It was a dark and stormy night in the Nokia Theater. All of a sudden, CRACK! One of the vocal cords blew out. The wind carried the news to the internet, where rumors of Haley Reinhart’s return to the Idol stage spread lightning-fast. Was it all part of a grander plan?

As the curtains rose, Ryan Seacrest assured us everything was fine. Lauren Alaina said she was fine, and then they brought this guy out to tell us that yes, she’s fine.

Idoldoctorshesfine.jpgThe rest of the show went as planned, but it was so weird. All the buzz leading up to this non-event. Something felt weird about the show, right? Was it that it was on Tuesday night? Only an hour long? The tornado watch in Texas followed by softball-sized hail? It just felt dark and lonely with only two people and Lauren’s vocal cord in disrepair. Then, in a season that I thought belonged to Scotty all along, the judges gave the win to Lauren.

Maybe you saw it coming, but I didn’t. I have been pretty sure up until this week that Scotty would take the whole thing. This week in particular, though, I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos of these kids, and thinking about them a lot, and talking about them with other people. I even had a dream about Scotty McCreery last night (nothing weird, we were just hanging out. Also, I think we were on The Voice. I want my life back). After listening to a lot of performances again, and over-thinking it, and especially after last night’s occurrences, I think Lauren Alaina will win Season 10 of American Idol.

Reason 1: Scotty McCreery will have a successful country career with or without the win. I never thought I would compare him to Adam Lambert, but this is another case where the runner-up may be more successful than the winner. Lauren Alaina seems just a hair more “American Idol.”

Reason 2: Lauren Alaina is incredibly sweet, and also seems like a pretty good role-model. I think the people who are still voting on this show will vote for Lauren.

Reason 3: Lauren Alaina is actually a pretty good singer, and sometimes outshines Scotty when they’re paired up together. I’m talking about their duet of “I Told You So,” and maybe even “American Honey.” Until I watched the performances in isolation, I think I underestimated Lauren. Or maybe I have been under a spell cast by Scotty’s facial expressions (TOTALLY PLAUSIBLE!).

Reason 4: The judges want Lauren Alaina to win. Now that they’ve gotten Haley out of the way (ALLEGEDLY), they can focus on building up Lauren. I’m not saying that this is unjustified at all, but I do think the judges telling us Lauren performed better last night will have an impact. Also, the broken vocal cord could elicit sympathy (although probably not enough to affect the votes), and excuse cracked notes.

Reason 5: Not to get all whiny, but the person I want to win usually doesn’t win on this show. So if I think Scotty will win, or want him to win, then he won’t. Or maybe since I’m predicting Lauren will win, she won’t? I don’t know, I’m caught in a mental house of mirrors!

Still, I don’t think it’s a landslide. Scotty still has a chance. I found myself rooting for him even more after last night’s performances (augh it was so weird and rushed and lonely). Also, those of you who vote on the polls here at BuddyTV seem to like Scotty, too (or you have stopped caring since Haley left).  In fact, 74% of you would disagree with my prediction, according to the poll in last night’s recap. Only 26% of you think Lauren will win.

One final observation: Scotty couldn’t be bothered to dress up a little for the finale? I know he sort of wore pieces of a suit for his last performance, but he looks like a real goober in a plaid shirt next to Lauren in that pageant dress (and the same goes for his t-shirt when contrasted with Lauren’s sparkly jacket).

So who knows? It’s anyone’s game! Everyone is in it to win it! Will you have an emotional reaction either way if someone is crowned?

(images 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).