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Poll: Idols homecoming and judges picks

Laurenhc 
Photo: Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Post-Idol review elements in red

The 3 Idol finalists, Scotty, Lauren and Haley returned to their hometowns for celebrations and to learn what songs the judges picked for them to sing in the semifinals Wednesday.

Haley Reinhart hit Chicago and found out the judges want to hear her sing Alanis Morissette's sure-to-be censored You Oughta Know. Can't imagine young Haley delivering the song's signature line about theater frolics on Fox's family-friendly Idol but it's a safe bet she'll growl at some point during the song

Producer Jimmy Iovine chose the iconic 1975 Fleetwood Mac hit Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win) for Haley. Given that Iovine produced two of Stevie Nicks' best solo albums, Bella Donna, The Wild Heart and her worst, some of Rock a Little, in the 1980s it's no surprise he's given Haley a Nicks song to do. But Iovine also was Nicks' boyfriend at the time. Maybe he's exacting revenge by setting the inconsistent Haley loose on one of Nicks' signature tunes.

Idol-Final-ThreePhoto: FOX Round one was contestant's choice and Haley earns points for most daring choice: Led Zeppelin's What Is and What Should Never Be. And what is and what should never be is Haley Reinhart trying to sing Led Zeppelin. With an inappropriate smile plastered to her face, it was like watching a toddler hopped up on sugary juice after finding her parents' CD stash.And yet, the judges swallowed this callow rendition of the Led Zeppelin II (1969) album track. One would think Tyler should know better. But all those drugs and all...

Haley was somewhat better on Rhiannon though she lacks Stevie Nicks' mystique, originality and drama. But she's not the only one in that regard. Those are hard boots to fill. She flubbed the very first line, too. "Rhiannon RINGS like a bell through the night," NOT "Rhiannon IS a bell through the night." But Haley's main problem is she never listens to the lyrics of the songs she chooses. She sings words but she doesn't give them any importance. They are meaningless to her so what's a "rings" or an "is" in her dippy universe? But unlike her Led Zep, which went down like a lead zeppelin, her take on Fleetwood Mac didn't give me a heart attack. The lighting, staging lent the hypnotic song some mood. She gets a C+ passing grade. Will she ever win? I sure hope not.

Haley stumbles again with the judges' pick. Alanis' song is all anger and attitude, less heavy on melody or vocal runs and Haley once again plastered a smile on her face and sang about how she was going to get her lousy boyfriend back by "going to the theater" with him and raking her nails down his back. I wish all the exes I've pist off got mad at me with such a happy, smiley face. Haley just doesn't understand the music or what it is trying to say. She could win this show but it's hard to imagine what kind of album she'd make. She's not convincing in any genre. She finished much higher than she deserves and should go home tomorrow night.

 

Scottyjosh 
Scotty McCreery
, my pick to win the show's 10th season, met his music hero and vocal doppelganger Josh Turner (pictured above) as the country star surprised him in North Carolina by singing his hit, Your Man, with the 17-year-old. Scotty had turned Your Man into his theme song during auditions and had long championed Turner's Long Black Train so this was a nice gesture. But the judges want to hear something less current from the country frontrunner. JLo, Randy and Steven selected Kenny Rogers' 1979 Top 40 ballad, She Believes in Me.

Scotty went three for three tonight, flawless on his performances and all but guaranteeing a place in the finals. His choice was Lonestar's sappy Amazed and we learn from guest mentor Beyonce's lips that she likes Lonestar. Who knew? (Meantime, Beyonce has little to contribute in her mentorship beyond a sweet, uplifting demeanor. She is mainly here to shill her new video, an atonal, harsh, machine-driven "song" that made Haley's Led Zep take more tolerable by comparison.) Sappy song, aside, Scotty does a beautiful job with it. His voice has range, an artful break, or catch, in his delivery and believability that belies his 17 years.

