American Idol Recap: 'Mother' Load

Good news for Nigel Lythgoe: In the year 2015, when he begins production on his Lifetime original movie Sing It Anyway: The Lauren Alaina Story, he’ll already have a script in place. Oh, sure, Uncle Nigel might take a few creative liberties with the historical record — perhaps Little Lauren will deliver her final American Idol performance in a driving rainstorm, on her way to the airport to stop her future fiancé from getting on a plane, with a pit stop to rescue a pack of kindly grandmothers from a burning bus  — but make no mistake: Tuesday’s Season 10 performance-night finale was the carefully crafted, penultimate scene of a piece of fiction that Idol‘s evil-genius overlord has been writing since Steven Tyler delivered that line about finding “The One” back in January.

Was the plot line hammier than Babe‘s family reunion? Absolutely! The episode  began with Ryan Seacrest addressing the “Lauren’s too sick to sing” rumors that rocked the internet (including just an hour before the finale, with a scrubs-clad doctor explaining the improved state of the contestant’s sprained vocal cord, and Lauren herself pluckily declaring, “I’m here. I’m ready to sing. I’m fine. Don’t worry about it.” Ryan, ensuring no bit of drama got left behind, turned to the resident physician and asked, “Can she handle the entire hour, in your opinion?” I half-expected the guy to answer, “Only if deep down in her heart, Lauren truly wants to win this thing.”

Exclusive: Nigel Lythgoe on Haley Bashing,
Twitter Rants, and SYTYCD Changes

J.Lo, Randy, and Steven got in on the cinematic feel, as well, following the “Please don’t spoil the movie by adding your own soundtrack” rule and not uttering a single word of critique until four out of the night’s six performances had been completed. (True confession time: I honestly didn’t notice the absence of the judges’ comments until Ryan started giving out phone numbers at the end of Lauren’s first performance. Which either says something about the sorry state of my brain after recapping almost five months’ worth of Idol telecasts, or the ultimate uselessness of everything that comes out of the mouths of the Dawg, the former In Living Color dancer, and the rock legend with a memoir to promote.)

Also of interest: Randy sported his best Miss Marple drag, rocking a brown tweed suit with wide black lapel, while J.Lo continued her quest to become a “quadruple threat” by dressing for the part of “figure-skater,” another title that in the future may be added to the list of things (i.e. acting, singing, shooting looks of deep loathing at Haley Reinhart) she does moderately well at best, moderately poorly at worst .

Anyway, not to get all Kara DioGuardi on you, but here’s the thing: Everyone knows that when it comes to Idol finales, too much producer manipulation often backfires. Which makes me wonder if perhaps Uncle Nigel’s advocacy for the Season 10 “southern belle” (seven consecutive “win” votes for Lauren from the judges to close the episode; copious shots of six shimmering pink and black signs spelling out L-A-U-R-E-N; the gift of superior songs in Rounds 2 and 3) might be part of a secret. reverse-psychological plant to activate the fanbase of the “boy next door.” Then again, maybe we’re dealing with a double-reverse — a reminder to the audience that “the judges’ favorites rarely come out on top!” — that will favor Lauren.

American Idol: The Top 20 Performances from Season 10

Oh, phooey. I could dig further and further down the Idol rabbit hole for the rest of the week, but instead, how about I get to rating this week’s performances?

ROUND 1: Contestant’s “Greatest Hit” from Season 10
Scotty McCreery: Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone”
For the second week running, Idol‘s producers scheduled the night’s best performance early in the telecast, giving the hour the trajectory of a sad party balloon losing helium. I loved Scotty’s “Gone” the first time around — in fact, it cracked my recent gallery of the 20 best performances from Season 10 — but take two was more muscular, more aggressive, and an altogether more authentic sendoff to the bad relationship at the heart of the song’s lyrics. I’m not usually keen on contestants starting off their performances out in the audience, but in this instance, the move allowed Scotty to amble cockily toward the stage, setting the proper mood of disdain and dismissiveness. I loved the way Scotty held out that “gone” going into the bridge, I loved the way the fiddle and guitar players followed him around behind the judges as if he was the Pied Piper of breakups, and I even loved his hokey “baseball windup” swing that closed the number. You know if the judges had been allowed to give a post-performance critique, somebody would’ve dropped a “home run” zinger, and I can’t even say I’d have blamed ’em! [Side note: My husband and I had a five-minute debate about whether Scotty’s strange t-shirt depicted a woman with flowing orange hair or two firefighters putting out a raging blaze with their hoses. Please weigh in on this important matter in the comments, and don’t forget to share whether or not you were disappointed by Scotty’s failure to follow through on J.Lo’s request for a finale-week buzz cut.]

Lauren Alaina: Carrie Underwood’s “Flat on the Floor”
Is Lauren craftier than she lets on? By choosing a Carrie Underwood track for her encore, Season 10’s youngest contestant got another chance to remind the audience that, hey, Idol has a pretty solid track record when it comes to producing blonde, female country artists. As usual, the kid who just a year ago was doing cartwheels in her backyard was laden down with 100 lbs of black and silver fabric, jewelry (including an admittedly fierce bird ring), and hair extensions, but this time around Lauren showed improved vocal dexterity, only dropping a couple of words in the face of such a lightning quick cadence. If I had one complaint, it’s that Lauren seemed so focused on the mechanics of the performance that she didn’t really conjure up the exasperation of the song’s under-siege protagonist, but that didn’t stop J.Lo and Randy from giving her a standing ovation. Hey, it was the least they could do, seeing how Dr. Idol told them Widdle Wauwen had a boo-boo on her voicey voice!

ROUND 2: Track Chosen by the Contestant’s Idol (Though Not the Same Artist He/She Covered During Top 13’s “Personal Idol” Theme) (Ahem)
Scotty McCreery: George Strait’s “Check Yes or No”
There was nothing particularly wrong with Scotty’s performance of this midtempo story about a little boy standing in front of his third-grade sweetheart (and eventual wife), asking her to love him. Except for the fact that just last week, Scotty was singing “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” a superior midtempo ditty about a guy looking back at his youthful romantic feelings for a woman who would eventually become his betrothed. But while I can’t really sit here and blame the contestant for this conundrum — Jimmy Iovine picked last week’s ditty, while George Strait cynically boosted his catalog sales/graciously passed the torch by choosing the latter — I also can’t do more than give props to Scotty for completing another episode of Extreme Competence: Country Edition.

Lauren Alaina: Pam Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis”
I sure as heck hope Lauren has already sent a thank-you note to Carrie Underwood for giving her a vastly superior composition to Scotty’s round-two selection, but it’s a shame the Season 4 champ wasn’t able to perform a simultaneous wardrobe consult and talk Lauren out of a dress that was a half-dozen sculpted ponies away from looking like a giant gold carousel cake that may or may not have been the confectionary highlight of Lauren’s fifth birthday party. (That said, if Lauren hadn’t made such a fashion faux pas, my husband wouldn’t have coined the term “trailer tutu.”) Vocally, Lauren seemed to be running out of breath at the ends of several phrases, but her tone sounded pretty terrific paired with Pam Tillis’ trip down romantic memory lane. I loved the way Lauren’s voice broke on that falsetto ending, and the added grit she showed digging into the chorus. In fact, I’m not sure why Ryan brought up this “sprained vocal cord” business like it was such a hindrance.

ROUND 3: Contestant’s Debut Single
Scotty McCreery: “I Love You This Big”
I’m gonna be honest here: I’ve watched Scotty’s performance of “I Love You This Big” three times now, and here’s a snapshot of what my brain has retained: Damn! That is not a good title for anything, except maybe a child’s storybook. Wait, we’re not gonna hear Scotty deliver the line “Baby lock them doors and turn the lights down low” on the Idol stage, but we have to sit through this silly piece of treacle that’s not a particularly good match for the kid’s voice? There’s so much going on here — the “Idol journey” montage, the 87 camera angles, the return of the %$@ *&%$^#&^%#*&# Swaybots — that Scotty’s performance almost seems secondary. One more second of crying-mom footage, and I’ll be reaching for the Kleenex. Oh, no, Scotty! Please don’t stretch your arms out to deliver the words “this big”! Worst part of my job is definitely not being able to fast-forward through another regurgitation of Randy’s “in it to win it” nonsense. Aaaand…scene!

Lauren Alaina: “Like My Mother Does”
This just in: A vote against Lauren Alaina is a vote to punch your own mother right in her sweet, devoted face! Or as Jimmy Iovine pointed out prior to her final performance, “Moms are the bedrock of American society!” — and that means a vote for Lauren is a vote for America. Right? Right. Indeed, Lauren’s debut single (ripped from the lifeless corpse of Kristy Lee Cook’s commercial flop Why Wait) is an Aspertame-infused tribute to the women who gave us life, and the staging here seemed designed to infuse some emotional energy into Lauren’s repertoire. Backed by a sweeping strings section, Lauren warbled her way through the opening verse, then headed out into the audience to embrace her own mama and thereby finally maybe sorta connect with the lyrics coming out of her mouth. I guess she was feeling it, but not as much as Season 10 finalists Naima Adedapo and Ashthon Jones, who were respectively grooving out and sobbing in seats directly behind Lauren’s mom, or the Idol camera operator, whose shot got all shaky after Lauren’s final note (presumably because every member of the 19 and Fox family was required to clap enthusiastically, and our guy couldn’t hold his camera steady).

