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Lauren And Scotty Make The Final 2 Of American Idol: Was There Ever Any Doubt?


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So, we are now down to our final 2 competitors for American Idol Season 10. Ten years already and, after all that time, what do we have here? Two teen country artists from the Southern Belt. Well, that’s what I call progress!

Listen, don’t get me wrong I love Lauren and Scotty. Both are sweet, genuine adolescents possessing wonderful vocal skills. I think that, from a marketing perspective, this Final 2 combo makes absolute sense.

However, everyone I have spoken too has been frustrated over the direction this show has taken after 10 years. And, not to flog a dead horse but, after Season 7 ended, the show was never able to capture the magic and excitement of that season and, in fact, most of that season’s predecessors.

So what is going on behind the scenes? Is this the only way to make money in the music industry – by churning out young country artists who have little vision to how they should mold their careers?

I worry about Lauren and Scotty. Both are so young and naive that I would hate to see their talent mismanaged all for the sake of the almighty dollar. The fast buck! Only time will tell. Perhaps both will enjoy the same success as Carrie Underwood. But, can the Idol franchise capture lightning in a bottle two more times? That is quite the challenge.

In the meantime, we have much to anticipate as the Finale draws ever so near. The Top 13 will be reunited and I am sure there will be tons of surprises in store to mark the 10th Anniversary Season of American Idol.

Who do you want to see on the Nokia stage next week? Are you happy with the Top 2 results?

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

66 Responses to “Lauren And Scotty Make The Final 2 Of American Idol: Was There Ever Any Doubt?”

  1. I would love to hear David Archuleta on stage to show them how singing can express emotions. They both could use a mentor in that direction. No one better than David in any season for putting your heart in a song.

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  2. In a word – “No”. A Haley/Scotty finale would have been so much more interesting. A Haley/James finale would have been perfect. But it is what it is. I agree with Pamela – an emotional mentor would be a big help for both of them although I think Scotty’s performance during Carole King week was a move in the right direction.

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  3. Yes, I had doubt that these would be the last two standing because there were so many very talented contestants this season. But one by one they disappeared until your prediction became reality. At the beginning, I just couldn’t believe that Pia wasn’t going to be in the top three–or James. I figured that Lauren would make it to the top six or maybe even top five, but I was counting on Pia, James, Scotty, Haley and maybe even Casey to get past Lauren. Although I did think from the very beginning that TPTB were behind Lauren all the way, but I just thought that the others were so much better.

    As popular as Scotty is–and I’m one of his fans–I won’t be at all surprised if Lauren wins it all next week. Unhappy maybe, but not surprised.

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  4. The AI Music Marketing Machine, like the Wizard of OZ, is going to have its Toto moment one day. The curtain will be pulled to show a crazy little man turning all kinds of knobs and wheels hoping to appear as the greatest one of them all. The entire format is eroding slowly but surely. A victim of it’s own actions, I am afraid.

    I hope Scotty (my fav always)doesn’t have to sign his life away to the music moguls of AI.

    It doesn’t matter to me who wins, because I like Scotty. I just do.

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  5. Louise (#!) I also would not be surprised if Lauren were to win. The reason that I think this might happen is that Haley’s votes are not going to go to Scotty. If they go anywhere at all, they will go to Lauren (e.g. “well if Haley can’t win, at least a girl will win”. So for what it’s worth, I will vote for Scotty, because of these 2, he is, in my opinion, the more talented & more ready to withstand the pressure of being #1 (like you :)).

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  6. I love the results this week with Scotty & Lauren going to the finale. I agree with you MCL that the show has not come close to the level of excitement since Seasons 7. I believe the talent pool has been good each year but the show is not as good. There’s too much focus on the judges and other things instead of the singing. I hope Scotty wins but I think it’s going to be hard for both of them as the music industry appears to be getting harder and harder today.

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  7. I’m with the ranks of the disappointed. Not that I don’t like Lauren and Scotty – I do. They both seem well on their way to becoming outstanding young people. I just think some other contestants deserve to be there ahead of them.

    Honestly, I don’t care enough about which one wins to even watch the performance finale, but I will watch the results finale. In fact, if AI doesn’t change their flawed voting system for next season I’m done with it. Why put up with the frustration? Maybe X Factor will be different…

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  8. Fingers crossed that this works!

