It’s been a strange, strange season on American Idol 10. The past several months have been working toward crowning the next American Idol, and after the elimination of Haley Reinhart, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina will make up a final two that will be both the youngest final two in the history of the show, as well as the first time two country singers made it to the finale.
The top three this week were different than what fans are used to. In other seasons, top three week would have either one really strong performer, or one weaker performer, to definitively show one person who would be in it, or one person who definitely wouldn’t. This week didn’t haven’t that. Scotty was simply the most consistent. Lauren lost her place singing a song, and Haley completely lost the rhythm on one of hers, but completely rocked it out on a Led Zeppelin tune.
The judges gave each of the three rounds to a different singer, as they, too, struggled to find one standout among the top three. It wasn’t left up to fans to decide who was the best, but merely who had the most fans. As Jimmy Iovine noted early in the episode, the country vote is a strong one. Instead of splitting their votes to knock one of the two out, they kept both Scotty and Lauren in.
Haley looked shocked to not be going to the final two. She seemed to think she had a lock on it, and that may have been what took her down. Instead of fighting for a spot, she became complacent again and thought she had it.
Here’s a look at the top two and their chances of being named the winner of season 10. They are not in order of expected finish, but alphabetical, as they have been from the beginning.
1. Lauren Alaina, 16, of Rossville, Georgia.
Lauren has never struggled with performance, but has struggled with song choice and confidence. It took her all season long to get back the quality that judges and fans saw in her in her audition. She was a favorite of many throughout the auditions, yet by the time top 24 started, she started to lose favor with the fans when she didn’t have the same magic they remembered from her audition.
What Lauren did hold on to and never lost was her cute-as-a-button status. She remained cute and extremely likable throughout. By this week, she was finally able to marry the cuteness factor and confidence once again. It was missing all season long, but she pulled it off this week to become that girl everyone remembered from the auditions, who cried over her cousin’s illness, yet was bold enough to sing a Steven Tyler song and ask him to join her. Her singing isn’t much different than other country singers, but her personality is. If she wins, it will because of her personality.
2. Scotty McCreery, 17, from Garner, North Carolina.
Scotty has been one-of-a-kind since the beginning and has never lost that quality. He has such a rich, deep voice and displayed it at his audition, as well as a squeaky clean persona. He has a way of being incredibly real, and that pulled him through Hollywood when he initially auditioned the other performers looking to land in a good group, then cried onstage when he realized those efforts had his group disposing of Jacee Badeau.
Additionally, Scotty is a really good performer. There is something magical in his young innocence that could easily come off cocky if he pushed it too much, yet he never does. Randy Jackson has been saying all season long that Scotty was giving mini concerts in his performances, and that’s where he has the edge. He knew all season long where he was going with it, while Lauren and Haley had to go looking for it.
It’s all of those qualities combined that will most likely leave Scotty being named the winner next week. He has unique talent, has the ability to be really honest when he needs to be, and on top of it all, is a really good performer. He’s unique, and would be a unique winner, as the show has never had a male country singer or young male singer win. This one is his to lose.
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American Idol 10 pictures used with permission of Fox.