Idoloonies: Hoping for Surprises in a Haley-Free, Lauren Vs. Scotty Finale

It’ll be an all-country, teen-vs.-teen showdown when American Idol kicks off the first half of its two-night Season 10 finale in a few short hours. And somewhere backstage at the Nokia, I’m guessing Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe is rubbing his hands together with glee that it’s come down to a pair of fresh-scrubbed kids who’ve been prominently featured on the show since the audition rounds kicked off in January.

Still, there’s an air of predictability surrounding a coronation ceremony starring Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina, two contestants who’ve stayed in their lanes and shied away from unexpected song choices and daring arrangements over the last twelve weeks of live performances.

Season 7 finalist Carly Smithson and I enter the Idoloonies arena this week and brainstorm ways to infuse Season 10’s swan song with a sense of the unexpected. We talk about one creative move we’d like to see from Scotty, ponder the fashion choices that might help Lauren have a tiny chance at an upset victory, and wax philosophical about the risk-taking awesomeness of recent evictee Haley Reinhart. All that, plus an update on Carly’s latest adventures, and some thoughts on what Scotty and Lauren can learn from this year’s third- and fourth-place finishers.

Press play below on all three parts of this week’s episode (not simultaneously, obvs!), then hit the comments to share your own thoughts. And for all my Idol news and commentary, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

    GREAT to see Carly again! OK, here’s my prediction: the Top Two finalists will sing country songs; Scotty will wiggle his eyebrows, Lauren will giggle after each number and AI will lose millions of viewers for the finale.

    • agrimesy says:

      I predict Haley will sing a solo and make every single viewer go, “WHAT? She lost to . . . THEM?”

      • Lyn says:

        Yes, and “Haley-FREE”???? It’s more like Haley-deprived!

        • Suncatcher says:

          Word going around the web that Haley voters/fans signed a pact to NOT watch the show this week – and not vote in hopes of having Ryan having to announce a “record number of voters” – of half what they would normally get. Should be interesting.

          (Supposedly Haley will be singing in the finale a new song from her upcoming new album with Jimmy Iovine – they will tune in for that).

          Honk if you think Idol was maybe “scripted” this year?

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            HONK. HONK. HONK. etc.

          • zaza says:

            How does she all ready have an album with Jimmy Iovine? She was just eliminated. When did she have time to do anything?

          • Tusk says:

            She doesn’t have and album, yet. They recorded a single, she turned down the first two songs they offered.

            She will perform it on Wednesday, if there is a buzz they will release it on iTunes.(how can there not be? The song shouldn’t suck because she chose this one of three and there IS a fan base).

            If that goes well, THEN she gets an album.

            At least that’s what her parents reported a couple of days ago. Note they didn’t do this for James or Pia, but Haley’s support apparently convinced them otherwise. Plus, it is at the end so not taking much away from the eventual winner (Which would have been impossible for Pia, Pia’s elimination being so early)

          • Jonathan says:

            I didn’t sign a pact, but I didn’t watch last night and it sounds like I didn’t miss much. Hopefully there will be some fun stuff tonight. I sure hope Scotty takes it from Lauren, though, despite Swingin’ and Young Blood, he’s definitely been one of the most consistent performers this year and even managed to win me over with his version of You’ve Got A Friend. Lauren has potential, but she needs to work on her rhythm/timing, presentation, and dynamics.

      • zebra says:

        It seems to be beyond the Haley fans’ comprehension to think that some people think “Anyway” is better than anything on Idol since Adam Lambert.
        Get over it. The out-of-tune growler with the thin voice still didn’t win or place.

        • mrclean says:

          when did Haley sing “Anyway”?

        • Cookie says:

          I believe that Lauren sang Anyway.

        • Emy says:

          First, third place is placing. If you’re going to use a sports analogy, please do so correctly. Second, thin is not a word anyone with any vocal knowledge would call her voice. Neither is out of tune, as she was one of the few that was usually in pitch in her performances. You may not like her tone (which I assume you really meant by ~thin), which is fine and I think what many people had issues with her. Tone appreciation is totally subjective while ~thinness of the voice is not. Last, she did not sing anyway. I’m afraid you should perhaps have a dictionary, vocal guide, and Idol episode summaries by you the next time you choose to comment.

          • zebra says:

            Show is 3rd place and even your overly snotty tone can’t change that. Of course Lauren sang “Anyway” which is why I wrote it the way I did. “Anyway” was the best of the season.

          • Emy says:

            @zebra Show is third place? I didn’t know there was anyone named Show on Idol this season or ever. Perhaps you need a character guide as well.

          • Jason S. says:

            Haley only didn’t go farther because of the inane voting system in place. Haley had enough of the popular vote to continue on and only lost because teenagers and fanatics aremore fans of LAuren’s. Haley;s fans are the more sophisticated that can’t or wouldn’t spend hours voting. People like Tom Hanks, Adam Lambert, Ellen, Carly Smithson, nearly every critical writer that writes about Idol,. She basically lost by around 3,000,00 votes. With power voters of 500 votes each that means only about 6000 teenagers decided who would win! So don’t gloat when all other numbers (Itunes, Youtube hits, media) suggest that Haley is more popular then LAuren. It’s not her fault the deck was stacked hopelessly against her from week one and she still was talented enough to catch the majority of America’s attention!!

          • Liz says:

            @Jason: And can I just say that I love that Tom Hanks has declared himself a Haley fan. If anyone has classy taste, it is that man!

          • Name That Tune says:

            @zebra – It’s your opinion that “Anyway” was the season’s best. I can name a half-dozen performances that would rank higher than that (IMHO), and Haley sang 4 of them.
            Remember, it’s only your opinion that “Anyway” was special. The rest of us don’t have to agree.

          • Elaine says:

            100% on the money Eme

          • HALEYstan says:

            I love Emy’s comment,well said!!!!!

          • Jurybox says:

            @Emy – It’s win, place, show (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Get your sports analogies right.

        • Lily says:

          @ Zebra, I don’t agree with you about ‘Anyway’ – I thought Lauren’s best thus far was ‘Candle in the Wind’ actually. I thought that was the closest she’s come this season to having an ‘Idol moment.’

        • CandaceTX says:

          Haley and James combine for 13 of the top 25 most popular iTunes singles this year.

          1. “House of the Rising Sun” — Haley Reinhart
          2. “Bennie and the Jets” — Haley Reinhart
          3. “Rolling in the Deep” — Haley Reinhart
          4. “The River” — Scotty McCreery
          5. “Uprising” — James Durbin
          6. “Maybe I’m Amazed” — James Durbin
          7. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” – James Durbin
          8. “All By Myself” — Pia Toscano
          9. “Can I Trust You With My Heart” — Scotty McCreery
          10. “Blue” — Haley Reinhart
          11. “With a Little Help From My Friends” — Casey Abrams
          12. “Your Song” — Casey Abrams
          13. “I (Who Have Nothing)” — Haley Reinhart
          14. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” — James Durbin
          15. “I’ll Be There For You” — James Durbin
          16. “River Deep, Mountain High” — Pia Toscano
          17. “Living For the City” — James Durbin
          18. “Harder to Breathe” — Casey Abrams
          19. “The Climb” — Lauren Alaina
          20. “Come Pick Me Up” — Paul McDonald
          21. “Piece of My Heart” — Haley Reinhart
          22. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” — Casey Abrams
          23. “You and I” — Haley Reinhart
          24. “Gone” — Scotty McCreery
          25. “Candle in the Wind” — Lauren Alaina

          so, this tells me (and should tell you as well)… that if people actually PAYING MONEY to buy the tunes they want to hear VS robo-texting tweens are any indication — we haley-philes are in good correct and you might be wrong. But hey, @zebra, thanks for playing.

