American Idol contestants faced off this week with high stakes among them. The three who advance this week will have earned a hometown visit. We’ve been watching these celebrations for almost a decade now, high school auditoriums filled with cheering students, crowds of people lining the streets, radio stations featuring their hometown Idol on air, a prominent official handing over a key to the city or declaring a day in the Idol contestant’s honor. These are exciting times for the Idol hopefuls, not only because they can get a sense of just how many people are truly out there supporting them, but also because it’s a chance to reconnect with the family members they left behind when they became swept up in the Idol whirlwind.
With so much on the line, it’s probably a good thing that Wednesday night’s show kicked off with songs that inspired the contestants. It’s much easier to perform when the song holds special meaning to you, but when you choose a song that will have special meaning to thousands of people, you really can do no wrong. Scotty chose Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning, originally recorded by Alan Jackson just after the tragic attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001. The song so beautifully and yet heartbreakingly conveys the somber mood of U.S. citizens, who in shock after the attacks, grasped for ways to cope with such a horrendous crime that took so many lives. With difficult memories already being brought up with recent news of the death of the mastermind behind the attacks, Scotty picked quite a timely and meaningful song. He respectfully didn’t over sing it, but did bring his own passion to the lyrics.
The second song of the night had to be chosen from the songwriting duo of Leiber & Stoller. Older generations will remember some of their hits such as The Coasters’ Yakety Yak (Don’t Talk Back) and Charlie Brown or Elvis’ Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock. Younger generations best know Leiber & Stoller by their song Stand By Me which has been recorded by multiple artists.
Scotty McCreery performed The Coasters’ song Young Blood, perfectly balancing his night between the slow, touching ballad and the upbeat, fun-filled tune that allowed him to woo the audience again this week. Jennifer Lopez even compared Scotty’s performance of Young Blood with his very successful performance of Gone last week. Furthermore, she stated that Scotty seems to have hit his stride and that now, he’s in a sprint toward the finish.
Scotty does seem to have figured out how to work the crowd and looks like he’s having more fun doing it that he ever imagined he would. In the early stages of the competition, Scotty McCreery sang songs that showcased his deep voice and gave him a chance to show his sensitive side. Viewers probably couldn’t have imagined the Scotty we’re seeing now, dancing, getting the crowd involved and really performing. Perhaps Scotty has grown along with the competition or perhaps he knew all along that he’d have to step it up a few notches and he saved his best stuff for last. Either way, we’ll find out Thursday if Scotty’s sprint just got a little closer to his hometown, and to the finish line on American Idol.
St. Louis fans can watch Scotty’s fate unfold on Fox station KTVI, Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. Whether or not Scotty remains on Idol for another week, he will be rolling into St. Louis in July as part of the American Idol Live Tour. Find out more about it in the article, Will Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina be the star of the American Idol Tour?
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