Iovine's choice, Are You Going to Kiss Me Or Not, was a song I'm not overly familiar with, a country-rock number, and he chose it for Scotty because it reminded him of some of the material he produced for Tom Petty on the classic 1979 album, Damn the Torpedos. I don't know that I heard Petty in Scotty's performance, but I heard another winner and an instant download. I won't kiss you, Scotty, but I voted for you.

The judges' pick, the Kenny Rogers ballad, showcased Scotty in a more lush, pop vein. I was concerned that the 12-year-old vote might not respond to a song that was a hit when I was in high school with their parents but Scotty's performance was flawless again. He nailed the big chorus, went tender on the opening verse, and at this point seems unstoppable for the finals. His dad also sang a line from Josh Turner's Your Man from his seat in the hall and we see where Scotty gets his talent and looks from. Dad should try out for Simon Cowell's X-Factor. He's got a heck of a voice.

Idol's youngest contestant, Lauren Alaina, 16, my pick for runner-up, will sing Lee Ann Womack's inspirational, and oft-heard, I Hope You Dance since that's what the judges want to hear she learned in Tennessee. I hope she goes for the power note at the end since those are the kind of notes viewers and judges respond to. She needs an Idol Moment to wrest the finals from the undeserving Haley's grasp.

Lauren has needed an Idol Moment all season and by my count she gets 1.5 of them tonight. She has her moment with the judges' pick, Lee Ann Womack's I Hope You Dance. She might have to return Loretta Lynn's dress after singing the song but she owned Womack's inspirational tune. Everything worked for Lauren on this ballad and she used it to win Round 3. I'd give her a half-moment for Iovine's pick, If I Die Young. The song's rather boring but Lauren sang it well and, unlike Haley, has an innate understanding of how to deliver a song properly. She's not showy like Haley and might not make the finals like Haley (viewers tend to go for showy) but she's not just singing words. She's conveying them. Her first performance, Faith Hill's Wild One, was the kind of spunky country number radio plays and the kind of entrance she needed to make at this stage.

The contestants will reportedly sing two additional songs, one that will be producer Jimmy Iovine's pick and the other will be their choice. My bet is Iovine picks better than the judges. My hope is that no one picks a song they already sang during the competition. That's boring.

Round One goes to Scotty, Lauren and Haley, in that order.

Round Two still goes to Scotty, Lauren and Haley, in that order.

Round Three goes to Lauren, Scotty and Haley, in that order.

Scotty is the only certainty for the finals, though. As the only male, and the youngest male, he would seem to have the young girls' vote in the bag. Scotty and Lauren also have the country vote. But if they split some of that vote Haley could benefit. Though country IS American music and belongs on a show titled American Idol as much as any, and though Idol's greatest success so far has come from its country-rooted Idols Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, some people don't like country and Haley is their only choice.

Thus, it's conceivable the finals could be Scotty and Haley, and maybe it's wishful thinking but it's also possible Haley's quirkiness and inconsistent run during the entire season could also turn enough people off to allow Lauren a narrow victory into runnerup. So despite Haley's momentum and fan support in the Twitter universe, I'm going to predict Scotty-Lauren as Season 10 finalists. They will be, for sure, the most successful post-Idol finalists. Win or lose, they are the most signable and radio ready. But, for once, I'd like to see the best contestant win on this show after so many years in a row of Idol duds (Taylor, David, Kris, Lee ...)

All this said, and all the Haley bashing aside, even with her in the semifinals, this has been the strongest round of finalists in years and the strongest Top 3 in many years. Many miss Simon but I don't. Remember, the judges pick the initial finalists and when Simon was in charge we had years and years of uninspiring contestants to choose from. He didn't seem to care. Randy, JLo and Tyler have to get some props for setting Idol up in a much better place this year.

For more Idol chatter follow and click on @HowardCohen on Twitter for live commentary during Wednesday night's performance show and come back here for a review post-show.

 

 

Comments

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Alex

James also had his homecoming after all. It was a very large turnout (30,000) and apparently a total blast. I'm gonna miss him, the show just isn't the same without him and will be a lot less entertaining how.

