As I'm sure you all know by now, our last hope for an entertaining Finale—Haley Reinhart—has left the building. But next week we'll be attending Elmer Dinkley High's Junior Prom, and won't that be exciting??
Tonight's results show begins like any other results show—with plenty o' filler. Jimmy jabbers on, the Top 13 show up, Ryan brags about the voting numbers and a video package (filmed when Durbin was still around) to promote Super 8 is shown. Damn, those kids got to meet the Bad Robot peeps. I wonder how many questions they asked about LOST? The Lesser Fanning is in the audience to plug the movie and she can barely form a sentence.
Haley's homecoming package is shown first, which is immediately a bad sign. During her trip back to Wheeling, IL, she encounters throngs of screaming fans on the street, hangs out at home with the fam, visits her high school and then puts on a show. She sings "Sweet Home Chicago," which is notable not because she's from Chicago, but because I can pretty much guarantee that she will be the only finalist to sing a song she didn't already do on Idol. Haley seems to handle her newfound fame really well. I love when she says to the weird redhead stalker chick, "Thank you for freaking out." Haley better watch out. That chick totally looks like the type who would sneak into Haley's house at night and shave off all of her hair so she could make a bra out of it.
Seacrest gives the mic to some annoying little stage kid in the audience (named Rihanna, of all things) so she can warm our hearts with her plucky perkiness. The always-terrible Ford commercial is then served up as a chaser.
Remember when Simon tried to jam Il Divo down everyone's throats? And remember how we just coughed them back up like a bad meatball? Well, now Jimmy is trying to do the same thing with his new playthings, a similarly named but less attractive Italian popera group, Il Volo.
OK, so even though I'm not an opera fan, I recognize that these guys are fantastic singers. But American Idol isn't really the place for this. Especially now that the show's gone country. Il Volo really should have worked on a popera version of "Achy Breaky Heart" instead of breaking out the old standard "O Sole Mio," a song much of Middle America only recognizes as "the song from that one Hamburger Helper commercial."
Next up, Scotty McCreery heads home to Garner, NC. All the girls go nuts (not a long trip, obviously), especially when he visits the grocery store where he worked and slips into his sexy smock. Scotty cries in the limo. He cries during the parade. He cries at the concert. Of course, he stops crying long enough to perform babylockthemdoors with surprise guest, Josh Turner.
Suddenly, a Victoria's Secret fashion show breaks out, with Nicole Scherzinger as the star. She sings her new song, the name of which escapes me right now and I don't care enough to look it up. It was probably something like, "Yeah, Uhhh, Yeah" or "Can We Have Sex Now, Please?" or "Read War and Peace to Me, Baby." Yep, I'm pretty sure it's that last one. Even Rebecca Black knows there must always be a rap in the middle of your song, so 50 Cent takes a break from inane tweeting to do the honors. The only thing I catch him say is, "My pleasure's pleasing you," so I assume he works part-time at Chik-fil-A. (Hopefully, other Chik-fil-A goers and/or workers will understand this joke.)
Lauren Alaina gets the hometown visit pimp spot and it's easy to see why. Let's head to Rossville, GA for a little southern exploitation, shall we? Lauren's limo drives through the wreckage caused by a recent tornado. Lauren gets out and stares at the ravaged landscape with a thoughtful expression. Lauren cries. Lauren visits a little boy who saved his family and somehow turns his moment of bravery into a moment for herself. Lauren cries. Lauren sings "Anyway" for all the tornado victims out there (again). Lauren turns her tears on and off with the greatest of ease. Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, Lauren, Lauren. LAUREN! (Just thought I'd give y'all a taste of what it would have been like growing up in the Suddeth household.)
It's pretty clear from how those homecoming packages were arranged that Haley is out, but she still looks stunned and a little disgusted to learn that she's been bumped for a couple of teenybopping bumpkins.
Haley sings out with "Bennie and The Jets," reminding me that I couldn't stand her back when she originally did this. Oh, Haley. How far we've both come. You finally learned how to relax and use your big voice properly and I finally learned to love you. And now you're leaving me with these two rubes. Ah well.
Despite her initial pissed off look, Haley seems to be having fun right now, belting it out down in the audience surrounded by her future tour mates. I realize just how much I'm going to miss her when she gets to the end of the song and sassily addresses the audience: "Yeah baby, you'll be seeing me! This ain't the end of this. This ain't the end of this thang...SHINDIG! See ya later!" God, this girl cracks me up.
So, I'm just calling it now: Lauren Alaina is your next American Idol. I don't know why I predicted her to be voted off the last two weeks when I've said multiple times that she's been set up to win this season since her first audition. I guess I still always hold out some hope that this show will surprise me. Silly me. Even though everyone loves Scotty, I don't think TPTB want a fourth white guy in a row as the Idol. (He'll still get a record deal.) They want another Carrie Underwood who will make loads of money for them. But they may be in for a rude awakening either way, as it seems that country radio don't cotton to either one of these young'uns. In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz, "HA-ha!"
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