    This picture was taken as one magazine reported, when James turned to Scotty and said: “Win this thing. You have got to win this!”

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  9. I went back to using Louise since I’ve only seen the other Louise post here once and I felt rather silly using Louise#1!!!

    Thanks for sharing the link to the picture of Scotty and James. It’s really touching and it makes me wonder if Scotty was sad because 1) he knew how devastated James would be, 2) he didn’t want to be the only guy left, 3) he wanted to be the one to go home, etc. What do you think? Scotty just seems like a person who can really empathize with others. I really admire that quality in him. I also think he’s really sad to have been away from his friends and home for such a long time. I wonder what will happen to him when he signs a record deal.

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  10. Vonnie,

    Thanks so much for posting that picture and letting everyone know that James told Scotty to win this thing! I was going to reveal that today, but I am glad that you said it. Just looking at Scotty’s sweet face says it all. He was really sad to see James go.

    I am still unsettled about James going home last week. It just bothers me. The shock wore off, but the result still puzzles me. It was wonderful that in his moment of disappointment, he was able to reach out to Scotty and tell him to get the win.

    Scotty already won the coin toss, but gave Lauren the choice of singing first or last. Of course, she chose last! Southern gallantry is still alive and well. However, I hope Scotty goes out there to win it next week. Nothing against Lauren at all, but this young man has completely won my heart. I do think that of the two, Scotty is more mature and ready to handle the pressure of winning Idol.

    It was interesting that the site whatnottosing.com predicted that Lauren would be the one to go, for the sole reason that there have never been two singers from the same genre of music in the finale. Yet it happened, for the first time in the history of this show. I don’t know how they pulled this off. These two kids are competing for the same fan base. So the country music fan base is big enough to encompass both of them? I guess so, but next week someone has to lose.

    Scotty is a genuinely caring, charming, engaging young man. I hope he can survive the craziness of the music business. Also, if TPTB try to bus him, then Scotty you show them what you are made of!

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  11. Thanks so much Vonnie for that beautiful picture of Scotty and James. I will use it at some point. It is so poignant.

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  12. A picture is worth a thousand words!

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  13. Louise,

    I’m glad that you got your name back, LOL…no more worries about you and Pappa’s recipe! ;-)

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  14. You’re welcome MCL! :-)

    That picture pulls at my heart strings and makes me more determined to see this beautiful young man win this!

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  15. You would think that I would be smart enough to put everything into one post; wouldn’t ya???

    Mindy,

    Chararcter is an amzing thing…Scotty gives up his coin toss and Lauren has no problem taking it! Southeren ladies would have, should have declined the generous offer or at least chose to go first!

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  16. Mindy,

    I hope to God that the judges and respectful and kind to both Scotty and Lauren next week. They deserve nothing less. I agree with you in regards to Scotty, and am planning to vote for him next week. Even though I haven’t voted for him at all this season, I have noticed how much he’s grown since the beginning, and am very impressed, I believe he’ll make a fan out of me yet!! Go Scotty!!

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  17. Woohoo Anita!!! :-) :-) :-)

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  18. Rosanne,

    Yes, the Lauren/Scotty duo is a music marketing DREAM for sure!! I have truly loved the talent shown this season, but I’m still with you in regards to Season 7!

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  19. Vonnie,

    I’m so glad that there’s room for me on the Scotty Bandwagon!! Everyone I’ve ever voted for this season is now gone, so darnit, Scotty’s my last hope!!

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  20. You know Anita? It wouldn’t surprise me if they launched them as a duo. They would be individually signed but packaged as a duo.

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  21. Rosanne,

    I never thought of that. But their Country music vibes differ from each other enough, that I’m not quite sure that would work.

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  22. Scotty has always been my favorite and I truly hope he does win. Not just because he is my favorite, but because I fear the harshness of today’s music business will chew Lauren up and spit her out. Or perhaps what I perceive as her “stage mom” will be so demanding that the producers won’t want to work with her. That is certainly a harsh statement, but it is just my opinion. For aome reason that I can’t put into words, Scotty’s family seems more grounded and I think they will protect their son’s interests without going overboard.

