|It’s nearly a whole week later, and it’s still hard to believe James Durbin is gone … just like that. It’s making this American Idol final three seem a little lackluster, but I’m sure they’ll find a way to pull it out. It’s hometown visit week, too, and that’s always a lot of fun.
Ryan Seacrest mentions the shocking elimination last week, then tells us not to feel too bad, as he still got a hometown welcome. We get treated to him tearing up in the crowd at Santa Cruz. Sigh.
The top three are introduced, and Scotty McCreery looks scared to death. After all those weeks of testosterone overload among the finalists, maybe it’s not so easy to be the only bearer. Ryan explains that each of the finalists will sing three songs apiece – their own choice, Jimmy Iovine’s choice, and the judges’ choice.
Beyoncé steps in to help mentor the final three in their song choices. She thinks the three finalists are unbelievable, and that they all have something unique about them. She figures it will be a hard decision for America. It wouldn’t have been if James were still there. Just sayin’.
Scotty is up first with a song by Lonestar, Amazed. Beyoncé notes his innocence and charm, and calls him a real cutie pie. She thinks the simple melody of the song allows his tone to shine through. His voice is just so full and warm. To hear him go into his high range, she hopes he’s confident. She doesn’t think he even needs to do that, as his voice is so wonderful low. He tells her he’s sung low the whole time, and it’s nice to push it sometimes. She figures it was clever to save all his tricks to make it to the finale and thinks it’ll surprise some people. He has a great take on this song and is very convincing, as he was last week as well.
Steven Tyler tells Scotty he keeps getting better and better with his melody and singing. He also wonders if he got a little angry in the modulation “to go upstairs and kick that song into the middle of next week.” He’s been waiting for it, and he did take it up a notch. Jennifer Lopez calls it great to see him over the weeks, with how much he’s grown. She remembers asking him to use the vibrato, but now it’s become a natural thing for him. She’s sure there are a million girls out there wishing he was singing the song to him.
Randy Jackson calls it a good song choice; he produced it for Boyz II Men a couple years ago. It’s an amazing song, and he feels Scotty is choosing smart, knowing where his lane is. There were a couple of pitchy spots, but at the end of the song, he put a period on it and looked into the camera, and “that’s money.” Asked by Ryan about his anger in it, Scotty claims he was channeling Casey Abrams and putting a little growl into it.
Lauren Alaina can’t believe she’s meeting Beyoncé. She’s taking on Faith Hill’s Wild One, which Beyoncé calls a great song choice for her. Lauren picked it because she’s been singing it since she was a little girl. She’s seen Lauren in the past, and enjoys her on something fun, as she thinks it loosens her up. Beyoncé tells Lauren not to be nervous, saying she herself is the one who’s nervous. She’s had to create a more bold character of herself to not come off as shy, and tells herself she deserves it, is strong, and is a diva before she goes on stage. Lauren seems to take that advice to heart as she steps onstage tonight.
Jennifer tells Lauren that to come out here and attack it like that, that’s what she’s got to do, as they have three great singers, and you have to come out and create a moment every time you come out. Randy loved the advice Beyoncé was giving Lauren to psych herself out onstage, as that’s what it takes. He loves seeing her having fun. It makes him think back to when they first met her, and she was singing Steven’s song telling him to sing it with her. That fearlessness is what she needs to have. It was a nice song choice for her, and he could tell she was loving it and had a good connection with it. When she lets herself go is when she’s at her best.
Steven notes Lauren was having fun back then, and she’s having fun now. He thought she was singing like she owned the song. When she hit the B section of the song, it was a moment she signed, and it wasn’t even the chorus. She’s ready for this and ready for America to be all over her. She just hopes her other two songs go as well.