‘American Idol’ 2011: Top 2 perform, judges pick their winner — It was a country music showdown Tuesday night on the first part of the finale of American Idol. Finalists Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina sang three songs each, and the judges announced who they thought did the best. The rest was up to the American viewing public, whose decision about which singer will win the title will be announced tonight.
This last night of performances took place at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles before 7,000 fans. Host Ryan Seacrest announced that this was the youngest finale pairing ever with Scotty McCreery at 17 and Lauren Alaina at just 16 years old.
Ryan Seacrest brought out Lauren Alaina before the competiton began to talk about what happened to her during rehearsals earlier in the day. He also had a doctor come out on stage to talk about her condition. The doctor explained that the singer was trying to give it her all during practice and strained a vocal chord. He said they have given her medication, and she said she was ready to go.
There were three rounds of songs. The first song was each singer’s favorite song they sang before in the season. The second song was chosen by their own idols. In Scotty McCreery’s case, George Strait is his idol; Lauren Alaina’s is Carrie Underwood. The last song was each contestant’s first single if he or she wins the contest.
Round 1: Favorite song of the season.
Scotty McCreery started the show off with a reprise of his lively performance of “Gone” by Montgomery Gentry. Lauren Alaina sang “Flat on the Floor” again by Carrie Underwood.
Judges: Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez said both of the singers did a great job, but they gave a “slight edge” to Scotty McCreery’s performance as the better of the two. Steven Tyler stuck by his early favorite, Lauren Alaina.
Round 2: Idols’ idol picks.
George Strait chose one of his own songs for Scotty McCreery to sing, “Check Yes or No.” Carrie Underwood chose “Baby It Was Memphis” by Pam Tillis for Lauren Alaina.
Judges: All three judges preferred Lauren Alaina’s performance in Round 2. Steven Tyler said to Scotty McCreery that he gave her the nod “’cause she’s prettier than you are,” which the boy readily accepted.
Before Round 3, Taio Cruz performed the Coca-Cola Perfect Harmony project song, “Positive.” Fans helped write the song as part of an ongoing promotion on Idol through Season 10.
Round 3: New Single.
Scotty McCreery’s single will be “I Love You This Big” if he wins the competition tonight. Lauren Alaina’s will be “Like My Mother Does,” which she sang to her mother in the audience.
Judges: All three judges give the round to Lauren Alaina. “Lauren, with that song, you may have just won,” commented Jennifer Lopez.
Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler go with Lauren Alaina as the winner of the whole thing. Steven Tyler, who has loved the young teen girl from Day One, said, “Lauren is ‘it’ for me.” Jennifer Lopez couldn’t decide a winner and commented, “America has their work cut out for them.”
The show ended Tuesday night with Season Seven winner, David Cook, singing his new single, “Don’t You Forget About Me.”
American Idol will announce the winner of Season 10 on Wednesday night with its finale extravaganza starting at 8 p.m. and going to several minutes after (DVR alert) 10 o’clock ET. Among other expected performances will be a reunion of the Top 13.
PHOTOS: Remember the Top 13 here.
PHOTOS: Check out the homecomings of the Top 3 here.
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