The most stark image of the finale though, for me for you, was Ryan Seacrest rushing out to help guide Lauren (clad in a lovely, floor-length white gown with a floral-patterned bottom) down the steps and into the audience. It was a strangely “father of the bride” moment that probably activated the tear ducts and/or speed-dialing fingers of anyone who’s ever enjoyed a bridal magazine, an animated Disney film, or Webcam footage of newborn baby birds. Randy, of course, took his one million-billionth opportunity this season to herald the return of the girl the judges fell in love with in Nashville. “LAUREN ALAINA HAS ARRIVED, AMERICA!” he yelled, ending a bleak season of white-noise critiques.

And with that, let’s get to Tonight’s Letter Grades:

Scotty McCreery, “Gone”: A-
Lauren Alaina, “Flat on the Floor”: B+
Lauren Alaina, “Maybe It Was Memphis”: B+
Lauren Alaina, “Like My Mother Does”: B
Scotty McCreery, “Check Yes or No”: B
Scotty McCreery, “I Love You This Big”: B-

I realize I gave Lauren the slight edge over Scotty in two out of three rounds this week, but one evenly matched night does not an Idol champ make. Scotty’s consistently solid performances over the last 13 weeks have generally outshone Lauren’s in terms of emotional connectedness, stage presence,  and confidence, and with Kendra, Lauren Turner, Pia, Paul, James, and especially Haley all sitting on the sidelines, I think Scotty is the clear choice “should” and “will” selection for the annual Nokia confetti shower on Wednesday night. It might not be the ending Nigel wanted for his Lifetime movie, but as I think he’s about to (re)discover, you can’t always force real life to follow a script.

What did you think of the Season 10 Idol finale? What were your favorite and least favorite performances? Vote in our polls below, then hit the comments to declare which contestant should and will win the season? And for all my Idol news, reviews, and interviews — including video Q&As next week with the Season 10 Top 3 — follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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  1. Cherryblossom says:

    I miss Haley. I am not a huge country music fan but Scotty got my votes last night. I know Lauren can sing but she is too “Toddlers and Tiaras” for me….the accent, the makeup, the short Shirley Temple dress, and the mom. I thought it was terrible last night when the called the doctor on stage. Would they have done that for Haley or even Scotty if they had “lost” their voices? At this point I am ready for American Idol to be over and am looking forward to So You Think You Can Dance to begin.

    • Lee says:

      Haley will be a star a few years down the line. And if is any indication (they’ve been right on every finale they’ve ever rated), Scotty won big last night and will be your next American Idol (whether Nigel wants it or not). Somebody get Lauren away from her mother! That lady gives me the creeps!

      • kakirita says:

        Unfortunately, it looks like Lauren’s Mom has ” gone Hollywood”, and now has ” fish lips”- lip plumping!

      • Li-Li says:

        I do not get why they were pimping Lauren’s mom the entire season, although it makes sense that it was part of the whole Lauren pimping altogether. Haley’s mom is an awesome singer – a professional singer, no less – and they didn’t give her one ounce of publicity except for a few shots in the crowd and one tiny clip from Haley’s hometown concert. Talk about a wasted opportunity. I will never understand the politics behind this show.

      • darclyte says:

        Dialidol is irrelevant and has been all season. They can’t factor in the online & text votes, so they’ve been way off. The online voting this year really seems to have messed up any suggestion that they may be a good indicator. When Ashthon and Pia were eliminated, they were ranked as the clear # 1. The rest of the year was the usual “most are in yellow” results. Scotty could win, but it doesn’t mean that DI has a clue.

      • rachel says:

        i know whos going to be the winner because i know a guy who works at american idol and he told my whole school the winner, but im not going to say.

        i cant wait to hear haley sing her song during the finale, its the only reason im watching.

    • the real wendy says:

      American Country Idol? Country American Idol? Country Idol? Let me explain in as many words as I can how much I care: I don’t care.

      • karen says:

        Ditto. Didn’t watch the show, don’t care who wins. In a Simon Cowell season, I’m pretty sure they both would have been voted off waaaaaaaaay before the finale.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          then how do you explain “Lee, who sings off-key” winning last year? (p.s. – Simon was there)

          • josie says:

            Physically present but was clearly ready to be gone and not caring much

          • Simon's Not All That says:

            Simon was promoting Lee over Crystal. “You’re a genuinely nice person,” and all that. Simon even arranged the whole Hallelujah chorus for Lee. He also constantly promoted David Archuleta, and in the finale proclaimed that Archie had won over Cook in a knockout.

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            thank you all, and in a response to myself ;-) I can also add Simon did not want to send either David Cook or Chris Daughtry to Hollywood.
            I guess Simon doesn’t know everything. Always liked him and I hope he’s back to his old form on The X Factor.

          • Ian says:

            I’ll take Lee over either of the finalists this year. Both Scotty and Lauren often sang off-key. (Lauren missed the key change in her second song in Top 3.) But at least Lee sang with a lot of soul (like Haley) and put his own twist to the songs (again like Haley–there must be something in Chicago’s water!). I never saw Scotty or Lauren ever do that which is why neither of them got a standing ovation prior to the finale.

        • Sharon says:

          Double ditto, didn’t watch FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE IDOL BEGAN. I’ll watch tonight, but not because of the finalists.

      • jlp says:

        They should have given up the ghost a long time ago and started calling it Teen Girl Idol. The all teen country finale just shows how narrow the audience for the show has become.

      • Li-Li says:

        Michael should have given us one more option for voting who we thought/wanted to win: don’t care.

      • Riley says:

        I lost all interest when Lauren got cut, this was the first season finale I’ve missed. I watched an old episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods instead. Very enjoyable.

        • Riley says:

          Silly me. I meant to say I lost interest when Haley got cut. Guess that mistake was a little Freudian.

      • Lily says:

        Seems a lot of viewers didn’t care this time. From elsewhere on TVLine: “American Idol‘s final performance show took a dip in the coveted 18-49 demo this year, scoring a 6.2 rating while drawing in 20 million total viewers. Compared to Season 9′s final sing-off, the demo was down 7 percent, while versus last Wednesday’s Top 3 performance show, the rating dropped 16 percent.”

        • Susan says:

          Oh, I hope this holds up and gives the Idol machine pause. Whenever a group of passionate fans get all upset about anything, but yet the ratings continue to go up, those passionate fans really have no credibility. But if the ratings did slip, that gives me some hope. Can we PLEASE improve the judging (or at least make the judges relevant again?

          Look, though, the producers know the voting patterns and records of all the contestants, every week. Although Taylor Hicks is now much derided, rumor has it he was so far and away the highest vote getter every week there was never any question that he would win. If Dial Idol is even remotely accurate, Scotty’s coronation has never been in doubt. So, I suppose the producers made some choices here. Do they pimp Lauren, hoping to build up her fan base so that there are two “winners” in terms of record sales? Or do they just go along for the Scotty ride and try and build him up as much as possible? I think they went with the former to try and make it a little interesting and Lauren more marketable. If Number 1 is never in doubt, let’s build up #2 as much as possible. Scotty has had this in the bag for a long, long time.

          I have always wondered if the judges know or even have a hint of the voting patterns/history. I’ll never understand the judges on the David Cook/David Archuleta performance night. And I’ve always wondered on Simon’s change the results night.

      • algalhi says:

        @the real wendy — Hahah! Me, neither! Didn’t watch last night.

      • Kim says:

        Don’t care, didn’t watch. Go Haley!

      • Estee says:

        Hee Haw Hero / Hee Haw Heroine!!!!

      • charlie says:

        DITTO! didn’t waste time watching the finale performances which, from all descriptions, was a HEE HAW snooze-fest! It will be interesting to see how much The Voice and X Factor US affect Idol. I don’t particularly like the ‘battle round’ of The Voice, but the audition round was good and I’m looking forward to the show after battle round is over. X Factor US may suffer from the poor judge selection however. Paula Abdul again???? But this time as judge and mentor??? Really bad choice– could reduce viewership of the show to have ditzy Paula as judge. X Factor UK judges are good. The firing of Cheryl Cole was disgusting. Typical Fox TV BS!!!! Not sure if I’ll watch the show or not.

    • marie says:

      Casey was actually hospitalized (twice? don’t recall) earlier in the season, but evidently TPTB didn’t consider that bringing a “doctor” onstage to attest to his health and readiness to perform would be a clever gimmick to grab some sympathy votes for him.

      • The Lauren story was bigger than Casey because it was the finale. Haley was rehearsing because it was that bad. I never fall for Idol stunts, and I actually don’t believe it was a stunt. I actually think Lauren blew out her vocal chord. They knew that Lauren wouldn’t be able to explain herself(like she didn’t) so they wanted to make sure the story was right. I am no American Idol apologist or am blind to their ways, but this time I think it was for real.

        For everything it was, Lauren did an amazing job last night. She probably still won’t win because of Scotty’s fan base but she really did everything she could to try to take it from him, it was just a little too late.