          • B.Rich says:

            Really great list, who knew people who buy music actually had good taste? I love that it’s almost 100% Haley, James, and Casey.

            I have no idea what “The River” and “Can I Trust You With My Heart” even are? I remember every single performance of the season other than anything by Scotty.

          • Liz says:

            Thanks for this, Candace–I always wonder about the itunes numbers but am never sure where to get them.

          • ms says:

            LOL. Lauren’s top performance is the Climb? No wonder Idol is doomed.

          • flower says:

            I knew it! I have been saying this all along that Haley probably has the best iTunes selling record! That’s because the fans that are voting are NOT the ones that are buying music. The ones voting are doing it just for the popularity contest. They all act like bullies that try to crush ones that stand out (how many times have I heard Haley referred to as arrogant!? when they have never met her?).

          • Billy says:

            Candace for President 2012!
            Seriously, thanks, that is good info.
            @B.Rich: I can only remember one performance by Scotty. “Young Blood” was so bad he should have been disqualified from the competition just based on humanitarian values alone. That performance was intolerably cruel for both the eyes and ears of AI viewers.

          • charlie says:

            I think it very probable that, were Idol voting democratic, i.e. one-person-one-vote, two of the three contestants, Haley, Casey and James would be in the finale this year. Last year, some polling outfit did a scientific poll of idol voters to see what the outcome would be if Idol voting were democratic and the poll showed that Crystal would have won. So the crazy unlimited phone and texting voting system is totally undemocratic and should be changed. Being on ‘permanent vacation’ myself, I did join TEAM HALEY in power voting for two hours and hoped there were enough of us on TEAM HALEY to put her in the finale. Maybe it wont matter and Haley will have a great post-Idol career– sure hope so!

            I see her as at least equally talented as Kelly and Carrie, and actually believe her voice and vocal dynamics are superior to both of those post-Idol superstars. I hope the millions of people that preferred Haley will get behind her and buy her future music offerings just as they have been her Idol songs. Her Idol stuff on Itunes lacks great production value and, in many respects, I think her live performances were better and more exciting and interesting vocally. For example, her live performance on Land of the Rising Sun had some exciting reverb in the sound that made her a capella beginning even more haunting-sounding, and this was missing on the Itunes version. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing her on Wednesday night. GO HALEY! YOUR GREAT AND I LOVE YA!

          • Linda says:

            OK, so here are the totals out of the top 25 itunes:

            1. Haley with 7 (including all three of the top three)
            2. James with 6
            3. Casey with 4
            4. Scotty with 3
            5. Pia and Lauren tied with 2 each
            6. Paul with 1

            IF they changed Idol to allow the person with the least amount of itunes purchases to be off the show, Haley would have won, with James coming in 2nd. :) I sure would have loved that finale!

          • rachel says:

            Haley should have won. These people dont know a thing about music,but i think its all rigged.

        • Larry says:

          You don’t have to like her, but out of tune? Dude.
          She could growl or sing straight. Which I fail to how is worse than only being about to sing straight.

          Anyway, whatever, gotta love her happy, sorta dreamy, chill personality. Never die.

        • JamieC says:

          Good music is an aquired taste. Don’t worry, Zebra, you’ll get there someday.

      • Haley's Comet says:

        DOWNLOAD HALEY’S NEW SINGLE!!! Haley will be performing a new original song on Wednesday’s result show, which will be available for download on itunes the next day. Please support Haley buy going over to itunes and downloading it on Thursday. Hey, with Haley’s voice we all know it going to be a FREAKING awsome song anyway.

        • Yo says:

          I hear Haley is Oprah’s last guest! :-) WOW!

        • flower says:

          Okay, I will skip the final and just fast forward through the results show to get to Haley’s new single. I knew she converted Jimmy Iovine at some point. He really didn’t like her in the beginning. Love the fact that her single will come out so soon!

        • charlie says:

          Hope you are correct on this and that the production values will be higher than we get on the Itunes versions of her Idol songs.

        • rachel says:

          i cant wait to hear. she will be so good that everybody will forget about the results.

    • Joe Strummer says:

      Will not watch the whole final tonight. It will be a boring mess. I’ll just fast forward through most of it, just to see the songs they sing. I could care less who wins. They both are boring and predictable.

      I will however watch the finale tomorrow. I hope Haley kicks a$$.

      • SharonM says:

        Pretty much the same plan here.

      • Frankie says:

        I’ll be watching the Biggest Loser and DWTS finales with AI on DVR so that I can FFWD. Plan to FFWD through AI finale as well Stopping only to see how lame the group performances are and who wins.

        • djm says:

          I have deleted tonights episode from my DVR and will watch tomorrow to see Naima, Casey, James & Haley and then I am forever done with Idol. Sorry, but I can’t stand the judges, so maybe I’ll come back when they hire judges that can actually do the job.

          • JennieO says:

            Amen to that.

          • SlezakFan says:


          • charlie says:

            Hey, you don’t have to listen to the judges, especially if you watch on DVR or on the web. I’d prefer if they judges were time limited and the contestants were allowed to sing the entire song, at least all the verses. But shouldn’t we all be grateful that Idol has brought to our attention and our ears some really great talent over the years, even if the best doesn’t always win. And if the show continues to do that, why not continue to watch.

            On the other hand, perhaps The Voice and X Factor US will swamp out Idol eventually and bring us even better talent than Idol has in the past. That will be fine with me.

      • Bonnie A says:

        Couldn’t have said it better

      • B.Rich says:

        I will watch the Voice instead tonight. Rebecca Loebe is on tonight so I suggest everyone else do the same, she is awesome!

        • CandaceTX says:

          oooh, first really big test! Wonder what the ratings for the Voice will be tonight compared to the AI finale. Maybe it’s a good thing Haley is not performing tonight… Rebecca Loebe and Reinhart in one evening! That would be just too much awesomeness!

          • B.Rich says:

            I know, but of course I would have watched both if anyone other than Scotty or Lauren or Jacob Lusk made the finale.

    • allie says:

      Prediction – teens that love country music will watch. All others will skip it. It will be the lowest rated AI finale in AI history but Ryan will find a way to spin it by saying 100 million votes were cast. I, for one, will be among those watching something else since I could really care less about All Country American Idol, Jr.

      • shelbybb says:

        Couldn’t agree more. I like all types of music but just can’t hang with two young teens singing a night full of predicable country songs.
        When Haley left, so did my votes. Oh well, I’m sure Uncle Nigel isn’t loosing any sleep over my departure.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Doggone it, Ghost of Kelly Clarkson, out of my head! You stole what I was going to type! Except you left out the part about Lauren wearing a chiffon ball gown from the Lennon Sisters couture collection and Scotty wearing a plaid shirt from my husband’s 1970s college wardrobe.

