent with the world premiere of "Right There." I've never heard her sing before. This is clearly pre-taped as there is no one at the judges table. I don['t even think there in the Idol theater. I don't know where they are. Here's 50. I'm gonna fast forward through this if you don't mind.
Lauren's hometown visit is next. Mommy is with her on the plane. Lauren starts out at a radio station. She stops at an AT&T store. Little girls scream. Then she stops at Rossville High School to celebrate Lauren Alaina Day. Then they take a ride past some of the areas destroyed by the tornadoes. She meets a little boy named Tyler who saved his baby brother. She performs in Chattanooga at a park. There are a lot of people there. She sings "Anyway." She also tosses out the first ball at some game. Lauren is in tears after the video ends.
Now, perhaps we can get to the results we've all been waiting for. Scotty and Haley join Lauren center stage. The lights dim. "After the nationwide vote, I can now tell you the results... after the break."
Back from the break. "The first person with a shot at the title is... Scotty McCreery." Rather anticlimactic. Who will it be, Lauren or Haley? "The person who competes against Scotty in the finale is... Lauren Alaina." Told you. Haley looks stunned and mad. After her farewell video, the audience is chanting "Haley, Haley, Haley." She says this has been the best platform ever. She sings us out with "Benny and the Jets." Jacob, Naima, and Karen groove with her and Casey is gong nuts. She hugs her dad and mom. And, like several other third placers, I think Haley will do just fine.
So, we have our all-country Idol final.