        • marie says:

          Oh, Lauren may well have been indisposed; the “gimmick,” the way I see it, was not the actual story that she was sick, but rather, bringing a “doctor” (real or actor, whichever) onstage for dramatic effect.
          And yes, I realize that they would not have done that for someone early in the season; I was commenting on how ridiculous and manipulative it is that they did that AT ALL, at any point.

        • susela says:

          And if she did indeed “blow out” a vocal cord, then allowing her to sing anyway was a tragically short-sighted decision. She could have permanently damaged her instrument—and killed her career before it started. Curious to see how this plays out in the future.

          • Blair says:

            Do you really think for one second, seriously, that TPTB would’ve sacrificed their “chosen one” last night by having Lauren forfeit her chance at sitting on the idol throne by bringing back Haley, who was already told apparently by America, and even more so by the judges and producers that they didn’t want her. To entertain any other idea than the fact that it was a desperately cheap PR stunt to get to gain more viewership for their “teen country idol” evening is IMO ludicrous.

        • cathy says:

          If you believe that wasn’t staged to get sympathy votes then I have some swamp land in Florida that I would like to sell you.

        • Pam says:

          I’m not going to dispute Lauren’s vocal cord problem, but EVERY season – people are sick, have vocal issues, have someone ill in their family, etc. – and we don’t hear about it. I hate the manipulation of trying to make everyone feel sorry for Lauren. It was beyond ridiculous and absolutely not fair.

          Oh, and I also hated Ryan in a tux. He just looked silly, and added to the “father of the bride” effect when he escorted Lauren down the stairs.

          GAH! I’m glad this season’s over.

          • Bat Country says:

            To me everything with Laura, including the walkdown with Ryan, screamed Miss Teen Georgia pageant.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        marie – your comment made me chuckle. What did Casey have? Was it irritable bowel syndrome or something like that? They could have had a colo-rectal specialist on stage, or an internist, with diagrams and everything. “Medical Emergency Idol”.
        As I posted earlier, wow, someone that doesn’t support their notes and can’t breathe properly blows a vocal chord. Surprise!

        • McFudge says:

          Hmmmmm………is “blow a vocal cord” a medical term, I wonder? :)

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            This is EXACTLY why we need a “Doctor in the House”! Not sure if it’s a medical term. There are several types of vocal chord injuries, but for the sake of argument let’s say the doctor from central casting, in black scrubs (BLACK? WTH?), was accurate when he said Lauren was really pushing her voice to get the maximum sound out, and WHAM, she blew out the vocal chord. His words.
            I think Ryan even commented on the black scrubs. Those must be scrubs for formal occasions!

        • marie says:

          “…someone that doesn’t support their notes and can’t breathe properly blows a vocal chord. Surprise!”
          Amen. That poor girl is SO not ready for a career, in SO many ways.
          (Yes, Casey did have something like that – “colo-rectal specialist” – IN SCRUBS, of COURSE – YOUR comment made ME chuckle in turn.)

          • not says:

            I agree that Lauren is not ready. It’s a shame, but I think a lot of young girls with very good voices get ruined by the stage-mom dominated, get-ready-for-the-beauty-pageant, we’re-going-to-make-you-a-star upbringing.

            Just like with Pia, who I agree had an even better voice, I think this style just turns people off and seems so unoriginal. Lauren has gotten by with it for much longer than Pia b/c it seems sweet in someone so young.

            Boys just don’t get that treatment – it’s expected that they will grow up and join a band, etc. It kills me to feel this way b/c women are always going to be at a disadvantage on this show and I think this tendency further undermines them.

    • Stephanie says:

      Why DOES Lauren dress like a Golden Girl? It was full on Dorothy in Round 1, Rose at the square dance in Round 2 and Blanche in Round 3.

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        Okay, you get a “made me laugh” :-)
        I must admit I liked the “full on Dorothy” – it was the best of the worst, I suppose. I have slightly more fashion sense than your average straight man but Lauren looks good in monochromatic outfits with slacks and jackets – they give her a slimmer line and are flattering on her. She looked (and sounded) her best when she sang with Haley and was wearing the black outfit with slacks.

      • Agustin says:

        Hahaha, too darn funny!

    • mama says:

      obviously, this was written by Scotty’s fan site

    • Rae says:

      I miss Haley the little blues rocker too. But my votes went to Scotty. I cannot stand it when someone has been better all seasone then the other person comes in and gives one better performance then expects to be rewarded with the win. Scotty, even though I’m not a country fan has been in the game all season. While Lauren has smiled and pouted her way thru the competition. She does not deserve the win. Period. Having said that, what a boring night. From the contestants to Taio and David Cook nobody had much life in them.

    • Janet Withers says:

      I am personlly a Scotty fan and have been from the beginning. I agree with the way Lauren was dressed and that they had the doctor on stage for Lauren – would they do that for Haley or Scotty? I will say that Lauren’s last song was beautiful but, what I can’t believe is that some of the people that were voting for Scotty all along changed their vote because of the last song that Lauren sung. WOW! They certainly showed that their not a True Fan after all. Well I will tell you I voted for Scotty from day one and I don’t mean I went on-line and voted 50 times. I voted approx 35x in 5 minutes, figure that up to over 1,650 votes. That took (4) solid hours to do and worth every minute of it. Absolutely Love Scotty !

      • Lana says:

        I love Scotty and made sure I voted all 4 hours, but Lauren did have a better 2nd song thanks to Carrie. George has so many awesome songs that Scotty could have torn up,so I don’t understand why his crappy choice. Even though Lauren had a better 3rd song, (really Jimmy “I love you this big”?) Scotty sang great all season long and deserves the crown more than Lauren. Plus he is so much more mature and ready for a singing career than Lauren. She needs to grow up more and I don’t think Mama will help with that. Personally my favorite reality show ever is So You Think You Can Dance and with Mary Murphy back I can’t wait for Idol to be over so the real fun can begin.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          I must admit I’m not wild about George Strait but my husband loves him and I’ve sat through that insipid movie, “Pure Country”, several times (never should have bought it for him!). There were a couple of good, midtempo songs in the movie, though – “Heartland” and “Overnight Male” aren’t bad songs. “Heartland” would be more age-appropriate for Scotty, but considering all the stuff Lauren sang, heck, give Scotty “Overnight Male” and let him sink his teeth into that one.

      • Bat Country says:

        When I saw her in tears after that song I knew she’d just snagged it…

      • cookie love says:

        ….get a life….

    • MS says:

      I don’t, honestly, think that Nigel wants Lauren to win. I think based on the votes that we, unfortunately, are never told, Scotty is so far ahead that Lauren needed Cinderella’s godmother sized assistance, and needed badly.

      In the end Scotty will win and will sell millions of albums to our hearing impaired nation of the United States of America.

    • dctoronto says:

      When you see snippets of her in video clips Mamma Lauren comes off as not a particularly nice person. (Did anyone notice durinng the backstage clip of Lauren getting a hug from her mom the disgusted look the woman with the purse gave Mamma Lauren?)
      She gives me the impression that she could win the Mamma Rose award for stage mother of the year. Who knows, maybe demanded that Idol give her on air time?

    • brandy says:

      Agreed. Why weren’t Haley and Pia choices in the “who should win” poll?

    • Don't bother says:

      Slo-mo the scenes where the camera pans the audience and you’ll see Haley making faces at the camera–just the immature brat that she is.
      Everyone else was clapping politely.

    • gregk says:

      I am so ready for SYTYCD after Haley was eliminated. I even look forward to Mary Murphy’s (now toned down) screams in Nigel’s ear tomorrow!

    • Ablo says:

      Didn’t watch it — I can’t get up any enthusiasm for either of the two final contestants.

    • Blair says:

      Again, the option, “Don’t care, Didn’t watch” should have been an option added to each of the four questions. I couldn’t answer any, ’cause I didn’t watch.

  2. Rhama says:

    It’s not that I don’t like country music. It’s not that these kids are not talented. But man, there was no excitement whatsoever.

    • darclyte says:

      I agree.
      Against my better judgement I watched Idol.
      Can you say, conspiracy?

      TPTB at Idol all but put a crown and sash on Lauren. They SO desperately want a girl to win, and her specifically, that they pulled out all the stops to try to help her. As Jimmy noted a few weeks ago (and I’ve been saying for some time now) win or lose Scotty will sell a TON of albums. I think knowing this, and that they believe as do I that winning or losing would affect Lauren’s career more, that they pimped her beyond belief. Will it backfire? I’ve been saying that is she lost she’d be devastated, and if she won it could ruin her life as she’s so immature. After that buildup last night, should she lose I hope they have a grief couselor on hand to prevent her from committing suicide within the next few days.

      Round 1: I gave to Scotty. I thought it was different than when he first sang it, and it was the overall best performance of the night.
      Round 2: Both songs were boring. Lauren had vocal issues in both songs, but in her first I liked the “color” the rasp gave her. Here, she just seemed out of breath. I’d call it a tie as they both put me to sleep.
      Round 3: Scotty sang better,but Lauren’s song was SO MUCH BETTER I have to ogive it to her. I think that’s more acceptable than Steven giving her RRound 1 because she was “prettier.” Ugh.