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  23. This season started so promisingly. So many good voices. I’m really disappointed with the outcome. While I loved Scotty’s baritone, I saw little growth or development in him. He almost turned into a caricature of himself with his odd posture and the holding of his microphone. I quit watching AI two weeks ago.
    I’m looking forward to X Factor in the fall.

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  24. I do not think I will watch the last show — too boring and sad. I agree that so many others were more interesting.

    Meh.

    I am going to the concert this summer, though, and maybe I will check out the other ‘talent’ shows.

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  25. Anita,

    Oh, you are so sweet! Just think that you are going to get to see Jacob on next week’s finale results show! I am really looking forward to seeing Pia and James and Stefano and Casey and Naima! All of them!

    Do what your heart tells you to do. If you want to vote for Scotty, that would be wonderful.

    I can understand the disappointment of those whose favorites didn’t make it. I have been there too many times. However, I have to take issue with this idea that Scotty has not shown any growth or development. He did get some criticism from the judges, which he took to heart. He has challenged himself in recent weeks and I could not be prouder of him. He would barely sing in his higher register in the beginning of the finals, couldn’t hold the notes, has vastly improved his mic technique and now is holding it straight, has stepped out of his comfort zone and given some great performances and did one of the gutsiest things I have seen when he went for that falsetto note at end of “She Believes In Me”. With everything on the line in his last performance, Scotty didn’t have to try that, but he did and I love him for it.

    Vonnie,

    You know more about the southern customs than I do, so I didn’t want to make a comment about what Lauren did. However, thank you for saying that she should have refused his gentlemanly offer. He got some criticism from people on MJ’s blog, but they were his fans and were speaking out of concern. They wanted to tell him not to let his concern for Lauren get in the way of winning.

    I had to get off the computer the day of the performances. I couldn’t stand the hate for Scotty. But I am pleased to see Scotty fans standing up for him on a number of blog sites. I think they are fed up with the trash talk. Yay, Scotty! Even if you don’t like his voice, I simply cannot imagine how anyone could hate on him.

    I am concerned for Lauren, who has been pampered all throughout the finals. At some point there will be a reality check and she will have to deal with some tough criticism. I wish she had waited a year or two. I think it would have made a world of difference.

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  26. Mindy,

    Lauren should have most definitely refused Scotty’s offer…but I get the feeling from Lauren that she has been given whatever she wants when she wants it and she doesn’t mind taking!

    This is not me dissing Lauren, just sayin’ what I have observed!

    I think she truly likes Scotty, but I wished she would have declined his offer, but at the end of the day I don’t think it is going to matter to Scotty’s fans if he goes first or second, cause “we gonna vote for him anyways!!!” :-)

    Anita,

    Sweety, there is all kinds of room for you on the Scotty bandwagan, and I/we are so glad to have you!

    I know how hard it is though to watch your favorite get voted off…my only years of picking the winner has been Taylor and last year Lee…I loved Jason Castro and so much wanted him in the finale, and I was heartbroken when he didn’t make it. So my heart goes out to you; but this shows what a kind and loving heart you have; for you have found a place for Scotty there!!!

    And that is a beautiful thing! ;-)

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  27. Vonnie,

    You’re sooooo wonderful to me!! Let’s not be so hard on Lauren, though. I guess I don’t see why it was such a big deal that she took Scotty’s offer. He was just being a gentleman. Lauren comes across to me as a very caring, loving, and thoughtful young lady. I don’t think she has an unkind bone in her body!!

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  28. Lauren and Scotty are darling and they both have beautiful voices. America has voted. I’m sure it will be a lovely evening and neither of them will get thrown under the buss by the judges. I look forward to reading about it.

    My “IDOL” is an entertainer, and my idol inspires energy & passion (so my chosen one must posses energy & passion). To me an idol is unique – unlike any other; it couldn’t be anyone else creating a specific experience or transporting me in a specific way.

    An Idol (in the context of this show) MUST be able to sing very well – and their singing must connect and inspire. But it’s so much more than just a singing competition, a recital, or a vocal showcase for me. If not – maybe we should change the title from AMERICAN IDOL to AMERICAN SINGER.

