Tonight is the night when we find out who will be in the American Idol finale! According to the judges, the competition is pretty evenly matched. Do you agree? I’ll get one thing out of the way right away, I think Scotty McCreery is going to the finale. I just don’t see him getting eliminated tonight. If he is, I will be shocked and might rend my garments or something.
Based on the poll in last night’s recap, 53% of you (that’s a little over half if you’re not a math wizard like me) think Lauren Alaina is going home. 33% think Haley Reinhart will be going home. I think you can make a case for either one of them going home.
Here’s why Lauren Alaina could be going home: she’s only 16 and might not have the maturity to deal with the pressure of becoming a recording artist, and technically and vocally, she isn’t as good as Scotty and Haley. I hate saying that because Lauren really is a good singer, but once you get down to brass tacks, Lauren got caught up in a song and missed a key change, had some pitch issues, and has had so many confidence issues that she has never really slayed a song like Haley has. Her emotional maturity issues may be playing to her advantage, as they clearly haven’t annoyed the voters yet. Also, there’s the possibility that she and Scotty will split the “country vote,” leaving more votes for Haley, or that Scotty will prove a better country star so he’ll get more of those votes.
Haley Reinhart could be going home because she’s the underdog, and this isn’t strictly a singing competition. Once it comes down the final few contestants, it’s a personality contest as much as it is a singing competition. Haley is sort of an oddball in that regard; Scotty and Lauren seem to be “buying into” the competition and saying things you would expect from the next American Idol, but Haley doesn’t seem to care as much. Maybe that’s because she thought she was going to be eliminated in the first half of the finals (shown below, Haley’s face upon hearing that as usual, she was in the bottom three):
This picture was BBJ (Before “Bennie and the Jets”). Haley read her text message from the judges in the car, instead of in front of a crowd of adoring fans at the AT&T store (although there’s a mysterious picture of her doing that on the FOX website). She’s just so laid back and cool, and I’m not sure whether voters will find that endearing, or uncaring. You can tell the judges are really pulling for Lauren and Scotty — Haley is here by grit alone.
My prediction is that Lauren will be going home. It’s almost too close to call, but I want Haley to stay in it because I think she’s a more exciting performer. Also, her performance of “Rhiannon” last night reminded me of Xanadu, so she will get the often-marginalized Xanadu vote.
(Images courtesy of FOX, video courtesy of YouTube)