      I thought Scotty had the best performance, his first one, but his “winner’s single” sucked ass. He sang it well, but it’s a BAD song. The song they gave Lauren REALLY helped stack the deck in her favor.

      I think Scotty “should” win (just as I thought Crystal “should” have won last year,) but I think Lauren will win.

      BTW, for some reason, some people have been posting that Haley would debut her new single on tonight’s finale. Haley hasn’t signed a recording deal, and didn’t even rehearse a “winner’s single” last night when she might have had to step in for Lauren (which would have been totally unfair to both her and Lauren.) The ONLY Season 10 Idol with a contract is Pia, so maybe Pia will be singing her first single tonight. She’s been under contract with Jimmy’s label and working on the album long enough that it’s entirely possible that she will be singing it. But Haley…I don’t think so.

      • Jason McD says:

        Nigel tweeted out last week that he has “heard” the Song Jimmy and Haley have been working on for her album…so it seems it is possible she has a new song to debut tonight. I don’t care if she does or doesn’t, it sounds like they are readying an album for her and I will buy it the day it comes out.

        • Adam Leonard says:

          There is no way that Idol will allow any other contestant to debut a new song tonight. They will give the other finalists moments like always with duets and group songs sung with famous people but that’s it. The whole focus of Idol is the recording contract at the end for the winner. Yes some other finalists get deals too but not they don’t want to take the focus off Scottie and Lauren tonight and debuting a new single would do that.

          • @Adam says:

            Adam, I think you’re wrong (but of course I could be as well). I think Haley will debut a new single tonight and here’s why. Since beginning of season right through last week, every Thursday we’d come to the office and all be talking Idol. Who liked Pia, who liked Paul, Casey, Haley, Scotty…you get the idea. Then Friday there’d be talks about who went home. After last week when Haley left everyone here in my office lost interest. Scotty and Lauren are just so boring and predictable. Out of about 10 of us, after following the whole season, no one watched last night. I think they’ll do whatever they can to get a big audience for tonight. Haley debuting a new song would help. We’ll see.

      • Kelsie says:

        Haley’s parents also announced (on video) that she turned down two songs and liked the third one, which she has been recording and will debut tonight. It sounds like a test run – if people like it and buy it, then she might get a recording contract.

      • Ablo says:

        I’m not convinced Scotty will sell a ton of albums. Maybe. There are a lot of genuinely talented country singers out there and Scotty is middle of the road at best. Maybe not even that. Lauren — well, if anyone truly thinks that’s good singing, they truly don’t understand much about music.

    • nakedheat2356 says:

      I agree. It was so blah. Should’ve been James and Haley in the finale.

  3. Haley's Comet says:

    Uncle Nigel will get his wish, and Lauren will win. He has masterfully manipulated this entire season. But he can’t manipulate post-idol album sales, and God given talent. Haley will be the break out star of this thing, once this season wraps up.

    • sara says:

      Masterfully? He manipulated the season allright, got the final 2 he scripted, and ended up with hands down the most painfully boring finale in the history of the show. Gee, congrats Nigel. The franchise will likely never recover.

      • Jen says:

        Dramatic much? The franchise recovered after Taylor Hicks, it’ll recover from this just fine.

        • franchise says:

          Disagree. If next year they also have non-judging and the pimping of country teens, then the franchise will go downhill. People won’t want to go through this again, and aspiring artists who aren’t country won’t want to try out, so the talent pool will continue to deteriorate. Even the ones who try out for idol just for the exposure will think twice if the exposure is just to a country-loving audience. This will turn into Nashville Star. It works well for JLo and Steven if all they do is churn out country stars, because country stars are no threat to their careers. (Haley & James are more in their lanes and could eat into their sales.)

        • cathy says:

          Taylor Hicks knew how to get the audience moving. He is a great performer. Scotty and Lauren are deadly boring. Watching paint dry or grass grow is more exciting

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            I have to agree with you, Cathy. Hicks is a competent singer and an excellent entertainer. He really doesn’t deserve the flack he gets.

          • charlie says:

            Taylor Hicks is a’great performer’. That’s a great comedy line!

        • darclyte says:

          At least Taylor Hicks can sing in tune. He not only is a better singer and performer than Lee, but his debut album crushed Lee’s. Taylor’s post Idol “debut” album landed at # 2 in the first week of its release with sales of 298,000 copies, while Lee’s album landed at # 19 (which is BY FAR the lowest debut of ANY Idol winner) with sales of only 39,000 copies. By comparison, Allison Iraheta (4th place the prior season) sold 32,000 copies of her album in its first week, so Lee as the AI winner BARELY sold more than the prior season’s 4th place finisher. Lee’s album has only sold around 150,000 copies after 6 months in release while Taylor’s album sold about double that in its first week of release. Taylor’s album was certified Platinum for having shipped 1 million albums, although actual sales are about 704,000. At this rate, though, it’s pretty unlikely that Lee will come anywhere close to that as Idol seems to have given up promoting him and the album.

        • gregk says:

          I would rather have listened to the “best of Taylor Hicks” rather than the dull performances last night.

  4. Paco says:

    I half-expected the guy to answer, “Only if deep down in her heart, Lauren truly wants to win this thing.”

    hilarious LOL

    • frankie says:

      Loved this comment also: “This just in: A vote against Lauren Alaina is a vote to punch your own mother right in her sweet, devoted face!” ROFL.

    • dewey says:

      And this comment also: “Hey, it was the least they could do, seeing how Dr. Idol told them Widdle Wauwen had a boo-boo on her voicey voice!” Laughed for 5 minutes, and cried real tears!

    • murly says:

      But shouldn’t he have said, “Only if deep down in her heart, Lauren is in it to win it?”

    • Terry says:

      “a dress that was a half-dozen sculpted ponies away from looking like a giant gold carousel cake”

  5. N says:

    I think it’s the first time I didn’t like David Cook’s performace. He lowered the key of the song and it sounded really wired. His previous live performance on idol (TLG) had the same problem. Such a waste, because it could easily be a sales-booster for him.

    Oh, and I didn’t watch the rest of the show yet. Sounds even more boring than Lee-Crystal finale.

    • marie says:

      Pleased that someone else feels the same about David’s performance: love him, like the song all right, but man, that was pitched way too low for him in the verses and so did not serve to showcase his voice well at all!

    • djm says:

      I think my issue is that I just don’t think this is a good fit for him in general as a song. When I first heard it I was worried about the new CD, but whatever. I thought the performance last night (which I just watched on You Tube since I boycotted the finale and removed it from my DVR) was better than the Last Goodbye from a few weeks ago.

      • N says:

        I actualy like the studio version of this. Nothing new or bold, but it’s a fresh rendition of that song. (which I Love/Hate in the same time).
        I hope the new cd isn’t going to sound like TLG through.

  6. Arthur says:

    Stay classy Slezak, comparing Lauren with a baby pig. I think we’ve degenerated into VFTW territory.

    • KDW says:

      Ummm…oversensitive much?

      • Arthur says:

        Yeah, I’m sure you would be pleased to see your favorite compared to a baby pig.

        • miniglik says:

          But Babe is awesome and adorable!

          He just plays into the “hammier” pun while referring to something sappy and deliberately emotional.

        • Jake says:

          Dude, Arthur, YOU are the one comparing her to a pig. Slezak just compares the “hamminess” to a pig gathering; he never says Lauren is like a pig. But you did.

        • Laura says:

          Arthur, you have terrible taste. Your “favorite” has been mediocre all season. What do you find appealing about her?

        • djm says:

          If Lauren was concerned about people comparing her to animals she should have dressed differently. The night she wore that zebra dress she looked about the size of a real zebra – and that’s her fault.

    • pjp says:

      I loved the “hammier than a Babe family reunion line,” and thank you for the Babe link!!!!! You rule, M.Slezak!

    • Carol says:

      What? Slezak did no such thing. He said THE PLOT was hammy: “Was the plot line hammier than Babe’s family reunion? Absolutely!”

      • Davers says:

        Exactment. Please read carefully before taking offense!
        Also…she does kinda look like Miss Piggy….

        • Amanda says:

          you sir are insulting Miss Piggy!

          (ok ok sorry that was horrible but as a Miss Piggy fan well yeah…)

        • B.Rich says:

          If they were casting a live action Muppets movie she would be the obvious choice. Not calling her ugly, but damned if she doesn’t resemble that puppet.

          • Haley's Comet says:

            STOP!!! You guys are making fun of a sixteen year old girl. How dare you hide behind your computers and call this child a pig. Come on people, there has to be a LIMIT. This is highly distasteful. Everyone knowns I am a Haley fan, but lauren is a beautiful girl. Please show her some respect!

          • B.Rich says:

            “16 year old Lauren Alaina” can take it. Lauren is a pretty girl and Scotty is good looking guy. That doesn’t mean they don’t look nearly identical to Miss Piggy and Alfred E. Newman, that’s just the truth.

          • Amanda says:

            I did not mean to insult Lauren at all, I think she is very pretty and sweet and I wish she would stop ruining her skin with all that horrible makeup.

