Last night I learned a few things, and one was who the producers probably want in the Final 3. The other thing I learned is that you can’t say anything negative about a song Randy helped produce, a song about September 11th, or a song for the tornado victims, so Haley and her “Earth Song” got all the criticism Round One could muster. No love for Michael Jackson? It’s not “too soon” anymore?

But another thing we’ve learned is that Haley, and her fans/voters, will come back with a vengeance. Sometimes viewers respond more to a negative critique than a positive one, and Haley earned her stripes with that performance of “I Who Have Nothing.” So for a while I thought Haley would be going, but I think the producers will be foiled again.

It seems a fair number of you would disagree with me. As I write this, the poll in last night’s recap has Haley JUST ahead of Lauren (at 39% vs 38%), when I asked “who’s going home.” Last week it was a landslide for Jacob Lusk, but not this week.

I’ve predicted for a while now that it will be James and Scotty in the final two. Scotty, whether you like him or not, has been consistent and the girls love him. James has a compelling backstory, and the producers have focused on it quite a bit. Also, the guy can really sing. Scotty had a good performance in round one, with a very timely subject matter. That performance alone will keep him safe, I think. His second performance was really just OK, but he “had fun with it.”

If I had my way, James would be in the bottom two this week. I can never tell if it’s arrogance or social awkwardness with him, and I think he was over-praised for both his performances last night. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a good singer and he has proven that week after week, but on the James scale he was just average this week.

So my prediction is that Lauren might be going home tonight. She delivered one of her best performances last night in Round One, and while her performance of “Trouble” wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, either. The judges have been over-selling us on Lauren from the beginning but now that it’s down to the wire it’s time to get serious.

I think Lauren is very talented, but if I could I would send her home for her own good. The stress of the competition is a lot for a 16-year old to take, and I’m not sure she has the emotional maturity to “make it” in “the industry.” She’s a wreck every elimination night, and I just feel bad for her. Having to impress millions of viewers and having them say mean things about you on the internet would be rough for any teenager, I think.

But what I think doesn’t matter. It’s all about what “America” thinks! How do you think the votes will shake out tonight? Who do you think the judges want in the final three?

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).