    • shelbybb says:

      Hi Carly! Loved listening to your perspective of this Idol season. Sorry to hear that you so dislike country music (you sound like Simon!) but not surprised since it is an american taste. Keep an open mind, some of it is really good. Great to see you and congratulations on all your success- you rock girl!

      • charlie says:

        some country music is ‘really good’. can’t argue with that, but the good stuff is truly rare in the opinion of most educated, sophisticated people. For example, I like Kelly and Jason singing “Don’t you want to stay.” But Carrie’s “Jesus take the Wheel”– now that’s just crap for educated sophisticates. Sorry, but the truth sometimes hurts!

    • Joe says:

      What’s fascinating about all of this to me is that no matter how much manipulation has gone on via Producers or possible vote tampering, America does get to vote when the winner’s music is released. If Wittle Wauren (who will win, it’s been scripted from day one) doesn’t sell singles and CD’s it will be obvious that this show is a sham. I don’t believe she has the fan base out there that the show wants us to believe she does. If Haley’s single somehow outsells Wauren’s then we’ll know Wauren is a paper champion.
      I’ve also been hearing the rumors that country music is not excited about Wauren or Scotty and feel this is Hollywood/LA trying to take country music away from Nashville. If that’s the case and these two kids come off as fakey sell outs, they’ll nose dive quicker than Lee Dewyze did.
      That being said, if you don’t want to see Wauren win tomorrow, don’t watch. It’s going to be tough to take unless you’re one of her 5,000 fans.

    • Danny says:

      I pretty much agree w/ this. It’s 8:30 & I’m not watching it. I already know that Scott sang his first song & the judges RAVED ABOUT IT!!! Then Lauren sang her first song & the judges RAVED ABOUT IT!!

      Gosh!! That was so dang exciting. Both were PERFECT on their songs. Nevermind that the audience went to sleep. Jennifer had to justify her $12 million salary & she was gonna make that fake hiena laugh of hers come through with all her might.

      Then the 2nd song was sang & of course Scott was perfect again. Randy said Scott was “In it to win it.” That piece of signifigant input from Randy got a Standing O from the audience, who’ve never seen such in depth wisdom from a judge in the 10 seasons of AI.

      In the middle of all this, TMZ broke in w/ a report that said Haley didn’t actually fly back to Chicago for her Homecoming. What really happened is there was an engine failure on Haley’s plane. American Idol actually showed footage of Haley checking out Scott’s plane. However, American Idol did go all out & got her a Greyhound Bus ticket to get her back home.

      And now on to Lauren’s 2nd song.

    • charlie says:

      AI lost me and many other TEAM HALEY members. The people who will watch and vote are the same people who elected “W” to two terms– the worst president ever. NUF SAID!

  2. Ken Adams says:

    I hate to sound like one of those irrational Haley Heads, but I’m honestly not looking forward to this finale. It’s like I’ve selected vanilla ice cream and a chocolate chip cookie for my final meal. Not to say Haley would have been filet mignon, but let’s be honest… she would have been filet mignon. I will be wearing all black when I skip the finale tomorrow and return to full color for the results show on Wednesday. I know uncle Nigel won’t care that this idol fan won’t be watching, but it’s my own silent protest. Don’t judge.

    • mrclean says:

      at the very least Haley is a juicy double cheeseburger…. now I’m hungry

      • charlie says:

        Come on guys, give me a break! Haley is much better than filet mignon by a long shot. She’s more like a very sophisticated main course item at a fabulous French restaurant. Every bite dreamy and full of sophisticated flavors and textures. GOSH.. TIME TO EAT!!!!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      “Haley Heads”. LOVE THAT.
      Hey Ken, speaking of food analogies, did you ever see the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding”? Remember when Julia Roberts told Cameron Diaz that Dermot Mulroney wanted Jell-O?
      “You’re creme brulee, and he doesn’t want creme brulee, he wants Jell-O”.
      I want the creme brulee. I want Haley. ;-)

  3. tina says:

    Haven’t seen videos yet, but so excited to see Carly. Not sure why American Idol doesn’t showcase it’s past idols more often.

    • Amanda says:


      For me the only thing that could possibly salvage the next season is if Idol chooses to do something with the past Idol contestants like on SYTYCD all-stars. Carly, Melinda, Adam and a number of previous contestants have provided us with more useful and enlightening critique than any professional on the show all season. And you know they all have very distinct and entertaining personalities that would come of great on screen.

      oh well a girl can dream…

  4. Anna says:

    My favorites were James and Pia. The only surprise here would be the finale not $v(k!ng. It’s DWTS for me tonight.

    • dwts schlock says:

      the hee haw twins might be boring, but DWTS? really? watching a bunch of 90 yr old hasbeens trying renew their 15 minutes of fame? and you spend your hard earned free time on that? i’d say if not AI then turn off the tv, listen to some good haley music, and chillax with friends.

      • JamieC says:

        Actually, as much as I love AI, DWTS is a much classier show, not to mention more fair. It’s also more fun. By the way, one of the finalists is in her 20s.

      • flower says:

        Actually JamieC is right. The voting is a lot more fair on that show than AI. There is a limit to voting per person! Ever since the neck injury for Kym Johnson, I have not been able to take my eyes off her (gives me a heart attack watching her still dancing). It’s like watching Russian Roulette with your spinal cord! I know I shouldn’t watch, but I cannot take my eyes off her neck.

    • Allie0903 says:

      Agreed, James and Pia were my picks for the finale. Both were robbed! I’ve actually enjoyed the judges’ banter this year. Simon is truly missed, but they did better than I thought they would without him. I will be watching as I’m hoping for a Lauren ‘upset’. Must say though,I don’t understand how Scotty became the favorite. I personally thought James had it in the bag. Also wish the Haley fans would tone down a bit. She was good, but America got it wrong again – she should have left weeks ago.

      • pjp says:

        If Haley had left weeks ago, we would’ve missed her best performances, but I suppose as a non-Haley fan, that would’ve been okay with you.

      • charlie says:

        How then do you account for all the sophisticated talent out there that thought she was the best contestant, especially in the last few rounds? Lots of them could be named. How many sophisticated talents in the music or talent business expressed opinions that Scotty or Lauren was the best????

  5. Cat says:


  6. Vikram says:

    I love idol loonies but the damn video is always choppy or doesn’t play. When are you guys going to get this fixed?

    • Voice of Reality says:

      Problem might be on your end… #InterwebsNotPerfect

    • Jannie says:

      Some nice person yesterday explained that you need to change a setting in your computer to allow for greater bandwidth…or something like that

    • Amy says:

      I think it is your internet. I had trouble watching it the other week at my parent’s house but have no problem at my own house.

      • Debbie M says:

        I’ve never had a problem with any of the videos playing. Have no idea why so many people are having issues.

    • Larry says:

      The weird thing is my cable modem connection is awful, very slow for cable modem and yet the videos here always play perfectly without chop or pause at any time of day!

      Maybe all youse have connections that are too fast haha.

  7. Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

    One more prediction — Lauren will win on Wednesday night. I don’t know why, but I just have this feeling that the over-complacent Scotty voters are going to back off and leave her holding the AI crown.

