American Idol: two teens vie for title

So this was it. Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina were competing for all the marbles–the coveted prize of being the next American Idol. They were also, at 17 and 16 respectively, the youngest two contestants ever to reach the finale. They would sing three songs each–the first being their personal favorite from this past season; the second a song chosen by their own idol; and the third being the lead single if they won. In the latter case, that meant a craptastic formulaic country song (apologies to my songwriting pals in Nashville).

So here we go…..

SCOTTY McCREERY
Round 1: “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry. Scotty nailed this one a few weeks back, and that performance vaulted him into contention. Last night it wasn’t as magical, but still very strong and a good way to kick things off.

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American Idol: final two named

We’re finally approaching the final week of the 2011 American Idol season. Last night, after 95 million votes poured in, the results were announced as to who would be in the final two shows next week. But first, a cheesy Italian pop/opera group, Il Vollo performed. Blah. Then a performance by Nicole Scherzinger and 50 Cent. Blah again. The Ford video. Blah again.

But what wasn’t blah was watching Haley, Scotty and Lauren go home last week and getting to see the outpouring of affection for each contestant. That was awesome. Especially when Josh Turner came out on stage to surprise Scotty.

Finally, it was time for the results….the first person in the finale….Scotty McCreery. Okay….down to Lauren and Haley. The other person in the finale…Lauren! So Haley was going home, and he looked mighty pissed for about 30 seconds before gaining her composure and singing “Benny & the Jets” on her way out. See you on the classic rock cover band circuit, Haley. But hey, now we’ve got Lauren and Scotty squaring off in the youngest pairing of an Idol finale yet–with Lauren being 16 and Scotty 17. Yikes. And both are country singers.

So there you have it, America. We’ll see you next week with the final two episodes of the season!

  

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American Idol: finale time

It’s hard to believe we’ve reached that time of year, but here it is. The “American Idol” two-part finale is next Tuesday and Wednesday and we’ve got your two finalists. But first, unless you just scroll down, we’ll make you wait just like the producers make us wait.

The show began with Casey James being whisked back to Cool, Texas, which looks like it’s a suburb of Fort Worth. He even went back to the hospital where his life was saved after a motorcycle accident seven years ago to thank his doctors for keeping him alive and giving him this opportunity.

Then Travis Garland performed. This kid is a signing of celebrity entrepreneur Perez Hilton, who was on hand to help Ryan Seacrest announce him. He did his new single, “Believe,” which wasn’t bad, but there were too many dancers on stage that were really distracting. Why can’t these pop acts just sing?

Then Crystal Bowersox went back to Toledo, and she appeared to have more fans than Casey. Hmmm. Anyway, that was cool. But Lee’s visit back to Chicago seemed even cooler for some reason. He finished by returning to the paint shop where he’s worked.

Then Justin Bieber performed two of his new songs, “You Smile” and “Baby.” That kid is pretty talented too for a teenybopper.

Finally, it was time to find out who was going home and who would compete for the title next week. First in, Lee Dewyze. No huge surprise. Down to Casey and Crystal. Crystal Bowersox, in, Casey James, going home. That’s how I saw it, and I’ve thought it was Casey’s time for weeks anyway. And that’s how it should be…Crystal vs. Lee for all the marbles.

So there you have it…..I think last season we thought it would be Adam Lambert crushing Kris Allen, and the year before David Archuleta crushing David Cook, but both turned out to not be the case. So while I think Lee will win, Crystal absolutely deserves to win just as much. It should be interesting, and an entertaining ride. See you all then!

  

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American Idol: Let the cage match begin…

Last night’s “American Idol” results show brought us down from three finalists to two, setting up the biggest and most important showdown of the season next Tuesday. We’ll get to that….after the break…..or scroll down if you didn’t watch.

So Ryan Seacrest announced that there were 88 million votes on Tuesday night. I half-expected Seacrest to put a pinky to the corner of his mouth like Dr. Evil when he said that. Anyway, he also said that it was the closest voting ever, with 1 million votes separating the top two.

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American Idol: Judges try hard to crown Adam

We are rolling down the hill toward the “American Idol” finale, and the judges last night were over-impressed with one Adam Lambert on a night when I thought he was good, but not nearly as good as the judges’ collective frothing at the mouth indicated. Here is how it went down…

First of all, I’m quite sure that in previous seasons at this stage, they showed the three finalists going to their hometown with a whole montage on that before performing, but this time they shortened the show to an hour and though I haven’t looked at the listings, I’m expecting a longer results show tonight. But anyway, each contestant would sing something a judge or judges picked for them, and another song of their choice.

Danny Gokey went first and the song was Paula Abdul’s selection of Terence Trent D’Arby’s “Dance Little Sister.” Not a bad choice at all, with the tone and funky chorus that is right in Gokey’s wheelhouse. The problem is that the song never really goes anywhere, but Danny did a fine job with it. Randy said it was “dope,” Kara said the song was in Danny’s money spot but that she didn’t like the dancing, Paula said she was proud of Danny, and that she as a choreographer DID like his dancing (say what?), and Simon agreed with Kara but said it was a good vocal.

Kris Allen was next, and since there are now four judges, Kara and Randy tag-teamed on this one, picking One Republic’s “Apologize.” Kris played it painfully safe, sitting at the piano and doing a good job with it, but wowing positively no one. I was bummed that they kind of gave him a lame choice. Randy said the song fits who Kris can be, Kara liked the choice but wished Kris would have changed up the arrangement and said it wasn’t a home run, Paula said she understood the song choice and that she was proud, and Simon thought it was too copycat and he gave Kara a really hard time about Kara giving Kris a hard time about the arrangement of a song she chose for him. Ha!

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