    I will say – when Scotty performed GONE he had me on the edge of my chair – completely transported. That was not a recital. There was depth of feeling – it was totally Scotty/unique – it was a total experience. He felt it, he shared it, he sold it – in a way that many stronger vocalists this season (Pia) were never able to do on that stage. It was the whole package – visual, visceral, auditory, everything.

    I’m sure I have a different personal definition of what an Idol is than everyone else. I sat in the second row of a Bruce Springsteen concert when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant (rather I danced on my chair in the second row for 4 hours straight). No one has ever worked that hard to entertain me, and no one has ever entertained me so completely. Bruce was there 200% for MY entertainment, and he wasn’t going to stop until every last one of us was on board. So that’s my idol yardstick.

    My American “IDOLS” convinced me that they had my entertainment in mind every time they picked up the mic: Carrie Underwood, James, Haley, Adam Lambert, Carley Smithson, David Cook (singing covers), Allison. Steven Tyler. Maybe even Jennifer. They PERFORMED; focusing & committing everything they had to create a moment FOR US – the audience. That admittedly takes maturity, discipline, and self awareness.

    When I use this definition – Scotty is starting to “glimpse it”, Naima understands it but may not have all the tools, Paul gets it but he’s on the wrong stage.

    Conversely – so much of the time it felt like Stephano, Ashton, and Jacob were performing for themselves alone, performing “AT” us, or even performing only for the sake of the performance (kicking tires). With Lauren – sometimes it felt like she wasn’t even sure what tires she wanted to kick as she fumbled through a song. To me – that is not an Idol, no matter how delightful their instrument is.

    To me Idol is someone who seldom fails to “Rock my World” (not just vocally) every time they pick up the microphone. I want to feel it – I want to be transported – I want my Idol to be magical (or as close as we can get). Obviously – America has different criteria.

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  29. Ladyhelix, thanks for your thoughtful discussion on what constitutes a true Idol. As much as I like both Scotty & Lauren, they are not “it”. They are finding themselves but they are not even close to “there”. James had the magic. No, his voice was sometimes a little “off” but the enthusiasm, energy, passion & sense of himself on the stage was there 99.999% of the time he was on Idol. I miss him. I wanted to see him in the Finale. He would have hit the proverbial ball out of the park, I’m sure of it.

    But I guess we are where we are & we have to go from there. We’ll never know what it would have been like to have had James in the finale. I wish Scotty & Lauren well.

    Regarding Bruce Springsteen, I could not agree more. I have seen him twice – I wish I had been a fan when I was younger. The first time was in November 2001 in Charleston, SC. He performed with the E Street band. It was soon after 9/11 & it was an electric concert. The second concert was a few years later. It was a solo “acoustic” concert. I did not know that he played so many different instruments. You are so right – he WORKS hard every minute he is on the stage. It’s true magic.

    Thanks again.

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  30. Thank you Darlene – for the kind words.

    I was thinking how great it will be for the two finalists to spend time this summer on the road (tour) and on stage with the contestants from this season who have a little more experience & vision. Career wise – that COULD be more valuable to them than winning the title!

    I’m a demanding consumer – but then the title “IDOL” has to mean something, doesn’t it?

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  31. Anita,

    You are such a sweety…I really wasn’t trying to be hard on Lauren! I am a southern girl, and the offer that Scotty gave Lauren was a very generous one, and as a competitor and a young lady she should have declined the offer!

    But that is okay, because what it shows me is that my American Idol has a generous, thoughtful, and unselfish heart! And that he really cares for Lauren!

    I think Lauren is cute as she can be and she has that fresh faced 16 year old, youthful exuberance…she just has never been one of my favorites, but like I said earlier she is growing on me! If she wins? Well, I will be disappointed because I think Scotty is so much better than she is…but I won’t fall apart.

    ladyhelix,

    I loved your thoughts on what makes you sit up and take notice in a american idol…prior to this show, I only listened to country music if it was forced on me; there are a couple of country artists that I like, so I didn’t mind listening to their music. I was much in the same boat as you…I want to be entertained! So for me to be riding the country train is way out of my music zone!

    This year Scotty has just steam rolled me with that baritone voice and all of that charm…what a cute kid. As a mother, all I can say is I bet his mamma is bursting at the seams!!!