    • Jannie says:

      I bet they have a tiara and flowers all ready to give her too ;)

    • Lyn says:

      If Scotty does not pull off something a little more energetic & innovative, this totally could happen as the judges continue their inexplicable gushing over Lauren. Not that I hate her, but she’s just another country blonde with decent pipes — brings nothing interesting to the C&W party.

    • Cat says:

      I hope you’re right. I’m feeling pretty complacent about this finale, but it would be nice to see a female winner again. Plus, Scotty is really irritating.

    • TrulyRoxie says:

      Lauren will most certainly win because she needs the help to get a recording deal (and Uncle Nigel wants her to win). Scotty will most certainly be signed and have a record deal on his own.

      I have read that many DJs in the Country genre are not terribly excited to get songs from either of them. They refer to them as “one and done.”

    • CandaceTX says:


      • Amanda says:

        I was watching E! this morning and they were covering the results night on Idol, and I really really think that no matter what Scotty fans do they will give this to Lauren. In the entire segment, Haley was mentioned once or twice Scotty once for the fact that he’s 17 and they had an extended show of clips from Lauren and a lot of praise for “If she wins she’ll be the youngest winner ever on idol” bla bla

        and whats more infuriating is seeing how the judges lack of reality check has gotten to her head, she started saying that she was “Kelly Underwood” or “Carrie Clarkson” which in my opinion is close to blasphemy for those very talented women. (Lauren is good really good and really not ready for this)

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I’m calling Scotty, plaid shirt, six-notes, and all, for the win.
      How can Lauren possibly win this? Why is she even still there? Her vocal techinique is awful! My junior high school choir director would have made her stay after school and sing scales until she passed out from not breathing correctly and forced herself to learn how to breathe and support her notes properly.

      This is making me a crazy person. How could I forget – last year “Lee, who sings off-key” won the whole thing instead of extremely talented Crystal, who was awesome. Good grief, is it too early to start drinking? I’m going to shut my eyes and pretend I’m on a yacht in the middle of the Atlantic. There, it’s after 5:00. Cheers! I’ll come back and watch the videos when I’m good and toasted. Or maybe I’ll do what Marie is doing – watch “Idoloonies” instead of the finale. I think drunk on my *** is the only way I’m going to be able to stand it!

    • tamara says:

      I don’t know, and don’t care.
      But if Lauren deosn’t win, she’s gonna have a meltdown. Unless she tells herself it’s ok not to win, she’s gonna freak out and cry like a baby.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        If Lauren wins *I* may have a meltdown! My sister, darcy, went to the insane asylum because of American Idol stupidity and I took her place. I’d hate for both of us to end up there.
        Okay, back to the margaritas! cheers.

  8. tma6469 says:

    smoking a bowl with Haley and Carly listening to some Zepplin… I vote for that.

    • Jessabean says:

      I always like Carly. I am glad she has a career post-Idol. She’s not touring arenas, but she’s working in the biz and doing it her way. Rock on, sista!!

    • Bat Country says:

      And that’s why the PTB wanted Lauren over Haley. Haley is a troublesome rebel who is self-directed, Lauren is a posable doll who will do what’s she’s told. You notice Lauren never got the “knows who she is” crap from the judges?

  9. Becky says:

    I haven’t been able to watch Idoloonies for three weeks now – thought it was my computer, but after reading all the frustrated posts the last few days, I think it’s an issue with TVLine. Too bad – the material up until then was great.

    • Laura says:

      It’s always worked fine for me.

    • tamara says:

      it has to be something with your computer. What are you using, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome…

      I use firefox and it works just fine, always.

      Too bad you’ve missed the last 3 weeks, cause it’s been the best Idoloonies ever.

      • JAson S. says:

        It works with Safari but it doesn’t work with Internet Explorer but it is stlll TVLine’s problem. They should have a codec that works with the most used program (Internet Explorer). Every other video I watch on the internet is compatible with Internet Explorer

        • AtoZ says:

          It absolutely works with Internet Explorer, which is all that I have, on my ancient home computer, with little RAM, and a cable modem. Never have had any problem at all! Now if only it would work on my iPhone or iPad ;-)

        • claudia says:

          I’ve used Internet Explorer only on several different computers & never had a problem. Have you cleaned out your cache lately?

  10. lar says:

    Yes! Great Idoloonies! Love me some Carly. She’s so frank and true to herself. Thanks, Michael! two great idoloonies in one week!

    • lar says:

      or should I say, great Idoloonies and great interview with Mr. Lythgoe!

    • icarly says:

      I love the frank insider-scoop snippets that carly shared, like being told not to wear black (but with her coloring, she looks AWESOME in black!), david a being offpitch being “human”, syesha knowing she was being sabotaged, david/david duet setups, wow. i wish more idol contestants were this frank and open about what goes on behind the scenes.

  11. Haley on Top says:

    This is My prediction…By the end of this year, Haley will move in
    with Allison Iraheta…they will work on their respective albums,
    After Adam Lambert is done recording his album, and ready to go on tour Allison and Haley can open for Adam!!!

    Everyone will be saying Lauren Alaina WHO?!

    • marie says:

      I’d buy a ticket for that show! :)

      • djm says:

        I already saw Allison open for Adam so hopefully it would be Haley at the show I go to. I am heading down to the Nokia theater at lunch today and I hope Allison is there!! During Season 8 I ran into Brooke White and Jason Castro.

    • retta says:

      Yes to Haley opening for Adam. Don’t need to see Allison again. She was dropped from her label. Adam is getting bigger and bigger. He already tried to help Allison. She needs to stand on her own now.

    • The Rocker ROCKS says:

      Okay…Haley can open for Adam…but Do Not underestimate Allison!
      Adam’s baby sis is coming into her own!!! 19 and UMG have plans for
      Allison aka THE ROCKER!

    • JeanRose says:

      oh he** no!!! Don’t let Haley anywhere near Adam! YUK!
      That is one show I would have to miss.
      She doesn’t NEED him…..she’ll do just fine by herself.

      Don’t know if it would happen right away, but let her do
      jazzy duets with Casey and I’ll be a VERY happy camper!!
      And those two (and Naima) are the ONLY reason I’ve got
      tickets to the AI tour.

      Is it just me, or does the AI stylist have something against
      Lauren? I’ve never seen such totally weird and inappropriate
      outfits for a girl her age. I have to laugh every time!

  12. Teresa says:

    I don’t know if I’ll even watch the Top 2 tonight. It’s not a protest, and it’s not even that I don’t like country. You hit the nail on the head. Neither Lauren nor Scotty will take any risks. There’s no chance of surprise.

    I’m looking forward to the results show… because I want to see who Haley and James will sing with. I’d say Casey, too, but we already know.

    And Naima will be back!

  13. HillBilly Idol says:

    When will Idol ever learn?
    They won’t even let last year’s winner
    come to the Finale…Idol deserves their Boring Winners!!!

    • Emy says:

      I’m not sure how Lee going to the finale would make it less boring. He wasn’t exactly an exciting personality or performer. It’s a little strange not to have the winner perform, but I could see why they wouldn’t care from a ratings standpoint. Why make room for someone who just isn’t going to add any type of draw to the show?

      • marie says:

        Very interesting. Why, indeed, invite him to perform if he will not add to the ratings – which means in effect, then, he will not add to the value of the show and so encourage the sponsors to keep shelling out the sponsorship $. It’s about the money before it’s about anything else.

