American Idol 2011: 3 Contestants Left, Recap, Vote Numbers and My Comments

Vote numbers, recap, and my comments on tonight’s Idol show

This week was the Going Home Week on American Idol

Dial in numbers for American 866-436-57## (charges apply, see last two digits below). Text vote 5701 or vote on

The idols went home and were wooed and wowed. Tomorrow night at 8pm EST, we will get a chance to see how they made out.

Tonight we saw a few short clips including watching Scotty McCreery kiss the ground as he got off the lane. Lauren was surprised when she got home and said, “There are a lot of people.” This is their first time out of the gate as a “superstar” with fanfare, crowds galore and press to record the entire event.

Ryan Seacrest said there would be two hours of great music tonight. Next week will be a little different with the performance show on Tuesday and results on Wednesday.

For those that were saddened and surprised about last week’s votes, Ryan told the crowd, James Durbin was treated to a hometown reception in Santa Cruz.

Then Haley, Scotty, and Lauren came out on stage and greeted the Idol fans.

The song choices this week are going to be showcased in three choices: round one, the idol’s pick, round two, Jimmy Iovine picks; and round three, the judges’ pick.

The star mentor this week was Beyonce. She emerged as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child. The band had one hit after another and Beyonce entered iconic status. She has been a triple threat twice. She has had tremendous success as a singer, dancer, songwriter, fashion designer, and actor. She went solo in 2002 and in 2006, she starred in Dream Girls. Beyonce has won 16 Grammy’s and sold 75 million albums worldwide.

Ryan shared that Beyonce was the irreplaceable choice to guide the contestants to the finale. Beyonce said, “She has been following the show and each of the contestants have something special.”

Scotty McCreery: 01, 04, 07

Scotty kicked it off with one of his favorite songs by Lone Star, “Amazing.” Beyonce said, “It is a simple melody that allows his voice to shine through. His voice is warm, he has range, and I believe he will do well.”

Scotty is not holding the microphone the way he was. Gaga’s message last week was that it was his moneymaker and he had better concentrate on allowing his fans to hear him. Scotty was not as energetic as last week but his singing was stellar. He received a round of applause from the judges and the crowd. Personally, I am still waiting for Scotty to show us a little bit of his country style with some cowboy boots and a hat, and maybe a big Texas sized belt-buckle. He still looks like a high-school kid on that stage.

About his performance, Steven Tyler said to Scotty, “Did I hear you get angry? That was beautiful. You literally did that that song up a notch and that is great, man.” J.Lo said, “It is great to see how you have grown over the weeks. I am sure there are a million girls out there wishing you were singing that song to them.” Randy said, “I produced a version with Boys II Men a few years ago. You are picking the right songs. On the end of the song, you put a period on it. OMG – that’s money.” Ryan said, “Scotty has got money and punctuation, and anger.” Scotty shook his head and said,” I will just go up to Casey and give him a growl. No anger here.” Afterwards, Scotty said his performance was a lot of fun.

We started with 125,000 contestants and now we are down to three.

Lauren Alaina: 02, 05, 08

Lauren chose Wild One by Faith Hill. Beyonce said, “I’ve seen her in the past, and I enjoy her when it is something fun.” She shared how she handles nerves with Alaina by saying, “Right before I go on the stage, I tell myself I deserve it, I am fearless, I am strong, I am a diva.” Lauren said, “Yeah, I really need to work on that.” Beyonce said, “Her nerves are healthy but when the cameras are on, you have to perform.” Lauren said, “I chose this song because it reminds me of a childhood friend. I hope that I can think about her when I am singing.

Lauren sang a little bit off key, screaming at times but she smiled and looked cute. Overall, she has such a powerful sultry voice it is easy to forgive a few notes.

J.Lo, said, “Lauren , my little baby, you come out here and you attack it, like you did. We have three great singers. You have to attack it just as you did. That was very good.” Randy said, “I love seeing you having fun. Beyonce’s advice was great. You have to be fearless and have fun. When you let yourself go that is when you are your best. That was good.” Steven Tyler said, “You were having fun then and you are having fun now. When you hit that B section, you just hit it right and it wasn’t even the chorus.” Lauren leaned on Ryan as he was telling viewers her vote numbers, but she got a glint in her eyes that she might not think she is going to make it.

Tickets have gone on sale. If you are interested in seeing, the idols this summer check out the Idol tour info.

