American Idol 10 (2011) Top 4 – Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery has made the Top 4 for the 10th season of American Idol. He has still never been in the bottom 2 and is the odds-on favorite to win the show. The theme this week is pretty wide, as it is the songbook of writers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. In other words, the contestants will probably be able to pick from a large variety of song choices.

At this point, Scotty appears to have been a strong favorite from the beginning. Even on a somewhat off night, the votes just keep rolling in for him. On a show like Idol, we can sit and postulate all day long as to why one contestant is popular and another is not, talk about talent or marketability or just draw names out of a hat. In the end, it really just comes down to popularity.

Some contestants are popular, and others, such as Mandisa or Pia Toscano, are doomed to go out in 9th place no matter how well they perform. Scotty has the popularity vote in spades, whatever that reason is.

Talent wise, the most I can say about him is that he is somewhat unique and emotes well when singing. Other than that, he comes across as kind of boring in the way that Pia came across as boring to some people (not me). He more or less did the same thing for weeks on end and still never made the bottom 2. This suggests a powerful fan base that expands even beyond the typical country voter. Such a fan base is necessary to win Idol, and Scotty likely will win unless James pulls an upset.

Lauren would be very green as an Idol winner and not much better than Kevin Skinner from America’s Got Talent. She can technically sing much better than Skinner, but Alaina’s nerves have gotten the best of her as we come down to the wire. More importantly, her breath control has never been and still just is not that good. Haley may be the most unique at this point, but I think it’s too late to build a winning fan base at this point.

For his inspirational song, Scotty chose “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning,” the song about 911 from Alan Jackson. This was just okay. I don’t think a political song is a good choice for Idol. As always, his performance was more emotional at the end than the beginning or middle. This just didn’t look like a winner to me, but I would not be surprised if he goes on to win. The vocals are just not dynamic enough, and the sentiment of the song is shared by all Americans. So Scotty doesn’t deserve credit for that.

Scotty’s second song (“Young Blood”) was much better. He showed much better range, worked the stage, strolled throughout the audience and delivered a pretty consistent vocal. It wasn’t a stellar vocal, but the overall performance was a good contrast to the first song. Lady Gaga, on the other hand, embarrassed herself yet again. She is such a sleazy joke.