‘American Idol’ 10 Recap – Handicapping the 2011 Top 3

The unthinkable has happened yet again on American Idol 10. It was yet another shocking result Thursday night as James Durbin was voted off the show, leaving Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina, and Haley Reinhart as the final three. Everyone wondered who would leave this week, with most thinking it would be Lauren or Haley, and a few wishing it were Scotty. Yet no one was predicting or wishing for a James Durbin dismissal.

american idol 10,james durbinTo a certain point, it defies reasoning, how James could have been voted off when he has never been in the bottom three, and when the worst said about any of his performances was that he got too emotional. All season long, the question was who would be standing in the final two next to James Durbin. It was understood he would be there.

Everyone is making comparisons to season five when Chris Daughtry was shockingly voted off in fourth place. Similarly, the question all season long was who would face him in the final two, and here he was voted out in fourth place. Hopefully, James Durbin will go on to meet the same after-Idol success that Daughtry has had. Music producers need to jump up and get this guy to sign on the dotted line before he gets away.

Here’s a look at the top three and their chances of making it one more week to the final two:

1. Lauren Alaina, 16, of Rossville, Georgia.

Lauren has finally come into her own in the competition. She’s finally showing what she had showed in her audition, the strong vocals with just enough sass. She’s perhaps the cutest 16-year-old to make it this far in the competition since Jordin Sparks, who coincidentally performed live on the show Thursday night.

Next week, Lauren needs to do everything exactly the same as she did this week. She needs to show no fear and just belt it out. If so, she has a shot at making final two.

2. Scotty McCreery, 17, from Garner, North Carolina.

Scotty is probably the most consistent on the show next to James Durbin. He knows who he is and what he should be doing, which is definitely odd for a guy of his age. This week, he showed he could pull off an amazingly tender performance as well as be completely entertaining, running around in the audience.

Unless he has some really bad song choices next week, Scotty should be a lock on the final two. Then again with this season, anything is possible. He is the most likely to pick up James’ fans, and the battle seems to be over who will join him in final two.

3. Haley Reinhart, 20, from Wheeling, Illinois.

Haley’s performances have been all over the place. Jimmy Iovine said it best, that she needed to figure out who she was. Every time it seems like she has it figured out, she goes backwards. In the last two weeks, she’s either been amazingly great, or been viewed by the judges as having the worst performance of the week. Though in this group, the worst performance is still great; it’s just not amazingly great.

Next week, the final three will be doing three songs apiece, and Haley needs to show everyone that she can be consistent and be amazingly great for three performances in a row. If she can wow each of her times up to bat instead of just one or two, she should make it to final two

There’s still no way to make sense of James Durbin heading home this week, and this will be the one people talk about for weeks to come, just like with Daughtry. A few weeks Taylor Hicks won, people stopped talking about him, but kept talking about Daughtry. Will it be the same if Scotty, Haley, or Lauren win?

For more on American Idol 10, see SirLinksalot.

American Idol 10 pictures used with permission of Fox.

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