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  32. Vonnie,

    Thanks! I appreciate what you said.

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  33. ladyhelix,

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on what you look for in your Idol. It got me thinking about my experience this season.

    I loved Pia’s voice from the start. She had that big, beautiful kind of voice that just grabs me. I thought that she had something to learn about being a great performer and hoped that I would see that journey. However, I knew in my heart that she wouldn’t win. I have seen too many girls with that diva voice go down in flames on this show. I also found myself in the nice position of liking other contestants. Scotty, James and Stefano were others that I liked from the beginning. When Pia was shockingly voted off much earlie than even I expected, I realized that there were other contestants that I wanted to watch. So I stayed with it.

    I think that my standards are very high when it comes to my Idol. First and foremost, it’s the voice. I have to hear one that moves me, thrills me, astounds me in some way. However, I also want the entertainment, a good show, someone with a real command of the stage, charisma and what I have come to call that “it” quality. That is hard to define, but you know it the moment you see it. It’s like a star quality, as though this special person was born to perform.

    For me this season, all of those qualities have been embodied in the most unlikely of favorites for me – Scotty. We talk a lot about giving your all, having some glory notes, bells and whistles and excitement. Sometimes it’s the quiet voice that ends up being louder than the loudest power falsetto. it’s the softest and most beautifully heartfelt voice that towers above everyone else.

    When Scotty sang “You’ve Got a Friend”, that was the moment I knew. As soon as he sang those first few notes in such a different way using his upper register in a light and gentle way, that was it. The tears came immediately and didn’t stop until that last softly caressed note. In interpreting such a classic, iconic song, one that means so much to me, Scotty showed me that he was my Idol.

    I realized that I loved Scotty all along. I had just been fighting it because he was a country music singer. I am very set in my ways and resistant to anything that I have never liked. Scotty just reached through that tv screen and touched my soul with his restraint and tender notes. I finally had to acknowledge that yes, I did like a country singer. One can go outside their comfort zone if the person is that good. Scotty is that good and more. No, he can’t sing powerfully. It sometimes looks easy for him. It’s not. I sense the effort and how hard he has worked to get outside his comfort zone and challeng himself. Scotty makes it look easy because he is so darn good. He has that God given gorgeous beyond words baritone voice. He has only begun to realize what that voice can do. He was born to be on that stage with his charm and grace and poise beyond his seventeen years.

    Scotty is my Idol and he has more than lived up to my standards. He has taken some risks in this competition and showm me that his talent is boundless. I think about him rocking the house with “Gone” and showing off that infectious personality. I think about the tender “Always On My Mind” and the heartfelt tribute to 9/11 with “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning”. I think about him taking on the power ballad “She Believes In Me” and showing that he can even turn an old song into something new. Watching him sing in his upper register, hearing him hold those notes, and then going for that head voice in his last note, well that’s what it’s all about.

    There is no telling what that voice can do, how far it can take him. All I can say is that it has been a privilege to watch this extraordinary young man. He has gotten me to listen to country music and if that doesn’t make him an Idol, I don’t know what does. I will be with him right through the finale. I will be voting my fingers off. He deserves it. He has shown me intelligence, commitment, a real work ethic, grace under pressure, and a humility that is beyond endearing.

    I love you, Scotty! :)

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  34. ARTICLE: Idol Superstitions – Accurate Predictors, Crazy or Just Plain Fun?

    http://mjsbigblog.com/idol-superstitions-accurate-predictors-crazy-or-just-plain-fun.htm

    LOL. This article gave me a big laugh! :p Who knows what’ll happen this year?

    One of my favorite quotes: “These facts were inspired by sportscasters who always come up with the weirdest factoids that are meant to predict what will happen next. So-and-so has a career record of batting 400 against left-handed pitchers on Friday nights in August. Such-and-such a team has never failed to win a best of seven series when up two games.

    SO true. You can always spin the statistics in a certain direction if you make them overly specific.

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  35. Thank you Mindy – and you’re right. Scotty has had some powerful performances – two of the quiet ones you mentioned I actually liked better than Gone. They don’t need to always be physical or noisy – my idols can hold the audience spellbound without lifting a finger – and Scotty has got that part down cold right now.