        Looking forward to watching this segment of Idoloonies, which I’ll do tonight instead of watching the performance show.

      • cathy says:

        Not a fan of Lee’s. Not a fan of season 9 period. The only boring performers that make Lee look exciting is the Hee Haw twins. So Lee would not have any effect on Idol ratings. Everyone is expecting the show to be one step above paint drying. Not to invite Lee back
        is classless on Nigel and his producers part. Typical of where this show is going. The bored are the only ones that enjoy it anymore. I am moving on to The Voice and am waiting in anticipation for the XFactor. Don’t get me started on those idiot judges either.

  14. Mike says:

    This was one of the most boring episodes of Idoloonies that I can remember and then I realized: it’s because Scotty and Lauren were the focus. Ack, this finale is going to be a disaster.

    • Cady says:

      Agree. Foiled again by powervoting teens and moms.

      • Katie says:

        Not all powervoting teens and moms were voting for the country duo. My 14 year old powervoting daughter voted for Haley, as did I, as many times as we possibly could. And we’ve bought a bunch of her songs on iTunes. And, even more shocking, we live in…gulp!…Middle America!!!!!!!

        • Tusk says:

          Frankly I am amazed that there aren’t more mothers out there that would be happy if they had daughter’s who look up to Haley.

          She is bright, confident, and talented. This girl loves her family, they bond over their love for music. A great role model.

          I don’t want to hear from “attitude and aloof”. I try not to make judgements on people whom I only see a few seconds or minutes of edited, produced images.

          I don’t hear anything about Lauren jumping up and down gleefully grimacing while clapping her hands when Haley got eliminated. That was a much more exaggerated reaction than a second of Haley smiling at the surprise of Pia’s/James’ ouster. Some people express shock by nervously smiling. Yet there was Lauren clapping and jumping. Not a word about how cold that was.

          (Understand not a statement about Lauren or her fans in general, just those that keep clinging to that smile/elimination/attitude crap)

        • Cat says:

          Good for you! I’m actually a bona fide country music fan, but I couldn’t bring myself to vote for those two kids. We were all robbed!

        • charlie says:

          Ah, yes! There are some people with sophisticated tastes in Middle America. These are the people that have passports, have traveled outside the USA, enjoy ethnic foods, etc. I grew up in Middle America but still developed sophisticated tastes, but unfortunately the percentages in Middle America and the deep South and Southwest are quite small. Congrats on escaping the Middle America box and raising a daughter with good taste!

      • AtoZ says:

        The problem is that the power voting can really only be done in the extreme by texting…you can only text vote with AT&T… and AT&T owns the south!!!! Hence Lauren & Scotty finale…

        • charlie says:

          Don’t know your definition of power voting, but many TEAM HALEY members managed to vote 500-600 times for her in the 2 hour window using redial on our phones and hanging up as soon as we heard: “Thanks for….” I’d call that power voting.

    • Steph says:

      I agree! Sorry Slezak, I love Idoloonies and all but even your wit can’t make the country-bumkin twins any more interesting.

    • charlie says:

      yes.. i skipped through most of the discussion of Lauren and Scotty. It’s great that Carly is doing Cirque du Soleil in Vegas. Congrats to her!

  15. darclyte says:

    While I’ve long predicted that Idol would love to have a male country singer win, I’m not sure if Scotty is the best choice. Decent guy, but he’s more “old school” country than country/pop. I also think of the 2 he doesn’t “need” to win as much for future success. I think winning or losing would have a bigger impact on Lauren’s future career than it would Scotty because I think he’ll sell about the same regardless.

    Lauren is too immature to win. Note the difference in maturity between her and Allison from 2 years ago when Allison was the same age. If Lauren loses, she’ll be crushed, and if she wins it could ruin her life as she’s just not “ready” for it.

    Lauren doesn’t “deserve” to win as she’s almost never “connected” with a song, she bailed on the note during “Unchained Melody” (where she gasped the word “need” instead of going for it,) she flubbed a line of lyrics last week, and she has never lived up to her potential. I think she has more potential to grow of the 2, and with maturity, training, and experience, she could be something. Right now though, Scotty is MILES ahead of her.

    While I’ve watched all season, it’s up in the air if I’ll watch tonight. I’m not a fan of either, and it just seems like it’ll be boring and predictable. I will watch tomorrow, but I honestly don’t care who wins. I will still predict a WGWG (white guy with guitar) to win for the 4th year in a row.

    • Lily says:

      I do think that Lauren has a better and stronger voice than Scotty, with more range and power. However, Scotty has been more aware of how to use the voice that he has. Lauren could still pull off an underdog win with an amazing vocal performance, but I don’t think she can continue to coast along anymore as she’s done all season. This time, Lauren has to bring it, throw it all down on the stage and have a “moment,” otherwise Scotty will walk away with this.

      • JeanRose says:

        What one see’s as a singer’s “Moment”, another sees as still boring and the same old, same old. She could have a Moment and I wouldn’t see it, because I have no interest in her or her voice or her music. She bores me to tears.

        Haley is Exciting!!!

  16. Moo says:

    Michael, another episode that shows why you are the best at this. I am bored to tears over this finale and am disappointed, the season seemed to show so much promise.

  17. GG says:

    I could see Lauren being the next Carrie Underwood….if she had waited a couple of years before auditioning. She is just too young right now, even though she definitely has the voice. Vocally, Scottie has done well every week, I personally just don’t care for that style of country.
    I have a feeling that even though these two have gotten the most votes, they are both going to have disappointing record sales because most of the people who watch and vote on AI probably don’t buy records. Of course, only time will tell.

    • sweet tea says:

      I wonder how Carrie feels about this…”Scotty and Lauren
      coming in on her turf”? I never got the feeling that Carrie
      liked to share!

      • GS says:

        I think you are totally wrong. Carrie has always come to talk to the finalists and give them a gift. She is very thankful to Idol for her career and is willing to help anyone else do the same. I really don’t think she is too worried about losing her fans to new folks. Her new duet with Brad Paisley is GREAT!

  18. Georgia says:

    Lol I love how every time Carly says country it sounds like cunt-try. it’s kinda disturbing at the same time.

  19. Ed says:

    I haven’t been a fan of this season since Kendra Chantelle was booted FAR too early but Haley really grew on me after her first “Bennie and the Jets” performance. I know Slezak has said this many times but Nigel and his team of minions did everything they could to screw Haley over – including giving her the Alanis song. The song was clearly too low for her and it was also a very aggressive/dark song – too much so for the Idol voting bloc. Also, I know Slezak played the clip of Randy saying that he didn’t like “Haley” when the mic was live by mistake but why wasn’t this made a bigger deal?

    Also, would love to get everyone’s reaction to the USA Today article about country radio station managers not being fans of Scotty and Lauren:

    Last question for Slezak (and everyone), what are the top five performances of this season? For me:

    5) Lauren Alaina in her Nashville audition
    4) Pia Toscano – All By Myself
    3) Haley and Casey – Moanin’
    2) Kendra Chantelle – Georgia on my Mind
    1) Haley – Bennie and the Jets (top 3 elimination)

    And people, stop complaining about the video – your computer or internet connection is slow. Stop complaining.

  20. Milly says:

    Good show, a little boring but you have what you can work with, it guess. Needed more Buffy and other show clips. Loved Carly. No question of the week?