            And I love Miss Piggy, she was my idol as child and her confidence actually inspired me to stand up to bullies. I actually hope Lauren learns to be as self-assured and confident as Miss Piggy someday (also Miss piggy has an awesome taste in hats too).

          • Haley's Comet says:

            I was just kidding. She really does look like Miss Piggy. Carry on.

          • ssc says:

            Do you have children??? How would you like it if someone called your daughter a pig, or how about your mother, wife, girlfriend? If you don’t like her singing, that’s OK. But she is still a child. LAY OFF!!

          • Haley's Comet says:

            I think it’s really juvinial for someone to take my Handle on this site, and pretend to be me. I would never call anyone (especially) a child a pig!!

          • Kayla says:

            Juvinial? LOL!

        • Angela says:

          If Lauren is still a child and can’t take criticism, she shouldn’t have entered a national televised singing comp. She shouldn’t be made fun of for her looks, but ssc, you just showed exactly why Lauren should have waited a few years before auditioning. She’s too immature.

          • Amanda says:

            Also I think you miss the point, we are not calling Lauren a pig!!! I would never do that I’m comparing her to beloved puppet children’s book and movie character.

            do any of you know who Miss Piggy is!??! or do you just see the word pig and assume it’s an insult? Everyone says Scotty looks like Alfred E. Newman, it’s not insulting it’s just being lighthearted. I think Haley looks like a honey badger.

            and I’m sorry they are not children or kids!! my 8 year old sister is a kid a 16 year old is young adult, not an adult but should be nearly at that maturity level. And I agree people should not comment on the body weight of a person or use derogatory terms, but this does not only apply to the kids this applies every human being out there.

            so yes please don’t call Lauren fat, but also please don’t call Haley a ska*k or James arrogant. It goes both ways and anyway people on the site as a majority are actually quite nice about the finalists its other sites were you see the nasty stuff come out.

          • Missie says:

            “ssc, you just showed exactly why Lauren should have waited a few years before auditioning. She’s too immature.” Did I miss something? Lauren wasn’t the one reacting to the comments, her fans (and “anti-fans”) were. I wish you’d stopped at “she shouldn’t be made fun of for her looks” because there should never be a disclaimer to that statement.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Arthur – “That’ll do, pig”. ;-)

    • Blair says:

      LOL! ROFLMAO!!

  7. kalspa says:

    That entire episode was one big gigantic commerial for my DVR. And let me tell you, it should take home a Clio award.

  8. Jeremy says:

    I can’t believe that I was more excited for last year’s finale than this one. At least last year, the consistently superior contestants made it all the way to the finale (yes, Crystal is better than Lee, but Lee was much, much better than everyone else with the possible exception of Casey). This year, you can name multiple other contestants–Pia, James, Haley, even Casey–who are better performers and singers than Scotty and Lauren. I hope Scotty wins…he at least has shown signs of growth (he could have never pulled off those performances at the outset of this contest). Lauren has done absolutely nothing to deserve getting this far.

    • marie says:

      Sorry, I beg to differ: Scotty, GROWTH? WHAT growth? The kid was totally consistent throughout the competition, competent, solid, even talented, but he really did not take any risks at all, never stepped even a little out of his comfort zone, and showed no signs of growth as a singer/artist at all unless you consider finally learning to hold the microphone a LITTLE bit straighter “growth.” (And no, I am not “hating” on the kid, he’s all right, just not at all interesting to me.)

      • darcy's evil twin says:

        But in Scotty’s defense was he ever really encouraged to push his boundaries? Same for Lauren. Haley and James, right/wrong/or indifferent, were tearing up the stage while Scotty and Lauren were encouraged to keep on driving 55 on the shoulder with the blinkers on. It’s as if Nigel and TPTB were terrified they’d be voted off by their fan base if they strayed from their comfort zones.

        • marie says:

          That’s true. And yeah, Scotty and Lauren are just kids and so maybe easier to control than Haley or James or Casey.
          Or maybe I’m just longing for the days when Adam Lambert could take the stage and surprise – ok, SHOCK – everyone by turning “Ring of Fire” right on its head (I was one of those who LOVED that, btw). I don’t think any performance this year could really match that one in terms of sheer inventivness and just plain nerve / guts, and I do think that was perhaps due in part to the producers wanting to play it safe – no genre themes this year, for example, to challenge the contestants. Heck, Scotty even admitted once that he chose songs just because they had “country” in the title. TPTB really did not encourage creativity in ANYONE this year.

  9. Paloma Pigeon says:

    I made the choice not to watch last night, knowing I would have Slezak’s recap to give me the real scoop. Thanks so much!

    Seems like the telecast ran long – my DVR picked up Glee after the episode had started. And damn if it didn’t record the mash up of I Love New York/New York New York that had been written about all week. Bet the Glee producers are real happy about that.

    • RTW says:

      ^^^This^^^ WCDNT (Who cares? Did not watch.)

    • tm says:

      Glee actually started at 859pm. Also, there was no mash up of those songs. If Idol had run long you would have seen it run into Glee.

      • Paloma Pigeon says:

        Oops, I just realized the song was in the episode. For some reason I had another ‘New York’ song in my head and didn’t recognize the tune. Need coffee.

  10. Davey says:

    Though there’s been a lot of talk about J-Lo hating Haley, it appears that Tyler has never really warmed to Scotty. He’s never chosen Scotty when asked who’s the best the past few weeks. I guess Scotty’s clothes just don’t appeal to him.

    I truly hope Scotty wins tonight. So the producers see that they are better off not showing us so blatantly who they want us to vote for. If it didn’t work for Adam who was the one of the most popular contestants they’ve ever had, I don’t see how it can work for Lauren.

    • tati says:

      Um, with the SLIGHT difference that Adam could sing ANYTHING and that he slayed EVERY SINGLE PERFORMANCE he ever did, owning that stage like he was born on it? Please let’s not even compare the season 8 runner up with the season 10 travesty of a finale. Thank you.

      • cathy says:

        thankyou. Adam was probably one of the greatest performers ever to grace the Idol stage

        • Lana says:

          Amen on Adam being the greatest performer to grace the idol stage. I think that is why every season since has been a bit of a let down. James did give it a good try, but he wasn’t as entertaining as Adam. However I still enjoy the talent shown on AI so I will continue to watch unlike so many naysayers. I am curious if all of you are not watching and no longer interested in Idol, why read Michael’s recap as it is all about Idol?

          • Tusk says:

            Missed the show mostly ’cause dont want to hear more untruths and redundancies. re: Idoloonies. Maybe it’s about Michael and his perspective is the draw and not necessarily the subject matter. He is masterful as an interviewer, and he has great rapport with his co-hosts, and not to forget top notch production. It isn’t all about Idol.

            I didn’t watch Idol for my own sanity. The only thing that kept it interesting was Haley.

    • Jojo says:

      @tati- Davey’s not taking anything away from Adam. He’s saying that Adam was one of the greatest performers ever on Idol, but that he still didn’t win even when the producers seemed to push for him over Kris. No need to be so defensive of Glambert when the original poster was praising him.
      Yeah, and Lauren is terrible, so she had no chance either way.

  11. terri woods says:

    Loved this recap. Could not believe the blatant manipulation to get a Lauren win last night. Really hope Scotty wins it by a landslide now.

  12. terry says:

    Scotty should win. But Nigel will probably make Lauren win though.

  13. Joe Strummer says:

    Don’t care enough to comment.

  14. RD says:

    No comment.It all sucked.

  15. KDW says:

    Hmmm….can we add David Cook to the “favorite Idol performance” category? Then I would have a real answer. Seeing him perform at the ended just reminded my how anti-climatic and boring this finale was. That trip to the Grand Ole Opry nearly put me to sleep. And I said the same thing about Scotty’s “This Big”! I made my husband listen to it and tell me what he thought. We both thought the lyrics were perfect for a four year old. Sheesh, Idol. What would you make that kid sing that song? At least if either of them win, their music will be more on the country stations and off my radio!

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      No kidding on the original song for Scotty. Send me to any Waffle House in Nashville and I’ll find a songwriter that can do better.

  16. Pete says:

    “I love you this big” Hmmm…If I was filming a country porno, I could imagine playing this in the background…just as a tongue-in-cheek kinda joke.

  17. miniglik says:

    That was so, so dull and the bus was seriously annoying. Imagine how much more entertaining this finale would have been with any combination of Haley, James, Casey, or even Paul or Naima. Hell, throw Scotty in there with any of them and I’d have probably enjoyed it, but not Scotty and Lauren. Together. Boring the crap out of us.

    • Jack Black-Abrams says:

      I know we’ve been poking fun at Casey Abrams and Jack Black, but at least I know that their act is going to be entertaining! At this point, I’d rather welcome them both with open arms than sit through last night’s performance!

  18. marie says:

    They actually brought Lauren’s “doctor” (straight from Central Casting? Could be!) onstage in SCRUBS?????
    Oh my dear Lord help us!!!

  19. tina says:

    Switched back and forth between AI and the Biggest Loser. Caught a few seconds of Scotty’s “Check yes or no”. Then saw a few seconds of Lauren in a sparkly tutu with cowboy boots on and new I wasn’t missing much. Have it on DVR and I don’t think I’ll actually watch the whole program. Just looked very boring. Scotty for the win.

