AI 10: The final countdown (or the final 3)

It’s the final three and my first comment is “What is Lauren Alaina wearing?” I mean, what is it? A red and wife hankerchief shirt that isn’t doing her any favors.

Beyonce is the guest mentor and we have to get through a really LONG intro package, during which I realize that I have been way too hard on Lady Gaga for not wearing pants. Apparently, Beyonce doesn’t either.

Scotty McCreery “Amazed” by Lonestar
• Everyone in the world has done that song. Or at least it seems like it.
• Scotty starts leaning on the piano, and the beginning is really nice. It’s rich and he uses his lower register to its best advantage.
• The chorus is nice, and I like the little break in his voice on the phrase “I’m so in love with you.”
• In the bridge, he hits all the notes, including the high notes.
• One thing I didn’t like toward the end was the way he said “thing” as “thang.”
• The last phrase was beautiful and a little plaintive. Overall, a good job.
• Scotty has absolutely learned to perform over the course of this season.

BTW, what is with J.Lo’s hair? Is that a pompadour?

And Randy, stop dropping names. Or I am going to pick them up and throw them at you.

Lauren Alaina “She’s a Wild One” by Faith Hill
• I still don’t get this outfit.
• I hate the way Lauren says “angel.”
• Lauren looks like she’s having fun, but she doesn’t invite the crowd in as much as Scotty.
• It’s overall OK, but it never really went anywhere. She came out and sang at the same level for the whole song. And the ending is really weird and just sounds strange.
• I think she had fun, which makes me happy, but it still wasn’t a moment. Even if the judges seem to think it was.

Haley Reinhart “What Is and What Should Never Be” by Led Zepplin
• OK, what was Haley thinking when she chose that song?
• The beginning sounds like she’s just picking random notes and hopping around on them. Which may be right, because I don’t know this song at all.
• I hate it when Haley tries to act sexy (and I think her dress is made of a muppet).
• But props to Haley who fell on stage and kept singing.
• It’s a fun performance, but I’m still not sure this song does much for Haley’s voice. She’s at full scream for most of the song and it hurts my vocal chords. The lyrics that I understood also seem really repetitive.
• But it was a fearless performance and the girl knows how to perform and work the crowd.

Scotty #2: Jimmy has chosen “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?” by Thompson Square
• I love this song choice. Maybe not for Scotty, but because I kind of like this song.
• Love that Scotty is playing the guitar.
• I really think Scotty has learned to perform, and it shows in this performance.
• There were a few moments toward the end when he was at the upper part of his register and it sounded a bit strained or forced, but I’m willing to bet most of the teen girls watching this could care less. They just want to take him up on the offer to kiss him.
• Overall, great performance, even if his vocals aren’t always spot on. He is having fun and this song engaged his audience. As my friend Mindy said while we were watching: “He’s ready to go on a tour.” Scotty has learned to entertain.

Lauren Alaina #2: Jimmy picked “If I Die Young” by the Band Perry
• Apparently Lauren’s pantyhose ripped before it was time for her to go on stage, so we get a cute little scene of a makeup artist putting makeup on her legs, with Lauren giggling and saying, “This is so embarrassing!” It endears her to me.
• I just need to get this off my chest: The Band Perry boys wear girl pants. And it’s not OK.
• Judging from the beginning, Jimmy made a good choice. This song is in Lauren’s roundhouse.
• It’s really beautiful, especially when the music drops back and Lauren has to carry the melody on her own. Then, she lets it get really big and uses that tear in her voice to her best advantage. I didn’t like the way she ended the song at all, though.
• Lauren’s been waiting for a moment on this show, and that was it for me. Honest. Simple. Beautiful, even if she did mess up with the modulation. My friend Mindy wasn’t impressed at all, but it worked for me. But then I’m in love with the simple song of a singer/songwriter.

Haley #3: Jimmy picked “Rihannon” by Stevie Nicks
• I actually think Jimmy might have hit on another good song choice, even if it’s weird. Stevie Nicks isn’t a bad choice for her.
• They have the fan blowing on Haley and I wish she had moved around the stage a little.
• There was one run on the word “Riannon” toward the middle that just wasn’t good. She was all over the place and most of the notes she hit weren’t the right ones.
• It was an interesting song choice, but it was a boring performance. She didn’t take that song anywhere. The judges seem to think it was awesome, but I didn’t. She just didn’t take this song far enough. I described it as a “boring snoozefest” to the friends watching with me.

Scotty #3: The judges picked “She Believes in Me” by Kenny Rogers.
• I don’t know this song. Maybe once I hear it? I haven’t ever listened to much Kenny.
• I think Kenny is a weird song choice, because his voice is so different from Scotty’s.
• But Scotty makes the most of it. He stays in his upper register mostly and has control over his voice. He makes it quiet and then loud in all the right places. Scotty’s not my favorite, but I have to say he was pretty good on this one, and I love how he ended on a beautiful, pure, clear high note.
• Scotty has confidence and it shows. He owns the stage and performs. And that may be the thing that is helping him to rise to the top. Because mark my words, people: I think Scotty is going to win this thing.

Lauren Alaina #3: The judges pick “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack
• I want to hear her hit the power notes and knock me into next week. Come on, girl!
• I will admit this: I secretly enjoy this song. A lot. The beginning is nice, but by the time we get to the chorus, I realize I’ve been waiting for Lauren to be amazing. . . and she hasn’t yet.
• At the bridge/end, she has the opportunity to hit the power notes—and she does, then plays around on it. . .but it was never loud enough and she tends to go back down on the notes when she really could go up. I think the girl’s just lost her confidence.
• The judges love it (and Steven and Randy both name drop), but I don’t think it was as wonderful as the judges do. But Lauren’s dress is beautiful and an amazing color on her. Overall, it’s a nice performance, but it’s not a stellar performance.

Haley #3: The judges picked “You Outta Know.”
• The judges want to hear her all angry and vicious.
• The beginning is just OK for me, but when she gets to the chorus, she uses her shoutiness to her advantage. She’s angry and beautiful and in absolute control of the stage.
• It was a good song choice, because she can use her scream because that is the WHOLE song.

So who’s going home? I have no idea. . .  but it might be Lauren Alaina. I LOVE her, but the other two are out-performing her by leaps and bounds.

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