American Idol: Homecoming for the finalists
As it goes every year, the American Idol top three traveled home last Friday to both film a segment for Wednesday's show and be showered with unconditional, overly enthusiastic love by their hometown brethren.   Blake Lewis left Hollywood for Bothell, Washington.  Melinda Doolittle skipped to Tennessee.  Jordin Sparks fled to the desert of Glendale, Arizona.  Each were received with an excessive, yet endearing modicum of praise in the form of free concerts, streets bearing their name, parades, and more local news coverage than that kid who got stuck in the well.

Here's a look at what each finalist had waiting for them when they arrived home:

Blake Lewis

Home for Blake is Bothell, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.  Blake made a television appearance in the morning, then pontificated on various radio stations, performed a free concert in downtown Seattle, participated in a parade down the main streets of Bothell, and sang the National Anthem at the Mariners-Yankees game.  Not a bad day.

(For footage and audio of Blake's downtown Seattle concert, click here)

Blake's concert was attended by roughly 1,000 human beings and, given that it was held midday on a Friday, countless teens and pre-teens had no choice but to skip school and watch their favorite beat-boxer in the flesh.  The most impressive part of Blake's was undoubtedly his parade, where it is said that 5,000-7,000 people showed up and basically shut down the whole city of Bothell. 

Melinda Doolittle

Melinda Doolittle is an alumnus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was the school's mascot during the late 90's.  That's right: Melinda Doolittle, the Bear.  Melinda returned to Belmont on her trip home for a free concert.  She arrived in a white Mustang, acting in her typical shy, I'm-so-surprised-everyone-loves-me way.  The Belmont crowd was supportive and certain of an upcoming victory for Melinda.

The school even named a street after her, “Melinda Doolittle Way”.

Jordin Sparks

Jordin comes from Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, and she performed to a 5,000 person crowd at the Westgate City Center on Friday.  The crowds were raucous.  Glendale has been a huge supporter of Jordin throughout her run, hosting outdoor viewing parties and handing out specially made Jordin t-shirts. 

Tune in to Wednesday's episode of American Idol to watch the filmed homecoming segments.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer

(Image Courtesy of MLive)
(Sources:, MLive,