  20. Chuck says:

    I agree with a lot of the complaints about the manipulation last night, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that Scotty brought a lot of this on himself by not choosing to sing second. Never allow your competition to end the last performance night of the season on a high note if you can help it.

    • Amy says:

      I read that Lauren won the coin toss and chose to go second, so Scotty didn’t have a choice.

      • Carol B says:

        It’s better than that. Scotty won the coin toss, and he chose to use his win to defer to Lauren, who chose to go second. The ultimate in chivalry? Kind of sweet and manipulative at the same time; I mean, it could cause people to to vote extra hard for Scotty because he is such a gentleman. But really, you can’t hold that against him.

      • C says:

        I read that Scotty won the toss, but then told Lauren she could choose the order anyway. I guess he’s been taught “ladies first” all his life.

      • Volcfom says:

        Scotty won the toss and deferred to Lauren to let her choose.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          that’s correct. Whether or not you think he should have deferred to Lauren, Scotty’s parents clearly raised him to do the proper thing, which is to defer to the lady.

          • Terry says:

            Blake did the same thing (he deferred to Jordin), Taylor Hicks on the other hand, did not give the choice over to Miss McPhee.

  21. Yo says:


    I think Idol finally sc***ed the pooch, as the saying goes. How far must this show go before manipilation becomes fraud? I don’t know, but I sure would like it investigated. The least reality television should do is preface shows with disclaimers like the above. Last night it was obvious to fan groups of several idols that the show makes no pretense of playing fair, and will do nearly anything to pull in viewers to up the ratings. Who is likely to believe producer protestations of innocence in rigging again? When the judges have to read non opinion opinions from notes, who could find them credible. Everybody but the contestants (who are pawns in the game) affiliated with this show should be embarrassed and ashamed. They should also be grilled about their parts in this fiasco.

    • Haley's Comet says:

      Years ago in a sociolgoy class, I learned about a 1950’s television game show that came under fire from the Federal Govn’t because it was rigged. I often wonder if the American Idol Producers can LEGALLY rig this show. I am guessing they can, if this show is legally defined as a REALITY Televison show, and not a national singing competition. As we all know reality tv is not real.

      With uncle nigel, back at the helm of this show the viewer manipulation has become overwhelming and blatant. After the elimination/save of Casey, and the elimination of Pia I became convinced that the producers where eliminating the contestants in the order they saw fit without any regard to the viewer’s votes. Once I accepted this fact I was able to predict every eviction, because I was looking at things from the perspective of who the producers wants to win.

      LAUREN WILL WIN tonight, because the producers wants and needs a female victory for many reasons. If another male contestants wins the show will recieve a lot of negative media attention. The media will quesiton the continued relevance of the AI franchise. AI needs a winner that becomes a break out star. They haven’t had one since Carrie Underwood, and they are obviously banking on Lauren to be that star.

      • Yo says:

        The 50s game show expose was a BIG scandal, even for the cheating contestant. American Idol is reality television, but it is a purported contest. Millions of people who vote would not bother to if they thought their votes were having no effect and if they are told to vote erroneously, that seems like fraud. You would think with all the reality TV out there we would wise up; frankly, I think it is just too mentally fatiguing.

      • JBanana says:

        The game show was “Twenty One” and the scandal was depicted in the movie “Quiz Show”. And yes, I agree that someone needs to investigate the Idol voting results after this BS of a season. Honestly, until recently, I always knew they manipulated the voting by the way they edited and showcased the contestants, but I was never willing to believe in actual vote fraud. But this ridiculousness with Lauren has changed my mind. There is no way she has gotten the votes they say she has gotten. I believe she was actually voted out weeks ago.
        The fact of the matter is, that viewers are spending time (and money in some instances if they are paying for text votes or minutes on their cellphone plans) in order to vote for the contestants. If the voting is not tabulated properly, then it IS fraud and it IS illegal.

        • barbara says:

          It doesn’t matter if they call it a contest or a reality show. There is a monetary prize to the winner in the form of a recording contract. As long as there is a monetary award, you can’t manipulate the vote. It would be criminal.

          • barbara says:

            But they do manipulate the vote in a “non-criminal?” way. Sometimes Ryan says the voting was open for 2 hours, sometimes he says “for at least” 2 hours. So they can hold the voting open as long as they want, and close it down immediately if and when the producers choice gets out of the bottom spot.

        • Haley's Comet says:

          Thank you. I couldn’t remember the name of the game show for the life of me. You are right, it’s totally unfair to have people pay for text votes and minutes on their cell phones to text and call into a show where their votes do not count.

          The way I see it, if there is no stipulation Legally commanding the American Idol producers to eliminate contestants based on the results of the votes, the producers are not bound “legally.” And they can eliminate contestants as they see fit. They are in this to make money, not to be ethical.

          Why would the AI producers invest millions of dollars in this show, only to turn around and give ultimate control to a public who has no vested financial interest in the outcome???? The voters do not control who leaves and who stays…the producers do. This show is the biggest 10 year lie I have ever seen.

          I am CONVICED that the WILL give the WIN to Lauren, even though Scotty actually received the highest number of votes.

          But I am a Haley fan, so what do I care?

          • Missy says:

            Yes, they can manipulate the votes. It’s in the fine print at the end of the show. I don’t remember the details exactly, but I have read about this several times in the past. The producer has the final say in who stays and who goes, but it doesn’t mean they change the vote… but it does mean the can. That is why American Idol is listed as a reality show and not a contest so they have the right to manipulate like that. True story… at least to the best of my knowledge… :)

          • darcy's evil twin says:

            Okay, unlike everyone else I have NOT deleted last night’s performances. FFed to the end of the show (watched David Cook again – yay!) and here is how the disclaimer reads – will try to type as accurately as possible – and it’s in caps but I don’t want to look as though I’m shouting, so I’m typing in lower-case…

            Portions of this program not affecting the outcome have been edited.
            The producers, in consultation with an independent vote management company, reserve the ight to remove so-called “power dialing votes” (toll-free, text, or online) that are identified as having been cast in such a significant block, either by technical enhancements or otherwise, that it could unfairly influence the outcome of the voting.
            In addition, if you vote, you are agreeing not to use any unofficial third party services to cast your votes on your behalf.

            Hmmm…interesting. Had never read that before. In other words, if you power-vote and threaten one of the favorites, that doctor in black scrubs will surgically remove your votes!

          • Bat Country says:

            @Darcy: very interesting that they reserve the right to remove “power votes.” Although surely they have the right to do so, it can be a tool for manipulation, as they also reserve the right to leave in power votes of contestants they want to win. They can (and probably do) cull their unwanted contestant’s votes with a fine tooth comb and are less meticulous when it comes to The Anointed. You know Haley probably got the inspection, which IMHO shows she has the most fans of all…

          • PB says:

            It’s kinda like pushing the button at a crosswalk to change a traffic light – it doesn’t change anything, but it makes you think you had an effect…

      • Adam Leonard says:

        “As we all know reality tv is not real.” Newspeak

        • Yo says:

          I think that is exactly the problem. Many people do think its real; if they didn’t think so, why would they vote. Even when people get cynical, they vote “just in case,” as I am sure Voltaire would have done were he alive and grousing.

      • Dina says:

        It would not surprise me at all if Lauren wins, given all the blatant “Lauren’s The One” manipulation that has gone on all this season. I’m not sure why it’s so important that they’d risk killing the goose that laid the golden egg over it, but maybe Rupert Murdoch has demanded it.

    • algalhi says:

      My hubby and I discussed this yesterday. He has long had the opinion that Idol would not leave the way the season plays out to the voting public, and I’ve finally come to agree with him.
      Nigel talked about his goals in his Idoloonies interview. I would say that increasing the number of viewers of the show is probably 90 – 95% of Nigel’s goal. Number of viewers translates directly to $$, and $$ is what they care about. Why would Idol care about anything else? They are spending millions to make more $$.
      A clear example is throwing Haley under the bus. We all participated in that one. We got mad, we voted like crazy, and we WATCHED the show. Manipulations like that make more people watch.
      It’s another step to say that our votes don’t count, that Idol is picking and choosing who leaves. I guess that wouldn’t surprise me.
      But all the conspiracy theories still get us talking about Idol and watching Idol.
      The producers would probably say, “Well, we gave these kids a platform to showcase themselves. We made them famous.” I guess they’d have a point, but it leaves a bad taste, yes?

  22. MandiHeather says:

    I am in love with the term “trailer tutu” now. That made me laugh til I cried.

    I agree- Scotty should win. He has been consistant throughout.

  23. Jean says:

    I didn’t watch last night, and after reading this recap, I’m glad I didn’t. Reading the recap was far more entertaining than watching the show could ever have been. I don’t know why I can’t really like Lauren, I do think she seems sweet, and she certainly has a lovely voice. But I hate her style, I am not at all a fan of country music, especially not her kind of country music. It really is very toddlers and tiaras, as someone else pointed out. Why do I keep coming back to watch American Idol? The only person who excited me at all this season was Haley, but even Haley was no Kelly Clarkson or Chris Daughtry, or Carrie Underwood.