    • Amy says:

      I bet we will get more Buffy next week with Haley’s interview! Looking forward to it.

      • Tusk says:

        Whoop!! can’t wait. Haley Hater’s go to your “______” site to discuss your favorite.

        You hate Haley, we get it, now let us who can appreciate enjoy. :)

  21. David says:

    Wow. I really could care less about the finale AGAIN this year! Idol pretty much let me down again on every single level this year. There are so many good singers out there and we get left with these people as finalists. I think that Idol really gets to be disappointing after Hollywood week now because anyone on there that I get invested into gets eliminated early on. Scotty is way to country focused and isn’t capable of bringing anything unique and different. Lauren sounds way too much like someone performing in some high school talent show somewhere. I miss the years from Idol when the singers got better and better and sounded more like professionals by the end of the season. It just doesn’t happen anymore.

    • Lily says:

      It’s like Idol has snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. This could have been a finale with James, Haley, Casey, Pia, or Kendra in it.

    • B.Rich says:

      Haley got better and better and sounded like a professional by the midpoint of the season. That is why she deserved to win, Lauren and Scotty just didn’t do anything special all year.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        ^WHAT B. RICH SAID^

      • Li-Li says:

        And thanks for the replay of the clip of Haley’s exit performance of “Bennie and the Jets”. I love that she used the word “shindig”. What a great way to end the show. She showed a GREAT attitude – fun, funny, and charming – along with her stellar talent. That may be the best exit performance EVER. No cry-baby downer vibe from Haley. She is a true pro. I will only watch tomorrow night for Haley and the other contestants. Bored out of my mind with Scotty and Lauren who so do not deserve to be in the finale.

      • Blair says:

        ^THIS most definitely THIS!!

  22. Yo says:

    What a talent Carly is! And what a great week for Idoloonies! Many of us had the sense Scotty would win from the beginning, but it is fascinating to get the point of view of someone who has been there. Happy feet? Talk about your kiss of death. Thanks for the Haley video; I needed that fix.

  23. Amy says:

    I miss Haley already. She is the only contestant I have downloaded on iTunes. I can’t wait to see her Idoloonies interview and hear what she does next. I really liked James too. Both were fun and interesting and willing to take risks. Seeing the clips again reminds me that A) Tonight is going to be super predictable and I won’t be tuning in and B) Scotty should and will win. I will just read the recap of tonight’s performances and then tune in tomorrow to see what James and Haley along with Casey, Pia, and the rest of the gang do tomorrow night. It is a shame to not care at this point after devoting an entire four months to this competition. Oh and I am from the south and am not a country fan, just saying. I know Carly wasn’t dissing country, but to defend the industry – it is a very talented industry because they don’t rely on Autotune and theatrics to sell records. Most of the artists that are big today are extremely talented, play instruments and have a knowledge of musicality and theory that the Top 40 radio doesn’t have.

  24. Emma says:

    It’s entirely possible that the heehaw twins will have long and successful careers, but tonight’s final will be like watching Toddlers & Tiaras, only with slightly less stage moms.

    • Emy says:

      There will be plenty of shots of Lauren’s mom during one of her songs. She’s singing that bland Like My Mother Does from Kristy Lee Cook’s failed album. It’s also going to be her first single.

    • Joey says:

      HeeHaw twins!!! That cracked me up!!! :)

  25. Andrea says:

    What promised to be the best season of Idol yet turned out to be an over-produced rigged gong show? Can you believe this season started out with the promise of better judges (Steven Tyler and JLo) and the best contestants the stage has ever seen (James Durbin and Casey Abrams)? Now with all the Idol Country Bumpkin Propaganda – we get two un-seasoned twangy teens as our finale? Most anti-climatic season in Idol history? I think so. I began to have a problem with Idol when Kris Allen won over Adam Lambert but this season seals the deal. I’m done with you Idol.

    • Milly says:

      Perhaps if James or Casey had focused a tad more on staying in pitch and a little less about going over the top, they’d have made the finale. Or at least James would have. Poor guy couldn’t keep his vocals steady anytime he moved too much, especially when he went into the audience.

      Not to say I’m looking forward to the Country Idol, but at least these kids sang well the entire run. I would have preferred Haley in the top 2 just for something different, but can’t change it now and I just won’t be tuning in.

      • B.Rich says:

        Lauren sang well 2 times in her entire run. I would say Scotty sings one song well (Baby Lock Them Doors). This is the biggest let down of a finale in the 10 year history of the show.

        If any one of Haley, Casey, James, Pia, or Kendra had made the finale it would at least be watchable.

    • Rhama says:

      Exactly right. I think that the real problem is the voting system. 10 votes per 1 line will prevent this kind of disasters. Idol does not need “95 million votes” nonsense.

      • Terry says:

        AGREE 100%!!!
        When it is reported that the number of viewers is 20 million and then AI announces that the number of votes were 95 million, I’m sorry but that’s just stupid.

  26. Haley's Comet says:

    DOWNLOAD HALEY’S NEW SINGLE!!! Haley will be performing a new original song on Wednesday’s result show, which will be available for download on itunes the next day. Please support Haley buy going over to itunes and downloading it on Thursday. Hey, with Haley’s voice we all know it going to be a FREAKING awsome song anyway.

    Lauren is going to win, because that’s who AI wants to win.

    • Tusk says:

      Been posting this(need to support Haly’s single on Wednesday) for days now, getting little response.

      I was a little hesitant about what to expect from an original song, whether I would like it or not, (which is not a bad thing, the anxiety of it means I care).

      Then I remembered a couple things I’ve learned watching/enjoying Haley’s Idol Journey.

      1. This will not be the first time, Haley sings something I didn’t know. She has won me over with You and I, Rolling in the Deep, Beautiful. Songs I had never heard (I know Adele’s album/songs have been out a while).

      2. It was reported by her parents that she turned down two songs before arriving at the one she will perform. She didn’t accept the first thing that was offered, which means she has her vision of what she wants to do and is choosing accordingly, like any true ARTIST

      3. Lastly, after all these months, Haley has convinced me. I am excited to see what she has in store for the future.

      • Jason S. says:

        I will buy the single on Thursday andI have never bought a song from Itunes! I only like music on CD that is not compressed. But I will support Haley and I will probably buy like five of her previous songs as well. Remember people, them giving her an album depends on people buying this single. So put your $1.29 into funding a Haley album!!! Nigel’s being tricky and trying to prove there is nobody buying her music!! Let’s put this song above J-Lo on the charts!!! Let’s make it #1 AND PROVE RANDY AND THE STOOGES WRONG!!!

        • claudia says:

          It’s too late to buy most of Haley’s songs. I think you can still buy one top 3 (What Is & What Should Never Be) & two top 4 songs, maybe top 5, I can’t remember. All the other weeks are on albums now. You have to buy the whole week now instead of picking & choosing the ones you want. No way an I going to pay good money to buy the country twins songs or Jacob’s. Luckily I already bought all of Haley’s.

          • Pauli says:

            I was still able to find them! I was worried because I haven’t gotten the chance to buy them all yet! But they’re a little harder to find now. When you type in her name it takes you directly to the idol page where it appears that only the top 5 onward are available, but if you click on one of Haley’s songs then there will be a list of her most popular songs on the left.