Haley Reinhart: 03, 06, 09

Haley Reinhart performed What is and what should never be by Led Zeppelin. Beyonce said, “It shows her gut.” She asked Haley, “Why did you choose this song.” Haley replied, “I have grown up around classic rock. I am still waiting to see if my dad can play this with me tonight. Beyonce said, “Haley has the presence. Even when she is not singing, she has raspiness in her voice that is distinctive.” When she walked out on stage, Haley’s old man was playing guitar and she looked like she was a rock star with the lights. At one point during her number, she was going back up on stage and she fell, but recovered quickly making it back on the stage for the queue. She nailed it.

When she was done, Randy and Steven Tyler stood up and clapped. Randy said, “This is what it is all about. Now that you need to be great, you are fearless. You chose a song that is not easy. Crazy vocals and you got your father on stage. One of your best performances. Haley is in it to win it baby.” Steven Tyler wanted to know “Haley did you fall for me? You know it is not how many times you fall; it is how many times you get back up.” J.Lo said, “Everybody has fallen on stage. You have to keep going. That is the sign of a professional. These people deserve more than that and you gave it to them. This was a good round for you.”

My vote for round one: Haley won it. Randy agreed, saying, “Hands down. Lauren has to put a freak on.” J. Lo agreed saying, “When Haley ran around the stage, she was creating energy and you could feel it.”

Round II

Scotty McCreery, 2nd song

In the beginning of the season, Scotty was a high school baseball player with a dream. Scotty McCreery was 16 years old. We saw a clip of the judges and his first audition. “J. Lo said, “You have a deep voice.” To which he replied, “Yeah, I get that a lot.” Steven was so excited, he was emitting expletives like “F*** a duck and see what happens”. Then laughing, he asked the other judges, am I not allowed to say that?” Scotty obligingly responded, “Ain’t nothing I ain’t heard in high school.” The judges agreed, “That was beautiful.” Scotty said, “Steven’s comment was about the only thing I remember of that initial interview.”

For his second song, Scotty sang, “Are you gonna kiss me or not” by Thomson Square. Jimmy Iovine told him, “The lyric is perfect for you.” They were both thrilled with the song choice. Iovine said to Scotty, “It has the guts of that Petty stuff. When you go to Nashville, a touch of this should be in that record.” Scotty played his guitar, and the camera showed Jimmy Iovine in the crowd smiling. I love how Scotty raises his eyebrows into the camera, with just a little bit of devil in his smirk. This boy is going for millionaire status in the near future.

Steven Tyler said, “You were living that one, and you sang it real good too.” J.Lo said, “There were so many moments in that song I loved. You grabbed the guitar and pulled it off, with a bit of attitude. Will you shave your head for the finale?” J.Lo responded to the crowd when they cheered, “What? Am I the only one that loved that? I like the short hair.” Randy said, “Jimmy picked a great song for you. It was perfect; right in your zone. You are approaching that Garth level. He is one of the greatest country legends everywhere. Scotty is in it to win it.”

Lauren Alaina, 2nd song

Lauren’s pantyhose ripped so the stage attendant was putting makeup on her legs while Ryan Seacrest urged the viewers to watch the clip of Lauren’s original audition. Even back then, she had star potential.

After she was done with her original audition, Randy said, “What doesn’t matter is what age you are at. You definitely got it. You are going to Hollywood. Wow.” Lauren said, “My family is dying to meet you all. Can I go get them real quick, to which they agreed. Lauren and Steven Tyler sang one of his band’s songs together.

For her second song, Iovine told her, “I want you to sing, Perry, If I die young. He asked her, “What do you think about the lyrics?” Lauren replied that even though it was about death it was a good song. Jimmy agreed, “It doesn’t have to be dark.” For her second performance, Lauren started sweet and soft and then raged in the middle, ending on a slower softer sound. She did it a good job on it, and the audience stood and clapped for her. The fans loved it.

J. Lo said, “You have the most beautiful tone of our finalists. You possess magical singing. You had a very honest moment in the middle of that song, and that is ok. You are going to go on. There were a couple of things at the end. I know it was because you got caught up in creating that moment.” Randy said, “It was great about that, when you didn’t hit the modulation right away and then you went right where you needed to be. You have such a beautiful voice, and that was a beautiful song choice by Jimmy Iovine. C’mon now, stay in it.” Tyler said, “I saw you acknowledge someone applaud to you, and you got caught up in the moment. Then you got lost for a second, but you did it again.”

Lauren was a bit upset with herself telling Ryan, “I missed my key change, dang it.” Randy yelled up to him, “But you created a beautiful moment, even though you almost forgot where you were, the beginning was flawless.”

Seacrest asked Lauren’s mom, “What is it like to watch to your child competing in this show? She said, “It is absolutely crazy, nerve racking and I think I have aged twenty years.” Ryan told her she did not look it, and then it was commercial time again.