    • Haley Rocks says:

      Haley is better!

    • Li-Li says:

      My question has always been: While there’s no question Lauren has a great voice, is it remotely distinguishable from any other pop-country singer these days? If her song is played on the radio will anyone know instantly that it’s Lauren Alaina? I guess if enough money is thrown at her she can have a distinguishable career.

      • B.Rich says:

        I think Lauren as a mediocre voice that pales in comparison to even moderately successful country artists. So yes, there is question that Lauren has a great voice and the answer is a resounding NO.

        • Bat Country says:

          She can’t sing three notes in succession without taking a massive breath. She has no since of artistry, no phrasing, and (I’m sorry) you can’t compare her to Miss Piggy, because Miss Piggy has a personality and intelligence.

          “I’m just L’oreal!

          Then underneath that, Maybelline!

          Then underneath that, Revlon!

          Then underneath that, Lauren!”

    • Pam says:

      … or David Cook … or Adam Lambert … but Kelly and Adam as well as other past contestants supported Haley. The finale would have been so much more interesting … exciting with a different duo. Haley/James … Haley/Scotty … etc.

  24. minstrel says:

    Best performance this week?

    Cook, hands down.

    Where is my radio button for that, sir?


  25. Jem says:

    I skipped the broadcast because I knew watching it would have made me sick from the lack of Haley. I think Scotty will win/should though, he’s a powerhouse and at any rate he seems more prepared for the trials and tribulations stardom will put him through.

    Lauren on the other hand hasn’t lived up to her potential, I hope Americans see that too. She’s whiny, she’s immature and… I don’t know, I just get the feeling she’s wrapped up in a little bubble of her own where only the people who blindly give her praise are allowed inside. She thinks she’s so great because EVERYONE has been telling her that, and I don’t think her psyche is ready enough to deal with what comes after AI. AND SHE IS BORING.

  26. Lori says:

    Can I please “write-in” David Cook as best performance?

    This finale was boring and the singers are so unimaginative. It was very difficult to wait through to the end. Lauren had a manufactured moment which amounts to a non-moment. Scotty was strapped with the single worst song choice ever and that includes No Boundaries, This is My Now, and Do I Make You Proud.

    End result: Scotty will still win even through all of Nigel’s machinations to force his personal chosen one into the finale. Season 10, aside from Haley, James, and Casey was a huge disappointment. And I won’t even get started on the “judges.” Suffice it to say I never actually thought I would miss Kara!

  27. Liva says:

    My take is that Scotty, like Carrie before him, topped out every week. To make it ‘interesting’, the show’s production team attempts a little drama, a little manufactured competition. Smart, of course. What else is there to do?

  28. Caitlyn says:

    How come you didn’t give an A+++ to the best song of the evening, David Cook’s cover of Don’t You Forget About Me? I adored his lower registry, raspy imperfect gut punches that reminded people that American Idol used to produce artists with grown-up sensibilities.
    That dude and his awesome band just gets better and better.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      I also liked the lowered register,even though some did not. I think it added drama to the song.

  29. Scoble says:

    I think the reason Ryan walked Lauren down the stairs was because he had just seen the ‘falling down the stairs’ clip during the montage and he feared that would happen again with her long dress.

    I really don’t care who wins, I’m sure they will both do fine in the country music business. I don’t expect to ever hear Scotty again because his music would never show up on the radio stations I listen to but it’s possible that I may hear Lauren crossover into mainstream music one of these days. I wish both the kids well. While neither singer would have been my choice for the final two, it makes for a cute finale couple.

  30. SharonM says:

    I’m looking forward to tonight’s show only because it has to be better than last year’s finale. As for last night’s show… I DVR’d it and was able to cut it down to less than half an hour. I guess this year’s lineup just doesn’t do it for me. My prediction? Lauren will win.

    • Pam says:

      Lauren will most likely win, but Scotty should win. Kris won when Adam should have. Seems to be a lot of that. I’m hoping for Scotty although this is the 1st year I didn’t vote on finale night. The best finale was Season 8, hands down! I don’t know if that magic can ever be topped.

  31. Bug says:

    I can’t believe how mean and nasty you are in regards to two children. I like that we have two kids who aren’t perfect and have yet to find their way when it comes to performing. Lauren isn’t a robot or self entitled. She didn’t create the drama or this so called narrative the Idol producers have. She just wants to sing and be famous – what a lot of 16 year old girls want. The level of nastiness directed to these kids is unbelievable. Coming from someone like you Michael it is very surprising…its ok to have favorites but why do you have to tear down others to support the people you like?

    • sara says:

      Oh please. These two “children” chose to be on a reality TV show competition. If they are too young to handle it they shouldn’t be there. They deserve the criticism they earn just like everyone else.

      • Amanda says:

        Word! I’m so sick and tired of having the children card played, no one is being mean about them, we are commenting on their singing and performance which is why they are in a signing competition.

        is it bad of us to say we think Lauren is breathy and an non-engaging performer suddenly we are hating on little kids but people going of on Haley being a B***h or insulting James despite his condition no that’s fine with the American public. But please don’t you dare say these kids aren’t good.

        oh and just a reminder Lauren Alaina is not the first teenager on the show, no one expected us to go easy on Diana Deagarmo, David Archuletta, Jordin Sparks, Alison Iraheta!! and they handled the critique just fine. Its funny how suddenly if you aren’t 15 you aren’t young.

        • tati says:

          I COMPLETELY agree, Amanda. The “they’re just kids!” card has become a cop-out. If Alison had been on this season, she’d have schooled them ‘kids’ hard.

        • Leslie says:

          So, just because they are “out there”, you feel you have the right to insult them and be rude and disrespectful? So, are you one of those internet trolls who live in their parent’s basement and have no friends? I can’t see ANY reason to put down anything about these kids or any of the contestants other than their performance. When you get into calling them names and insulting them, then you are just a childish loser.

          • Amanda says:

            Who the hell is calling them names?!!?! where do you see us calling them names, we are commenting on their performances all we say is that we find them dull or uninteresting performers, or comment on their pitch, breath and voice problems?

            why is that too much? I don’t get you people, I really don’t no one attempts to insult these kids but if we say that we think they are the weakest finalist on idol that’s being mean??? it’s just an opinion.

            but people insulting Haley based on what you think she is as person, even though you don’t know her, and calling her names like b**ch or brat or ungrateful is perfectly fine with you??

            what about how people treated James who suffers from something that hinders his ability to interact according to normal social rules, no it’s completely OK to call him names.

            Just please oh please how dare you complain about the way the kids sing.

      • Amanda says:

        oops, sorry for the horrible grammar, haven’t slept all night please forgive me.

        • darcy's evil twin says:

          Whoa, Amanda, did the show upset you that badly, LOL?

          • Amanda says:

            LOL, no, some of us actually have things like college finals and jobs to attend to as opposed to power voting for hours over a reality T.V. show. but I’m an advocate of the arts and talented young people and this show has been treating the art of music so horribly that yeah it really upsets.

      • Eurydice says:

        Sure, nobody forced them to be on a reality show. Just as nobody forced people to act like jackasses in their commentary – they chose to do it.

    • TheDeepEnd says:

      “Bug”, you think this is nasty? Try hopping over to the Vote for the Worst site. TVLine is Disneyland compared to them. Sara said it best, and what do you expect to happen to them outside of Idol? Don’t swim in the ocean if you don’t want to risk a shark attack.

      • Bug says:

        You can comment on their singing but every time I read that Lauren looks like a pig or is fat it makes me crazy. Especially because a lot of internet haters/bullies are probably trolls who have no friends and have never had a date. I don’t like country music at all and wouldn’t buy either of their albums (or any of the top 12 if I’m being honest) but to rip on their appearance or the maturity. yes, some teenagers are more mature – but I do not always think that was a good thing. There is a way to critique someone or something with being horrible. Oh the internet – the anonymity is amazing. I wish in order to post you had to put your drivers license up so we could see your picture and your weight!

      • Leslie says:

        There is a big difference in giving constructive criticism and just being plain mean for no reason—which many of you are in many of these posts. I don’t give a rats @ss what they may or may not be exposed to in the “real world”, there is no reason to call them names, or say nasty things about how they look or their weight or whatever—that’s just childish and idiotic. They ARE children—it isn’t a “card”, it’s a fact. Just because they are out there–doesn’t mean that people should have carte blanche to be rude idiots. If you choose to be rude and disrespectful (to anyone) then you are an idiot.

    • Bat Country says:

      This show is not on Disney. Many of the people who try out are smart enough to wait until their 20’s because it’s not a show to be mollycoddled on, Simon or no. This is full-on show business without a net, and that includes not being treated like a child when it comes to review. So if they can’t handle it, they should wait until they are more mature and can handle it, or find another line of work. This is part of being a performer. For every autograph you sign, there’ll be someone mercilessly making fun of you. It’s just the way of the game.

