Ok America, you want a country flavored Idol. I get it. You want the young, the innocent, the talented, the mainstream, wholesome, middle America sweetheart. Does this have anything to do with the need to believe in the American Dream right now, in the wake of OBL's death? I can't help but wonder how you let Pia and James slip through your fingers, but I accept that you want this and our final two are from the same mold. They are horrifyingly similar in many ways and different in only a few.
Lauren has a rock edge to her voice, something Scotty lacks, but then Scott McCreedy is pure country with all the cheese and swagger of someone from the 1950 Grand Ole Opry era. Lauren is a girl, Scotty is a boy but other than that they are both teenagers, God loving, southern- accented, fresh faced kids with big careers ahead, if they don't get swept into the Hollywood scene too quickly. What I have trouble understanding is that there aren't more of us out there who wanted some competition on the final night. I have craved a good showdown of country versus blues or metal versus pop (Pia and James again) but instead on Tuesday we'll be comparing apples to apples, voting for song choices or gender, instead of actual talent. These two TeenIdols are equally talented, have grown tremendously in their weeks onstage and are ready to have this competition end so they can get on with their careers. At this point it should be uber-exciting but this year it's boring.
And do we really get to choose who gets eliminated every week? I'm not talking votes because I believe that part is all on the up and up. Texting teens seem to be the ones who are ruling the votes this year even though they say the average Idol watcher is 45. I'm talking air time, editing, who gets their face on camera more than others. You can't tell me that Nigel Lithgoe (the Idol creator) doesn't stand in the editing room directing whose story gets the most camera time, thereby allowing the American public to sympathize with Nigel's favorites. We saw very little of Haley, virtually nothing of some other talented singers who barely made the top 24 but from the beginning we followed Lauren and Scotty. Steven Tyler even told Lauren that she might be "The One" in her original audition. I don't think in his wildest dreams he ever envisioned Haley Rinehardt as a finalist. That in itself is satisfying, that someone whose parents were barely seen on camera, slipped through to the top three. I have an image of Nigel Lithgoe doing one of those Mwaaahaahaaa evil laughs in the editing room, while making hand washing motions in the air.
And the judges can sway our votes. They have a say in all this too. Their comments can make or break a singer's longevity. Okay, J Lo has a 'crush' on Scotty, didn't care for Haley, and Steven loved Lauren from the moment she brought her family into the audition room to sing his hit song to him. Don't get me wrong, I love the combination of the three judges now but I have a bone to pick with two of them. Promoting your dwindling career and staging a come back during your tenure as an American Idol judge, is kind of smarmy and I resent that you used us, J Lo and Steven. J Lo needed this to launch her album, her comeback, her legs, and Steven needed this for his solo career when Aerosmith disbanded.
Randy is now my favorite American Idol judge because all he does in the line of promotion is plug that he used to work with certain bands. His promotion is obvious and is the kind that familiarizes people with what you've done, not the kind that plugs what you're doing. He's not trying to sell more records or get a movie career. While I'm harping about J Lo, I want to say that having every third commercial on Idol feature J Lo and her airbrushed legs, makes me like her less each week. And last week when she threw in that comment about how she was performing in front of 20,000 with no sound and just kept singing, like a real trooper, was so obvious I laughed out loud. We get it, you are a big star in your own mind as well as on Fox. How about just concentrating on being a judge next year? Watch Randy for pointers on how to do that.
As for Scotty and Lauren, I'm sure they are kissing their crucifix necklaces this weekend, polishing their twang and fretting about whether to go for the high notes. America will get what they asked for on Tuesday night. A good ole' down home, country sing off. I'm not voting because I don't care who wins for the first time in years.
Over and out.