Haley Reinhart, 2nd performance

Haley tried out in Milwaukee. When she met with the judges in the clip from her original interview, they wanted to know. “What is it all about?” She explained that she had tried out in Chicago the previous season. Randy wanted to know what went wrong. She said, “You told me to come back and I came back.” He asked her, “Do you think you have improved?” to which she replied, “Definitely.”

For her second performance, Haley was afraid of forgetting the words to the abstract song, ‘‹Å”Rhianna’ by Steven Nicks. Iovine told her, “The minute I met you I thought you should sing Stevie Nicks.” Haley agreed saying, “She has a really cool and different vibe.” Jimmy told her, “The most important thing is to build it up at the end.” Haley had the wind blowing at her on stage and it seemed to throw her off a bit.

Randy said, “You crack me up. What was that look?” Haley replied, “Thank God I got through that. I just wanted to remember the words. I love Stevie but man oh man.” Randy said, “Your pitch was perfect. It was somber, and we got a chance to see the Haley growl. You are having fun up there. But do guys have wind fan machine things. I think I would grow my hair out if I could have the hair-blowing thing going on. Steven said, “You sang that song so beautifully. It reminded me of why I love Stevie Nicks so much.” J.Lo said, “It was beautiful moment and it looked very beautiful for the camera angle. It was a pretty, ethereal moment.”

Round two: In my opinion, Lauren Alaina took round two.

J. Lo said, Scotty. Randy said “Scotty.” Jimmy Iovine said, “We saw Scotty transform into a country rock star. Lauren showed incredible poise. What Haley did just now is not easy and it was special. I worked with these kids for 10 weeks now, and I really love it.” The camera panned and showed Neil Sedaka in the crowd.

Idol ran a ‘‹Å”Run the World Girls’ video by Beyonce. This has been a recent trend where instead of live acts; they show a quick video clip. Not sure if it is more cost effective and better for album sales or whether it is just easier logistically to run a video rather than host a full act. The choreography and music was reminiscent of the late Michael Jackson videos.

Want to help write a song for next week’s finale. Go to the website to help with this collaborative project.

Round III

Scotty McCreery

For his third song, the judges choice, Scotty sang, “She Believes in Me,” by Kenny Rogers. Scotty’s range is perfect for this song. He sat on a stool next to a piano accompanist, who as he hit the chorus, was joined by a section of stringed instruments. Scotty sounded better than the original artist did. His annunciation is so clear, and he rides the rolls so easily. For this round, he abandoned his high school look for a sport coat and looked very nice.

Tyler said, “I haven’t heard you sing a chorus like that. You put it over the top. Great job.” J. Lo said, “That was one of the reasons we picked that song. I wanted to see if you could hit that big note. I guess you showed us.” Randy said, “We know what you can do it but seeing that you realize you can do it. Very nicely done.”

Ryan said, “Mike, (Scotty’s dad) what words would you like to say about how proud you are of him.” Mike replied, “Words can’t really address how I feel about it. We are humbled by the support he is getting and I am very proud of you son.” Scotty’s dad threw out a “baby lock them doors and turn those lights down low” rumble in a Scotty-esque baritone voice. It brought laughter from all. At the end of his performance, Scotty said, “That was pretty cool. My dad’s got some pipes on him, and I think he is in it to win it.”

Lauren Alaina

In Rossville, Georgia, Lauren was told she was going to be doing the song, “I hope you Dance,” a hit from by Lee Ann Womack. Lauren’s voice was just right for this song.

J Lo told her, “You gave me goosies from head to toe. I am going to say you won that round for me already.” Randy said, “I’m a friend of Lee Anne’s and I’m sure she was watching that. You slayed it. I am sure she was proud. I love the dress. I love that color. You are also in it to win it.” Steven said, “Lauren when you walked out here you walked like you owned the Grand Ole Oprey. You are so at ease with yourself. Lee Ann is a good friend of mine too, and she is so happy. I am so happy. You look stunning. “

At the end of her performance, Lauren said, “I’ve never wanted anything more in my life. I know I say that each week but each week I want to make it even more.”

Haely Reinhart

In Chicago, Haley learned that the judges wanted her to sing, “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrisette. She did a good job with it but she did not do anything memorable. Fortunately for her, the crowd loved it and I thought she did it as well as Alanis does.

Randy said, “America’s got their work cut out for them. I love to see you rock out like that. Haley is in it to win it.” Steven said, “That was amazing. You nailed the choruses.” J.Lo, “There is nobody that can match you. We all heard that part in the middle where you struggled a little but it was probably because you were walking around the table there.”

My favorite for the night was Haley. That girl has such a range, and I love her growl.


Fox Television, American Idol 5/18/2011