American Idol Semifinal Results Finally Force Out Haley Reinhart

Thursday’s American Idol results show set up the Season 10 finale at long last. After months of auditions and weeks of battles in Hollywood, only two potential winners remain. One of them isn’t a surprise, as Scotty McCreery went on to the finals as expected. This left Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart to duke it out for the last slot, after both survived various scares just to get this far. Yet the semifinal results put an end to Reinhart’s journey in the end, leaving Alaina and McCreery to close out the season.

Warning: Spoilers follow

Reinhart had been the luckiest potential American Idol this year, having survived several stints in the bottom three. In addition, it seemed that the judges were out to get her last week, but she went on while James Durbin was sent packing. However, there would be no one to spare her this time around.

After being the only women left for weeks, Reinhart and Alaina were finally put against each other in Thursday’s bottom two. Yet Alaina had the edge going in, after Reinhart accidentally slipped on stage Wednesday and struggled with her performance of “You Oughta Know.” However, since she had survived the bottom three in four of the first seven weeks, it wouldn’t be safe to count her out until she was actually eliminated.

But because her end had come after all, it set up the youngest final in the show’s history. 17-year-old McCreery is now favored to finish off 16-year-old Alaina; the year has officially skewed toward the young. For most of the way, it seemed to skew toward the men as well, yet Reinhart’s elimination was the first time a female was sent home in several weeks.

Now Alaina is the last woman standing, and can make up for the other females’ rotten luck by upsetting McCreery. Upsets have tended to happen at the end lately, after Kris Allen stunned Adam Lambert in 2009 and Lee DeWyze snuck up on Crystal Bowersox in 2010. Although McCreery is the closest thing to a favorite in 2011, he can’t be considered an overwhelming choice, like Lambert and Bowersox were thought to be.

In any case, the year has gone back and forth between stunning and predictable outcomes. This week, the shock of Durbin’s elimination was followed by the more obvious one of Reinhart’s. By that pattern, it is Alaina’s turn to pull off a surprise at the best possible moment.

Nonetheless, there is only one more results show left in Season 10, and it is the biggest one of all. American Idol will have its newest champion by this time next week, as the last act starts with Wednesday’s finale performances at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.


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