      • Eurydice says:

        Sorry, I don’t buy the “way of the game” argument. I spent half my life on Wall Street where there’s some of the worst behavior imaginable, and I can tell you there’s no rule that says you have to be a bully and a jackass in order to be successful. You don’t have to be a bully and a jackass to be a critic or to be an audience member, either. Sure, these kids will have to develop a thick skin and the ability to take criticism about their work, but they don’t have to accept insults. In fact, they should reject them and return to sender.

      • Blair says:

        Or maybe the show should raise the age back up to where it should be.. IMO it would be fairer to kids with dreams to grow fully into a grown-up person more aptly capable of dealing with the trials and tribulations they will eventually have to face when they enter the real entertainment world.

      • Missie says:

        Yes, the singers will need to learn to accept criticism and disregard the ridiculous insults. But that doesn’t mean you (general “you”, not you specifically, Bat Country) are excused from dishing out the latter. Some people are tired of others playing the “just a kid” card. Other people (like me) are tired of others being hateful just because “that’s the way it is.”

  32. Missy says:

    Thanks for the recap Slezak, I didn’t watch and it seems I didn’t miss anything. I hope that Doctor is still around tonight to give Lauren’s Mother some smelling salts if “Baby Jane” doesn’t get the crown.

  33. Kim says:

    I don’t really care who wins. The good people (Pia, Casey and James) are already gone. The two who are left are equally talented. Lauren has a little more personality. Frankly, last night was pretty boring.

  34. Jim says:

    Most boringest final two, ever.

  35. KBJr. says:

    What on earth was Scotty thinking by deferring going Number #2 to Lauren?! Has he not watched ANY past seasons of Idol? I count 6 (of the 9) winners who went last on the final-performance episode. You gotta play the odds Scotty! Bad move. Half of that clear manipulation stuff would have worked a lot less had she went first.

    • darcy's evil twin says:

      Scotty’s parents raised him properly – he deferred to the lady. I know good manners have gone out the window in our society but a good southern Christian gentleman will always defer to the lady.

      • zaza says:

        But he could have said “ladies first” in a gentleman-like manner and still snagged the pimp spot for himself.

      • Oh, please! says:

        Just because someone is female doesn’t afford them special treatment. We are no longer in the Victorian era.

    • Liz says:

      Cynical response: he knew he had it sewn up regardless of the order. (Plus what Darcy said.)

      • Missy says:

        …and of course Idol quickly downplayed and moved right past what a gentleman he was for deferring to her.

  36. Bee says:

    This show is infuriating. I’m SO glad I skipped it last night. Nigel’s blatant manipulation is sickening, actually. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but it still irks me to no end. I truly think I’m done with this show forever.

    Anywhoo, I hope Scotty wins. I also look forward to hearing Pia sing tonight. And Haley!

  37. Sybil says:

    I don’t think the producers were trying to manipulate a Lauren win. After all, Jimmy Iovine predicted a Scotty win in his package. (“If he sings with that confidence, there’s no reason he won’t win this.”) I think the producers were just trying to prevent a Lauren bloodbath, and present her as Scotty’s worthy competitor in an effort to enhance her post-Idol marketability.

    • McFudge says:

      I wondered about that too. However, that doesn’t make complete sense because they never tell us the vote totals anyway….unless they’re hoping to be able to give us an “only separated by a 1% margin” or something like that.

  38. chris says:

    And the winner of American Idol, season 10 is……..Lee DeWyze!!!!

  39. Jess says:

    “Trailer tutu”?!?!?


    The whole thing was sickening. I’m so done with this show. Next year, I’m going to do like my friends and only watch Idoloonies.

  40. corwian says:

    I tried to watch this finale…truly I did. However, halfway through lauren’s 2nd song I stopped it and deleted it from the dvr. I am considering watching the finale at a point tonight when i can fast forward through most of it. Rock on James, I missed your creativity and unexpected performances in the finale.

  41. jaime says:

    i heard last week that Scotty won the flip and got to decide in which order they sang tonight. Being the gentleman that he is, he allowed Lauren to choose and she chose to go last. Just putting that out there in case some decides it was Nigel that gave Lauren the “pimp” spot. I’m not saying that there was not some definite Nigel manipulation, but that piece wasn’t part of it… Also, I’m wondering if they want Lauren to win so bad just a girl can win since the last upteen million idols have been WGWG? :)

  42. LilBubba says:

    Yeah, I’m not even reading this whole recap and I’m done reading the blogs and all their whacked conspiracies for this season. You and your blogging friends are getting worst than fox news or the tea party. Seriously. Do you all have a conference call after every show and decide what will be the editorial narrative? That’s MY conspiracy. Because you all sound the same and it’s a drag. It’s just not fun to read this crap. And I don’t have a dog in this fight. Haven’t voted since season 7 and couldn’t care less about this most boring and anticlimactic of all Idol finales. I watch Idol because I always have but the amount of manipulation people dream up for this show is TIRING. What is the point of spending so much time on crack pot musings when we all know and everyone knew before the finale that Scotty would win? I keep coming back to you Slezak and you keep annoying the crap out of me. When will I learn?

  43. JVC says:

    Watched the finale but never got to vote since i was away from computer all night. If I did vote, as a haley fan, I threw my support to lauren. Slezak I know and understand the producer manipulation and wanting lauren to win: But Lauren just might win. Remember how when a contestant is eliminated, another will profit from there votes based on similar style. Can you say scotty has been profiting significantly from eliminated contestants? I think Paul and maybe some of James’ fans moved to support him. But Haley I thinking has been picking up a lot of new fans from past contestants, And now that she’s gone who are they most likely going to support? Lauren because as powerful as the country vote is, there are still people who don’t like country so lauren fits the bill since she’s a little of pop and country. But still we’re going to get something different no matter who wins so while I am rooting for lauren to win (to show that women can do well on idol) I won’t mind if scotty takes it.

    • Haley's Comet says:

      Ok, pretty much disagreed with everything you just said. LOL. But I do agree with the fact that a lot of bloggers tend to say the same thing. There have been multiple times this seasaon where I’ve noticed that Slezak and Annie Barrett of EW were writing articles that seemed to have borrowed heavily from each other. That’s annoying…it makes them seem less than authentic. Personally I loovvve Slezak, and if anything I think the other bloggers are coping his stuff.

    • Kim says:

      I don’t think any self-respecting Haley fan would vote for either of these two “finalists.” I know I voted for Haley and I didn’t even watch last night.

      • Leslie says:

        How about a self respecting Haley fan who isn’t a sore loser or into playing childish games? I invested many hours into this show this season, I’m not about to stop because my fav got voted off by the American people. I’ll be able to see her tonight and I’ll be first in line to get her album. That’s a true fan.

  44. Amy says:

    Glad I didn’t have to watch that snooze/pimp fest. Sorry you had to, Michael. It is sad that none of those performances, save Scotty’s Gone, generated any excitement. What a disappointing end to this season. It makes me so angry at how they are pimping Lauren. I hope this season has some serious backlash. That said, looking forward to seeing the more exciting (and often better) castoffs tonight. Can’t wait for Haley’s new song!!

  45. JVC says:

    One more thing slezak,

    At the beginning of the top 13, you clearly said and I quote: “As god as my witness a female contestant will win this season. If not Pia, it will have to be lauren.” So lauren might just inch a little bit ahead of scotty. Just saying.

    • Tom K says:

      Yep – I think a lot of people earlier in the season were thinking that Lauren (after that audition and all of the attention she was getting) or Pia (after her performance in the Top 24 round) were by far the best of the girls this season. The fact is that although many saw the talent in Haley, there wasn’t much to go on – they did show her audition (didn’t show Pia’s), but that was pretty much it. I doubt anyone would have ever predicted Top 3 – most probably thought she was planted in the Top 24 as someone nobody would vote for.

  46. dee says:

    Didn’t bother to watch..and now I’m glad. Hohum….

  47. Liza says:

    Scotty deserves to win. People need to stop hating on country music. I am not a country fan but have some respect. We can’t all like the same things in life. Haley and the rest are gone so accept that voters made that call. You can’t force people to vote for anyone just because YOU think that person is better. Whether there is a conspiracy or not at the end of the show you have that power to vote for who you think is best.
    For those claim they don’t care and have no comments, keep posting to prove that :)

    • Blair says:

      yes, and you can’t force a person to like a particular type of music if they don’t… hmmm …sorta sounds like a familiar song..

  48. Give Metal a Chance Foundation says:

    Dear Idol, Thank you for reminding me why I hate pop country.

  49. MrsFitzDarcy says:

    I hate voting. I rarely do. Except for Haley, David Cook, and Crystal. However, the shameless public massaging (put in non-family friendly verb of choice that also begins with m)of Lauren (no offense to her) by the producers made me gag like I was (uh … never mind) was so blatantly pukey that I made my 10 year old son vote for Scotty for an hour. I’ve loved Scotty, despite the eyebrows, but certainly not more than Haley. Maybe it’s because I love baseball too … I hope he covers Glory Days when he gets older …

    In fact, I’d like to see the kid finish his high school career and play some D1 college ball!!!!

  50. Angela says:

    Opps…. AI was on last night??? I had better TV watch than the Scotty & Lauren show. (had to watch the Canucks win game 5. Go Stanley Cup!!) Without Haley, I just lost total interest on the show. I’ll read the recap tomorrow to see who won.