    For me (and my definition of Idol)I found Scotty’s performances to be much more effective when he played the guitar – because when he didn’t play his gestures and mannerisms were often jarring; they would pull me out of the moment and make me uncomfortable. In addition, the goofy faces he pulled made me feel like his was mocking/disrespecting me – and that distracted me from whatever he was trying to communicate to me with his music.

    These things will even out with age and experience. He’s light years ahead of David Archuletta in this regard but he’s not James Durbin (yet). This physical awkwardness and distracting quirks keep him off MY list for now (based on how I define Idol) – but I am quite taken with him, and I can certainly relate to everything you mentioned above.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Scotty had a warmth in his voice and a connection with the audience that some of the strongest vocalists didn’t. Scotty had a terrific season and I think he grew a lot on the show (though I think he could have grown more with some constructive criticism). He’s a fine young man and I don’t doubt for a minute that in time he’ll be commanding the stage as a full fledged Idol (by my definition).

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  36. ladyhelix,

    You have a kind and generous heart. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. Your post was the reason I started thinking about what I look for in my Idol. It was food for thought! That’s truly a wonderful thing, when someone’s thoughts can make others take a moment and think about what is meaningful to them in a singer or what they look for and admire.

    I agree with all of your comments about Scotty. It’s true that he is not quite there yet, but is working to get better. I was yelling at the judges for two weeks as they sat there and didn’t tell Scotty that he was capable of much more. I heard the potential in his voice from the beginning. I don’t how or why. I am not a vocal coach or professional singer, but sometimes I hear an extraordinary voice and can get a sense of the potential. Finally the judges told Scotty to step it up and he did just that. I am pleased at how he has been challenging himself in the last few weeks. I loved “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not”! I do agree that he is better with the guitar because it keeps him from some of the mannerisms that can detract from his performance.

    I would love to tell Scotty that sometimes less is more. It’s almost a cliche, but it really has a great deal of meaning. I think he has gotten better at not making the really goofy faces and the raised eyebrows as much as he did earlier. A little goes a long way. He will learn that you can just give a little smile, maybe slightly raise your eyebrows or wink and that’s enough. He has so much stage presence and charm that he doesn’t need to do much more.

    I don’t know why, but I find myself really missing James so much this week. I know that we will all get to see these great contestants next week, but I just still feel bad for him. I thought I was okay, but I’m not for some reason. It’s true that James has such strong showmanship and command of himself when he is performing.

    I remember how awkward sweet David Archuleta was when he was on Idol. He had that voice, but didn’t know what to do with himself on stage.

    I found Scotty’s mic technique and leaning to one side, very distracting. That’s why I was hoping the judges would say something. I have given up on them as a source of feedback and intelligent critiques. They say what they are told to say, which isn’t much and that’s about it. I think Scotty will grow out of those quirks and grow into a great performer.

    I guess that’s one reason why I didn’t expect him to be my Idol. I knew he still had some things to learn, but somehow this time it didn’t matter. A lot of rules were broken, which means that he must have touched something deep inside me.

    Again, thanks so much for allowing me to share with you and thanks for a truly exceptional post to start this discussion.

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  37. I have been watching Season 9 Finals, and Crystal was outstanding – she deserved to win. IMO, she sang circles around Lee. Randy and Ellen adored her and really thought she would win. Neither Lauren nor Scotty have that magic to capture the audience like she does. David Archuleta is another example of someone that captures emotions in delivery. Lauren and Scotty are weaker singers. I have no preference for the winner.

    Vonnie, thank you for the picture link. I really thought James would be in the Final performances with Pia. I even accepted that it could have been Haley and James. So, I am disappointment… although I did have Scotty coming in third place.

    ladyhelix, that is a great discussion on what an Idol should be. I haven’t seen Bruce Springsteen in concert, but I have seen his concert on film at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – and he is truly an awesome and exciting entertainer! Using your definition, I was thinking about Neil Diamond whom I saw in concert about 15 years ago. Another amazing entertainer!

    Excellent discussion!

    Like

  38. There is no edit button, but I had to come back and apologize. I hope my comments didn’t offend fans of those mentioned in my post.