          • charlie says:

            I just yesterday downloaded 12 Haley songs from Itunes. Only ones seemingly not available are her final two songs from top 3 night. BTW does anyone know if that was her father playing on the Itunes version of the Led Zep song? It was great seeing them perform together on TOP 3 night!

  27. Evan says:

    Wait- the show’s tonight and not Wednesday/Thursday like usual?

  28. janey says:

    Lauren was the original chosen one. As Steve said “oh yes, we found the one”. Scotty was Jennifer’s pick as she said he would be “legendary and WE found him”. The judges stuck to this the whole time, because it made them look good, like they know talent instantly. Randy had a personal grudge against Haley, was obvious 4 weeks ago. He virtually spat out his comments to her. (would love to know what happened) Lauren never fulfilled her initial promise, not one blow away week. Scotty has an appeal, of old fashioned goodness back to the good old days. But seriously, neither of them can begin to compare to Pia, James, or Haley. A disappointing finale if ever there was.

    • B.Rich says:

      Agreed, never has there been a more disappointing or just plain talent averse finale in the 10 year history of the show.

      I know I shouldn’t care about this nonsense, but we are missing out on potentially 3 more classic idol moments from Haley.

      • Li-Li says:

        You had to remind me. Sad.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Yeah – I haven’t felt like this since the season Melinda Doolittle left and it came down to Jordin Sparks and that beatbox guy. They were both pretty good; I just wasn’t wild about either of them.

    • Larry says:

      Yeah that sums it up.
      (although in the end I sensed that Steven Tyler realized that Lauren just hadn’t quite done it and Haley had and he seemed to be the only one willing to break script, gotta give him credit)

      Rock on Haley!
      Jazz on Haley!

      It was cool that she both cared a real lot about it all and yet didn’t take herself too seriously all the same and was never uptight and remained still chill.

      • charlie says:

        speaking of scripts, does anyone know if the screens that are on the judge’s desks are feeding them ‘recommended comments’ to make? If not, what are the screens there for?

  29. janey says:

    And to add Uncle Nigel went around before Idols began touting Lauren. Between the producers and the judges the others never stood a chance. Where was Pia or Haley in first weeks of the show. Hardly showed them. The main characters of the plot were Lauren, Scotty, James and Casey.

  30. Mark says:

    Not to be crass, but tonight is Virgin Idol, either winner set to be the first pure one since Carrie. I’m wondering if that’s what makes the difference, with Grown-up Idol having ended last Thursday night.

    There’s a sweetness to innocent youth that appeals to the idealistic, but once you’re past the bubblegum phase of your musical taste, isn’t experience what fuels the adult connection to songs, or even the aspirational connection of young people to rock stars? Adele hits home because she’s been there, loved for real and lost. You hear it in her voice and phrasing.

    So Haley won Idol for adults and James came in second. Not a bad pair — both fighters, both having been around a block or two, both artists making their own strong choices, both with some real life lessons to impart through exuberant song.

    • Delia says:

      I was actually thinking at one point that maybe what we need is Teen Idol and American Idol. Or American Idol and American Idol Juniors. But, Pure Virgin Idol and Real American Idol works too.

      • B.Rich says:

        So true, Haley won Serious Adult Viewer Idol. Scotty will win Semi-attractive White Guy Idol tomorrow night, or as its been know for the last 4 seasons now, “American Idol”.

    • charlie says:

      Very well said! Those southerners do love their virgins!

  31. May says:

    I think that Haley could learn a bit from Carly Smithson. She would also be very well suited to fronting a band instead of trying for a pop star’s career, particularly considering how well she sang House of the Rising Sun and What Is and What Should Never Be.

    • Lyn says:

      Disagree, since Carly has yet to make the slightest splash on the music scene. But the pop-music public seems to welcome an endless array of stylish female singers and at least give them a chance. Hoping Haley makes some smart choices and ends up with a successful debut a la Corinne Bailey Rae, Adele, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, et al.

      • Tusk says:

        Still bummed we never got Haley reprising Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Just Like a Star” with the full Idol/studio treatment. :(

        Still, that video has an innocence and purity (especially vocally) that can’t be matched by any studio recording

      • Jem says:

        She already did, with her band “We Are The Fallen”. Don’t know how much radio play they got there but it hit the air waves here in SE Asia when their single went out. Been an Evanescence fan and the new band did not disappoint (IMO). Glad to hear they’re going for a bit more radio-friendly album next year (hoping for a big hit that would mean a world tour, which would mean them comin’ to Asia).

        I’m pretty sure Haley won’t be heading for a “pop star” direction. She knows who she is. What I’m thinking is she can go either way (as solo or with a band).

      • charlie says:

        Yes. Agreed. Haley, like Norah Jones, has a very distinctive tone, as did Casey. I’d love to see them both make the kind of choices that give them huge post-Idol careers, bigger even than Kelly and Carrie. I hope all Haley and Casey lovers will put their money where their mouths are.

  32. CK says:

    Michael – Great advice for Lauren to be more natural in her look and style. As Carly said, Lauren has an amazing voice. The makeup and outfits have been a distraction.

    I loved how Carly described Haley and her parents. What a cool family! They’d be fun to hang out with.

  33. Lily says:

    Carly Freaking Smithson!!! I’m not even finished watching the videos yet but just had to say how great this series of interviews and Idoloonies has been. Thanks, Michael Slezak and Jason Averett! I love Carly pointing out all those little things that the production did in her season. And she told the girls to take off those heels! I’ve been saying that for this entire season, you can’t move gracefully to command the stage and you’re going to fall down. Pure luck none of the girls got badly hurt teetering down steps in sky-high heels. Meanwhile boys like James in their sneakers can run all around, do jumps and backbends. OK, back to watching!!

  34. Ronnie says:

    I think this weeks Idoloonies had something to do with a couple of country kids, but I’m not really sure.
    All I saw was the awesome Carly Smithson.
    I wanted to go and buy her “We Are The Fallen” album, but I already own it.
    So— Since I will be in Vegas in August, instead I am going to purchase tickets to Viva ELVIS! Glad to know Carly is in San Diego on the weekends… I’m going to make sure I get tickets for Thursday! So hope she is still there.
    (and btw, the last video’s still image of Michael’s “Huh, wtf” face and Carly leaning forward with the “Can you believe it” face is priceless.)

  35. AprilD says:

    YAY!! Carly! I loved Carly’s take on the twins. (That’s what I’m calling Scotty & Lauren now.) Great show this week. I’ll be sad when the season of Idoloonies will be over.

    • CandaceTX says:

      is it just me… or has anyone pointed out how pretentious it is that Lauren is going by the stage name Lauren Alaina, instead of her actual name “Lauren Suddeth”.

      seems to me that she really has been ordained from the start…including the name change to something more commercial.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        “Alaina” is her middle name. She’s a minor and quite often minors don’t use their real last names due to all the weirdos out there. Scotty is male (obviously) so it’s not as much of an issue.
        Lea Michele on “Glee” – same thing. Michele is her middle name. She is no minor now but she was just a kid when she started performing in “Les Miz” on Broadway.
        While it may seem pretentious it’s more for safety reasons.

