Each contestant sang three times last night — the first one, a song of their choice; the 2nd one, selected by Idol season long mentor Jimmy Iovine, and a 3rd one hand-picked by the judges, who by the way failed miserably on their choices except for maybe Lauren's.
So.....for the song grades and round-by-round blows, dim the lights, here we go............
ROUND 1: Contestants Song Choices
- Scotty Mcreery-Chose to sing "Amazed" by Lonestar, solid song choice but lacking any creativity at all, and he struggled to hit all the high notes. Very safe and karaoke like for me. Not a great start at all. GRADE-C+
- Lauren Alaina- Chose to sing a Faith Hill song, "Wild One", and Lauren....you are no faith Hill. It was a very poor and pitchy vocal, all over the place really. One of her poorest vocals in weeks....and not the way she wanted to start. GRADE C-
- Haley Reinhart- Chose a difficult song by Led Zeppelin, "What Is and What Should Never Be",
accompanied by her dad on guitar. FINALLY....some risk taking and creativity here people! This is what Idol is all about! Loved the way she did the opening for this and she really showed off her stage prowess, minus the slip on the stage steps, but still remained focused and gave an overall great performance! Haley is HOT and she's IN IT TO WIN IT! GRADE- A
- ROUND 1 WINNER- HALEY, hands down!
- Scotty Mcreery-Is given "Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not", good choice by Jimmy. Again, didn't think Scotty gave a great performance, and there were some off key notes, but I definitely liked this one better than the first one, at least it wasn't another boring ballad. GRADE-B-
- Lauren Alaina- Is assigned "If I Die Young", a great song choice again by Jimmy! She started off great, but then missed a note and stumbled through the song at the end. This girl is NOT getting to the finals the way she is performing. GRADE C+
- Haley Reinhart- Jimmy chooses "Rhiannon" by Stevie Nicks. Again, a solid choice by Jimmy. Haley looked incredible on stage, like a seasoned performer, and gave a Natalie Merchant like performance. I did agree with J-Lo, thought she could have done better with the ending of the song, but still a solid performance overall. GRADE- B+
- ROUND 2 WINNER- HALEY, once again for creativity and incredible stage presence.
- Scotty Mcreery-Judges pick a old and tired Kenny Rogers tune, "She Believes In Me"....ugh.....horrible song choice by the judges. It was another boring ballad for Scotty, and off key again in parts. Not a memorable or great night for Scotty at all. GRADE- C+
- Lauren Alaina- The judges take care of their 'Golden Girl' by assigning a great song choice, Lee Ann Womacks' "I Hope You Dance", though one could argue it's a bit too old of a choice and too mature for Lauren. But it certainly was her BEST of the night by far. GRADE B+
- Haley Reinhart- The judges did Haley NO favors by choosing for her Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” Another bad choice, and one that could cost Haley big time. She does the chorus fine, and adds a few screams and growls for effect, but is off key and hard to hear on the lyrics. Think she did the best she could with a very difficult and head-scratching assignment by the judges. GRADE- B-
- ROUND 3 WINNER- LAUREN ALAINA, easily the best of the 3
Which leaves the other spot in the finals between the two girls, so who will it be, Lauren or Haley?
Of course, should be NO surprise here that I'm a HUGE Haley Reinhart supporter, and I think she's had an amazing run on this show, esp. considering she landed in the Bottom 3 in three consecutive weeks earlier in the season. She's this year's female version of a cross between David Cook and Adam Lambert. Haley deserves to make it because first and foremost, she’s more talented vocally, and this is of course a SINGING competition! She is also much more creative, is a risk taker with music and not just a 'karaoke' type performer, and has much better stage presence and is more seasoned than Lauren Alaina. Lauren stumbled through her first two songs last night, and if not for her stellar ROUND 3 performance, this would be a cake-walk for Haley.
All that said....I'm hoping that the country and western vote gets split enough between Scotty and Lauren, and just enough to make Lauren the bottom vote getter tonight, placing Haley in the 2nd spot and in the FINALS against Scotty. A Scotty vs. Haley Finale will be MUCH more compelling than a Scotty vs. Lauren finale, believe me!
America never fails to surprise me though......but I'm hoping this time, that they get it right with Haley.
So.......what's your FINAL TWO prediction for tonight? And who's your IDOL WINNER?
More to come from Eddie Idol.......after the results and the FINAL 2 are announced on FOX tonight!