HoCo

Yep, I heard that about James. I don't know if Idol will air his homecoming given he didn't make the semifinals but maybe they will given they pad the show so much. I was hoping James would finish Top 3 rather than Haley. But alas, wasn't meant to be.

MrsEvans

Homecoming week. I am still bitter we didn't get to celebrate at Bagelworks with Brett.

Lane

I am here

MrEvans

Good to see you Lane. I had 4-1 you weren't showing.

MrEvans

So the finale is on the 24th and not the 25th? You know what that means.... See You Next Tuesday!

MrsEvans

I said you would be here until the game starts.

Lesley

Yikes, did you see Priscilla Presley? She looks more and more like The Joker

Lesley

Is Biancee pulling a Jacko and bleaching her skin? She looks so..pale.

MrEvans

And not Cesar Romero either, Heath Ledger...

Lane

one of my friends posted this on facebook... taking every fiber of my being not to reply something smart alecky

"It's Tourette Syndrome Awareness month. May 15th-June 15th. Please educate yourself and those around you. My boys' best friend, Kaleb, is 7 1/2 yrs old and has TS and he's just like every other child...he just wants to be accepted and loved for who he is. We love you, Kaleb. You are a blessing to the world!"

MrEvans

She is really pretty.

Lane

BALL HAIR!

MrEvans

You should write something like: "all persons, everyone, should utter caring kindness".

Lane

APES SUCK!

Lesley

Who's really pretty, Biancee?

MrsEvans

What's wrong with you two?!

Lesley

I figured they were quoting obscure movies or dude flicks...

Lane

I loved her in Austin Powers Goldmember

did you know the girl judge on Dancing With the Stars played Fook Mi?

MrEvans

I love her, ever since Goldmember.

Lesley

My husband says he *used to* have the hots for Biancee. She's too pale now or something. #junglefever

MrEvans

Did I know that? Fook no.

MrsEvans

MrE is not quoting anything. He is sharing is talent for acrostic poetry.

MrsEvans

*his

Lesley

acrostics hehehehh reminds me of the olden days of newspapers

MrsEvans

Randy’s a producer? Who knew…he’s never mentioned it before.

Lane

so is white Beyonce part of "Destiny's Mild"?

Lane

Jay Z's Got 99 problems but a bleach ain't one

MrEvans

It's called vitilago, and it's a recognized disease!!!

Lesley

Maybe she relates to Scotty who may suffer from rosacea

MrEvans

By the way, Katt Williams is one of my favorite standups and he had the greatest Michael Jackson routines... totally NSFW/NSFtwins

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/563540/katt_williams_making_fun_of_michael_jackson/

Lesley

hehehe, one twin is actually watching this show right now. She must recognize Idol from the womb. Watch out Mr & Mrs E. Will look during commercial.

Lane

when did this become the CMT network?

Lesley

That sounded like a side show I once saw at Dollywood.

Lane

what are the hours at Dollywood?

Lesley

That Katt Williams bit was stellar. Does Haley have vitiligo too??

MrEvans

Wow. Led Zeppelin. Has their music ever been covered on AI before?

Lane

however she performs, good for her

Lane

can't walk and chew gum at the same time, alas

MrEvans

Lauren can go home with this...

MrsEvans

Me likey!

Lesley

it's good but in a weird way. Like a child singing Led Zeppelin. Kinda creepy. Steven Tyler will love it.

Lane

2nd half of the song much better than 1st

Lesley

A little bit of an advantage with daddy playing guitar, too.

Lesley

I was more impressed by how she fell and got back up

MrEvans

Haley had the 2nd funniest fall in Idol history...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0m4VZUkbaw

MrsEvans

You do realize I am in the room right?

MrEvans

Lane, did you see my FB message?

Lesley

Mrs E---so sorry, but this round goes to Mr. E. haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeing

Lane

steak and eggs?

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