        • anon says:

          Nah, they didn’t change the name for any of the other young contestants did they and she is hardly under any more threat than anyone else. It doesn’t exactly help when the info was readily publicly out there does it? It was on idol sites from the start I think. I could swear I read where Nigel or one of the other PTB told her to drop the Suddeth and switch to Alaina because it was more commercial and more friendly sounding to voters in her voting block regions or something.

          And for very young entertainers they change the last name for boys as often as for girls AFAIK.

          They can use their real name to sign up for school, sports, etc. without having to attract crowds to bother themselves and others.
          Other members of the extended family don’t get sucked into the whirlwind spotlight nearly as much and have deal with all that if the kid becomes famous. Their siblings don’t get as easily defined by their famous sibling. Lets them more easily drop out into a regular career more smoothly. Lets them separate star life from real life more easily. If the name is tricky to pronounce or awkward sometimes they change it. Sometimes if it sounds very ethnic they change it so they don’t get pigeon-holed into certain roles only.

        • PB says:

          have you forgotten Thia Megia already?

      • Leslie says:

        Who cares? Maybe she doesn’t like her last name–Lauren Alaina sounds better than Lauren Suddeth. Why would that be pretentious? Lots of people change their names when they are performing. She obviously IS a performer..

  36. ????? says:

    thanks for bringing Carly on! I love We Are the Fallen and the update was wonderful!

  37. tcp says:

    See ya later Haley!!! I can’t wait for your interview with her Michael!

    • best singout ever says:

      i know, right? haley’s swan song was the best singout ever. well, maybe a tie with alison’s crybaby singout. both celebratory and in-your-face.

      • Mark says:

        Gotta say Casey Abrams had my favorite sing-out ever — what a song choice for Idol (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins!!), crazy positive energy with the fellow contestants on stage losing it, bowing, getting slammed, kisses everywhere, ending singing to Haley — wow, that was some party.

  38. perfect world says:

    in a perfect world this should have been a haley/james finale, just in terms of being an interesting, exciting, unpredictable, musical, theatrical, and entertaining show. these 2 could have come up with 3 wildly different and unexpected songs each. i’d definitely have tuned in for that!

    scotty & lauren – i think they’ll do well, in the finale and in their careers. congratulations to them both!

    a haley & alison growler/rocker duet someday, with both caseys (james & abrams) on guitar & bass? please?

    • Lily says:

      Wow, that’s kind of a killer idea. They could call themselves The Fallen Idol Band.

    • Lyn says:

      I suspect the Haley/Casey connection was exaggerated for publicity purposes . . . but yeah, cool idea. Not completely original, since Jen Chapin (the late Harry Chapin’s amazingly talented daughter) has made a lot of music with her husband, who plays the string bass. But Haley/Casey would get more press, I’m sure!

      • Tusk says:

        “I suspect the Haley/Casey connection was exaggerated for publicity purposes . . . ”

        Not so sure. In Haley’s post elimination interviews, Casey’s name has come up prominently at least a couple of times, answering to the question like what/who will you miss/take away/from/about the Idol experience. She and Casey have both said the relationship is due to their “musicality” and similar interests.

        Also, I happened on 3 photo’s of Haley and Casey in a hallway, Haley is in her red polka-dotted dress from her “Rolling in the Deep” performance.

        She is on her tippy-toes, arms outstretched around Casey’s neck. She is only looking at him and Casey is shown, noticing whoever is taking the picture.

        There is a older African-American lady in the hallway, looking like she is about to tell the photographer, “no pictures”.

        It looked like a poignant moment, appeared to be definitely “more” than musical friends. Perhaps they just wanted to be judged on their talent and not their relationship. I think they may be aware what Fame can do to relationships too so are opting for a slower, more private thing.

        Either way, both really talented, and am happy for them whatever the case.

        • carabee says:

          hmmmm, curious indeed! I haven’t seen these pics – do you have a link? whatever their off-show status, they made great duet partners.

          • charlie says:

            I’ve always said they would make good babies– whoops– I mean music together!

  39. StorytellerGal says:

    Carly was the perfect choice for co-host this week. I had forgotten how totally screwed over she was during her run. Gorgeous voice, great songwriter, and a beautiful woman but she wasn’t a fit for the AI machine. Parallels with Haley for sure.

  40. Salvador says:

    Season 8 best season ever my favorite Allison Iraheta

  41. Debbie M says:

    Carly has the most amazing eyes.

    I also found myself oddly distracted by that white and yellow vase off to Michael’s side. Weird.

  42. Autumn says:

    I will not be watching tonight. I don’t think my sanity could take watching only Scotty and Lauren for an hour. I’ll watch tomorrow night to see everyone else and mute it when the judges are speaking or when Lauren sings.I may have to just change the channel when Scotty is on, the kid has a great voice but I can not watch his face when he sings.

    • B.Rich says:

      LOL agree with everything you said. I think this is the first idol episode I will skip. Watching the Voice tonight.

  43. ririiiiii says:

    michael, i really appreciate you giving a chance to previous idols by giving them a chance and reminding us of their wonderful work. i love melinda and carli and i loved that u previously brought kendra and others.
    u r the best when covering pop cu,ture. wish i could care as much about my own work.

  44. Kathy says:

    Let’s not forget that the AI folks are hoping to cash in on the very large country market. The whole season has been slanted for a country win. Maybe I’m cynical but you can’t discount the driving force…making tons of money for the record company and increased product for the AI machine.

  45. Lyn says:

    Yes, but Lauren seems like such a blank slate — like Allison Iraheta (sp?) she can sing, but just seems like a girl to whom nothing has really happened yet. Even Kellie Pickler, who’s maligned on these online message boards, has shown infinitely more depth in some of the good stuff she’s done on country albums, like her very moving song “I Wonder.”

  46. darcy's evil twin says:

    I posted this earlier today in one of Slezak’s other article comment sections, but one of my friends called to congratulate me and remind me I had predicted Scotty and Lauren for the finale months ago. She predicted James and Pia. I’d completely forgotten about our conversation but it was obvious to me Scotty and Lauren were coasting to the finish line. I don’t ever recall a time when a contestant was pimped starting with their freakin’ audition!!! (Lauren). Does anyone else ever recall this happening?
    Neither of them have ever received much criticism from the judges, particularly “nothing to judge there” Lauren.
    I’m calling Scotty for the win. At least he can support his notes.

  47. AmyR says:

    Carly is great! An amazing voice and lots of great insights about performing. Still feel she was eliminated way too soon during her season on Idol.

  48. Li-Li says:

    These interviews are always so well done. Thanks, Michael, for helping us to survive this week, and go through withdrawal of Haley.

  49. JAson S. says:

    Very fitting that Carly is on this week because she finally has competition for best rocker chick ever on Idol with Haley! There’s a good poll Carly vs Haley: Best Rocker CHick on Idol? TO me hands down the We Are The Fallen Album is the best ever post Idol album. Great top to bottom!

  50. Lyn says:

    Putting off watching this until I see the Haley interview + celebration edition. But for those having trouble loading these videos, these files are pretty darn big. Unless you have a really good Net connection, you’re better off downloading them instead like I do, for a buffer-free watching experience.

    Use StreamTransport (free program):

    • anon says:

      cool, my regular downloader wouldn’t download the type from this site

      and using wmcapture is an awkward way to save a file