    Idol has provided a great opportunity for Scotty and Lauren. They are sweet kids and will surely find success in country music. I had just so looked forward to seeing James perform again in the Final two.

    As I said previously, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” remains my favorite performance of the season. And to think some thought the Carole King theme wouldn’t work out because the songs were dated. Some music is just timeless.

    I hope Nigel and the other producers will really sit down and discuss changes that can be made for a better show. Now that there are more talent Reality Shows on the air, they need to do something about the voting procedures. The competition is there to take up our viewing time.

    Bit of trivia… Siobhan’s favorite contestant this season is Jacob. (She was my favorite for Season 9.)

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  39. Looks like I missed some really interesting discussions here yesterday.

    I thought Mindy’s use of the word “pampered” in referring to Lauren was the perfect word choice, and I also agree with Vonnie’s following comments about Lauren. It speaks volumes about Scotty that he offered her the choice to sing first or last. And it also speaks volumes about Lauren that she didn’t refuse his offer. I believe that Lauren is a very talented young woman for her age, but I think what has turned me off most about her this season is the continual support she has received from everyone on Idol when there were others as worthy or more worthy of the same support. I realize that this was not Lauren’s “fault,” and I do give her a LOT of credit for speaking up in defense of Haley and commenting that Haley was the best singer there. This is not something that a spoiled, diva-like person would do. But at the same time, when other contestants have been working really hard, it’s annoying to me that she really hasn’t had to.

    And, Mindy, I LOVED your description of why Scotty is your Idol. I agree with you completely. Even with the strange way of holding the mic, the raised eyebrows and all, I have loved every minute I’ve seen Scotty perform. He always makes me smile and I love him for that.

    Like

  40. I forgot to mention in my post above that I’m quite surprised to see that Siobhan’s favorite contestant this year was Jacob. I would have figured that it was James. I think Siobhan and James in concert together would be phenomenal!!!

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  41. I am also surprised to hear that Siobhan’s favorite contestant this season is Jacob. I would have thought she would feel a kinship for James. They would be great to see together in concert.

    I am concerned about the hatespeak online about this finale. On MJ’s blog many are calling Scotty and Lauren “the heehaw twins”. The disrespect being shown to them is appalling. Whether you like them or not, America has voted and they are the two who have made it.

    I made my feelings known as to who I wanted in the finale. I would have preferred to see James and Scotty or maybe Haley and Scotty. I think Lauren has some growing up to do. I am no pleased that she didn’t do the gracious thing and refuse Scotty’s kind offer to sing last. I do think that the judges have done her no favors at all. I did feel that James was overpraised and pimped beyond reason, but my concern was more about the fact that he didn’t need it. The talent was there. I think if the judges had given him some suggestions or advice it could only have helped him and maybe there wouldn’t have been this backlash with people feeling bad about Haley getting all the criticism.

    Lauren has real issues with her singing. I think the breathing issues are getting worse. They are giving her extremely challenging songs that she doesn’t seem able to handle. In a way I can see what Jimmy likes about her. She has a much better voice that Miley Cyrus, who has been so successful. They see dollar signs when they look at her. I see a young girl who simply isn’t ready to deal with the pressure and attention and sometimes harsh criticism and judgement that comes with winning Idol. She has been in a cocoon, with the judges tiptoeing around her for fear of hurting her feelings. What will she do when she is confronted by disapproval? She can’t be protected forever.

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  42. Dear Mindy,

    I agree that the HATE SPEAK against the individual contestants is out of line and that all of the contestants have endured some outrageous and sometimes disgusting comments.

    I think both Scotty and Lauren are sweet kids and they are in for a roller-coaster ride. I hope that:

    1. These two learn to bounce with the upcoming upside and downside of celebrity.

    2. TPTB (and these teenagers’ families) will be able to protect these two for the next year or so and provide some SUPPORT if/when they experience how good and how bad “fans” can behave.

    The stories of those who achieve early success is not always “pretty”.

    Like

  43. J, the MJ’s blog article is absolutely hysterical. I especially liked the “double letter” theory. Using that rule, Scotty (with his 4 double-letter combinations) is an absolutely shoo-in. Thanks for that link.

