The 16-year-old Georgia girl that began her journey on “American Idol” last summer at an audition in Nashville may not win the popular vote and become the next “American Idol” winner, but she certainly won over the audience and the judges, according to the Chicago Tribune, on the performance night of the two-part finale. In fact, Lauren Alaina ruled the night, truly showing America what kind of powerhouse artist she will most likely become…
That is not to say that young Scotty McCreery did poorly. Far from it. In fact, the competition between the two teens, billed as the youngest finale face-off in “Idol” history (she: 16; he: 17), may have also been one of the more artistically entertaining as well. Both sang songs solely from their genre — country music, another “Idol” first — and did so surprisingly well.
For Round One, the two hopefuls performed their favorites songs of the season. Scotty reprised Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone,” while Lauren gave Carrie Underwood’s “Flat On The Floor” anothr go-round. Then the two performed songs chosen for them by their personal idols. Scotty’s was “Check Yes Or No,” picked for the teen by the legendary George Strait. Lauren’s pick was Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis,” chosen by her idol, “American Idol” Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood.
The judges were asked who won the rounds. Randy Jackson said he gave the Scotty the edge in Round One, Lauren the edge in Round Two. Jennifer Lopez agreed that the competition was close and agreed with Randy. Steven Tyler, who has made no secret of his support of Lauren throughout Season 10, said Lauren won both rounds. But ever the diplomat, he added to Scotty, “…only because she’s prettier.”
Scotty nodded. Host Ryan Seacrest noted that he seemed alright with Tyler’s decision. Scotty, always the southern gentleman, agreed with the Aerosmith frontman.
Still, as good as the first two rounds of songs were, the third round was better.
Scotty sang “Love You This Big,” a song that will be his first single should he win the competition. You would never have known it was not his song, he performed it that well. Then Lauren performed “Like My Mother Does,” a song that originally appeared on “American Idol” Season 7 alumnus Kristy Lee Cook’s debut album. Before the song was over, there probably wasn’t a dry eye in the entire Nokia Theatre. It brought down the house, especially after Lauren walked down and hugged her mother, who has been at every performance throughout the competition.
When asked, Randy gave the round to Lauren, although he admitted he really enjoyed Scotty’s song, too. Jennifer Lopez played it safe and said she couldn’t decide. But Steven Tyler reminded everyone that he had labeled Lauren “The One” in Nashville and said, “Sorry, Scotty…” before announcing that Lauren was the one for him.
Fortunately for Scotty McCreery, who becomes “The One,” the winner of “American Idol,” is not up to the judges. It is up to the voting viewers of the show. Going in most believed that Scotty had a decided edge. Oddsmakers had him the most likely to win as well. But upsets do happen. And given that Lauren may receive the sympathy vote (Seacrest had the studio doctor tell the world before the competition began that Lauren had “blown out” a vocal chord on a high note in practice), there just might be one in the making.
The results of three hours of voting will be broadcast live on Wednesday evening’s second part of the season-ending episode.
The Season 10 finale will feature performances from Steven Tyler himself, U2 with the cast from the Broadway musical “Spiderman,” Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Season 10 third-place finalist Haley Reinhart. Fans of “American Idol” in Myrtle Beach can catch the show on WFXB Fox TV 43.