Despite a review at E! Online and a few other spots along the information superhighway, the “American Idol” finale did not seem to “fall flat” at all — not even for host Ryan Seacrest’s sometimes awkward asides and segues (which, besides bringing the in-house doctor on stage, seemed to remain trapped within the man himself for the duration of the show). In fact, just like most of the season, the performances could be sized up as good entertainment. But how good was “good”? Which finalist, Scotty McCreery or Lauren Alaina, won the performance part of the finale?
Keeping in mind that the final say-so in the “American Idol” Season 10 saga comes down the the accumulated votes received by the two teen finalists, it can be said without much debate that Lauren Alaina dominated the performance night of the season finale. Whether she took control via sympathy (at the show’s start, host Seacrest brought the aforementioned doctor on stage to inform the audience that Lauren had blown out a vocal chord in rehearsals but should be ready to go), through sentiment (her rendition of “Like My Mother Does” was a showstopping tearjerker), or simply through her confident and powerful performances, Lauren was definitely, as judge Randy Jackson is often wont to say, “in it to win it.”
And it wasn’t as if the 17-year-old Scotty McCreery wasn’t performing up to part, either. The teenager did a great job on Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone,” a competent job on George Strait’s “Check Yes Or No,” and made a hit out of his winner’s song, “Love You This Big.” (Yes, it was that good.) But his 16-year-old competitor simply ruled the night. She blasted on stage with Carrie Underwood’s “Flat On The Floor,” rolled through Pam Tillis’ plaintive “Maybe It Was Memphis,” and simply owned her winner’s song, “Like My Mother Does.”
After the first two songs were performed, Seacrest asked the judges to score the rounds. Randy Jackson split his vote, giving Round One to Scotty because of the “Scotty concert” that was “Gone,” and Round Two to Lauren. Jennifer Lopez agreed with Randy. Judge Steven Tyler showed his season-long favoritism for Lauren and gave her both rounds, but offered Scotty an olive branch: “… only because she’s prettier.” Much of Scotty’s appeal throughout the season has been his downhome mannered charm, which he promptly displayed by agreeing with Tyler.
After the third round, Jackson said Lauren’s performance of “Like My Mother Does” was “amazing” and gave her a standing ovation. Lopez said Lauren might have just won the competition, but said it was too close to call. Tyler told the audience that Lauren had always been his American Idol and he believed that America would see it his way.
In short, the judges gave their vote to Lauren — and in all fairness to both contestants, she did seem to have a better night. But it was’t because the country boy didn’t perform well. Far from it. He was just outperformed.
Still, Scotty had the momentum going in, leading power rankings lists and being the odds-on favorite to win. Was it enough?
“American Idol” audience will discover the answer at the end of the two-hour Season 10 finale Wednesday, May 25, beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST on Fox Television. The live show will feature scheduled artists U2 (with the Broadway cast of “Spiderman”), Jack Black, Lady Gaga, and Haley Reinhart.
Fans of “American Idol” in the Myrtle Beach area can roor for their favorite “Idol” finalist and watch the Season 10 finale results show on WFXB Fox TV 43.