The American Idol Top 4 truly have a carrot dangling in their faces this week. Lauren, Haley, James and Scotty all know that surviving one more week will mean that they will literally become King (or Queen) of the World for a day during the hometown visits.
If you’ve ever watched one of these Idol Top 3 Hometown Visit episodes, you know that these things are no joke. The people from these hometowns aren’t messing around– they mean business. Old ladies have been known to have Idols sign their saggy breasts (creepy); young teenage girls have been known to scream until they pass out, and one girl even stripped off her shirt and ran topless through the crown to hug Adam Lambert during his hometown visit. (She got arrested, but she did get to molest Adam for 2.1 seconds, so it was kind of worth it.)
Anyway…so the Idols all knew that last night was all about just making it through. Each got to sing two songs. Round One was all about “things that inspire” the Idols. This theme was usually reserved for the week of “Idol Gives Back” (and WTF happened to that, by the way?)
Anyway, James went first and chose to sing everybody’s favorite drunken karaoke classic, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. It was a brilliant move, as everyone loves that song, and it was perfectly suited for his voice. The only downside to him choosing this song was that we had to hear Randy Jackson subtly remind us over and over (and over) that he was in Journey. Yes, Randy, we know. We get it.
Next was Haley, who chose a song by Michael Jackson that apparently nobody in America has heard of. (I’m not the only person who was wondering what the hell “The Earth Song” was, right?) Randy told her she screamed most of the song (which she did), invoking some major attitude in Haley.
Apparently, she loved her performance and got all Lippy McAttitude on Jennifer and Randy. (Steven Tyler loved the performance but, to be fair, he doesn’t even know where he is half the time, so it doesn’t really count.) Haley told the judges it was basically great and that they were wrong about the performance. She said she didn’t like being put down for something that meant so much to her. Um…welcome to the entertainment industry, honey.
This is where things get tricky: Half the country seems to love Haley, and half the country can’t stand her. Giving the judges attitude certainly didn’t help her hoist herself into the Top 3, though. She was already facing an uphill battle against the Golden Country Couple (aka Scotty and Lauren) and having an ego trip on national TV may not have been the best thing for her. This makes The Ashley sad because she’s been on Team Haley from the very first week.
Scotty went next and probably chose the best song possible to get him into next week. A country song about national tragedy, America and Jesus? That’s a one-way ticket to Finale-ism, buddy. To be fair, he sounded really good and seemed to genuinely sing the song from his heart.
Lauren chose “Anyway” by Martina McBride for her inspiration song. It was perhaps one of the best vocal performances she’s given all season. She didn’t puss out on the high notes this time and sang the song beautifully. Like Scotty, she chose a song that was patriotic and contained religious catchphrases, so I’d expect her to be sailing though to the next round.
At the end of the first round, Randy said it was a three-way tie between Scotty, Lauren and James for best performance, basically telling Haley that she exclusively sucked. She looked like she wanted to rip Randy Dogg’s face off. It was awesome.
For Round Two, they brought out Lady Gaga to coach the kids on being more theatrical during their performances. She was dressed in typical Gaga attire: creepy makeup, high heels adorned with penises and no pants. When Scotty had his turn with Gaga, she talked to him about making love to the microphone and sticking his tongue down its throat (?) It honestly looked like she scared the BeJesus out of the little country boy. (“They don’t make ’em like that in North Carolina, ya’ll!”)
Anyway, Haley went first, choosing “I Who Have Nothing.” Maybe she didn’t get the memo that this song pretty much belongs to Jordin Sparks. However, she sang it well, and everyone went all crazy over her performance, even giving her a standing ovation. She was very good, but I still think Jordin’s performance of that song was two heads above Haley’s.
Scotty came next. I have no idea what song he was singing because I was so distracted by all his creepy eyebrow raising and eye-bugging. It was a hokey, jokey performance that would have worked for Top 24, but certainly not Top 4. The judges loved it– go figure.
Lauren hit the stage next wearing a sparkly blazer straight out of Delta Burke’s wardrobe closet on Designing Women. (Oh, honey, please don’t let these people dress you anymore.) She sang “Trouble” by Elvis Presley and was deeply “troubled” that she had to sing that she was “evil” because it was part of the song. This was both cute/annoying.
Anyway the song is all about being hard, tough and generally hard to get along with, and it was really hard to take Lauren seriously while she sang it because she looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid. There’s no way that a Cabbage Patch Kid is evil. I didn’t buy it.
James sang “Love Potion #9” for his final performance, infusing a more rock-n-roll vibe to the very dated song. It was really good, and there’s not much else to say about it.
So who gets a hometown parade and who gets a coach airline ticket back home? The Ashley predicts we wills say goodbye to Haley tonight, leaving James, Scotty and Lauren to be paraded on.
What did you guys think?