    Regarding the hatespeak – there are a lot of unhappy people in the world. They go after whatever is the most convenient target. In Season 8, it was Adam Lambert. Last year it was Siobhan Magnus. This year it is James Durbin & Scotty McCreery. The Internet affords an unfortunate amount of anonymity and allows people to say things they would never ever say face-to-face. Bottom line: the hatespeak is not personal. It’s pathetic but it’s not personal.

    I agree that Lauren is nowhere near ready for prime time. But she may surprise us.

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  44. ATTENTION ALL MCL-MART SHOPPERS!

    If Gene W, is still in the building, would you please report to the Customer Service desk please!!!

    AGAIN~~~ATTENTION ALL MCL-MART SHOPPERS!

    If Gene W, is still in the building, please report to the Customer Service desk immediately;

    Your commentary is needed!!! :-)

    WHERE ARE YOU GENE W?????

    Like

  45. Vonnie!!!!!!!! Hysterical!!!!!!

    Like

  46. Ladyhelix & Mindy,

    I agree with both of you the Scotty has shown alot more stage presence than my favorite Idol contestant, David Archuleta did three whole years ago. Since then, I’ve witnessed how much he’s grown, and it’s absolutely something to behold!
    He’s definately not totally the same David A. from American Idol.

    It’s been so exciting to see how much David has grown as an entertainer and a star, and I’ve been praying that he finds just the right record label to make him into a superstar!!! He surely has all the makings of one!!

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  47. Vonnie,

    Are you reading my mind? I was going to put up a “wanted alive” poster for Gene! However, the way you did it was much better and made me laugh out loud!

    Gene,

    Where on earth are you? Where is my big brother? We need you, we miss you, come out of hiding and join your friends who love you!

    Julia,

    You are so right about having early success not being pretty! Amen to that! I always worry about the young kids on this show. I keep thinking that they are missing out on being a teenager and you are only young once. Someone posted on MJ’s blog that Lauren was talking about missing going to the mall with her friends and doing all the fun things she did when she was home. This person said that she will have to realize that her life will never be the same again.

    Yes, it’s the chance of a lifetime to have this kind of success, but there is also a down side. I do hope that there is a stron support system for these young people as they move forward with their singing careers.

    As far as the issue of hatespeak, I agree that it’s hardly the first time nor will it be the last time we see it online during an Idol season. However, I don’t know that I will ever get used to it. You have to very unhappy and also a coward to post vitriolic insults about people you don’t know and never met, all under an anonymous screen name. I know that it isn’t personal, because the people doing it don’t know the ones that they are attacking. I still despise it and hope I never get used to it.

    Like

  48. Louise,

    Sorry, but I just cannot agree with you that Lauren hasn’t worked hard! I believe all the contestants have, including Lauren! I wish the the judges would have given them all better guidance thoughout the season.

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  49. Anita,

    Do you ever read Michael Slezak’s recaps of Idol on tvline.com? He can be a pain near the end of the season when he has his special favorite, but his Idoloonies videos are very funny. He also has video interviews with the contestants who have been voted off.

    There is an interview he had with Jacob that is hilarious! Now this is the Jacob we never got to see on the show. He is so funny! Also, he provides some really interesting bits and pieces from this experience. He did reveal that he became very confused about how he should sing. So my hunch that the contradictory comments from the judges and Jimmy Iovine just served to mess with his head. He describes the process, what he was thinking and how he approached some of his performances. It’s very revealing. The one performance that he liked the best is when he just decided to forget about what everyone was telling him and sing the way he wanted to sing.

    He also addressed his comment about looking in the mirror. Very, very interesting! This reinforces my belief that we really do not get to know these kids just from watching them on the show. They can seem totally different after they leave the show and are free from the pressure.

    There is also a video interview with James that is equally revealing. I will say that Slezak is a good interviewer. He asks thoughtful questions and then lets them give a detailed answer. So much information from these interviews.

    Also, I am sure Louise can speak for herself, but I kind of understand where she was coming from. It’s true that all the contestants have to work long hours and the teenagers like Lauren and Scotty also have school word to do.

    I think that because Haley got hit with all the criticism and Lauren basically had a pass from the judges, there is the perception that Haley had to work harder to try and claw her way through every week. She was under constant pressure because of the negativity from the judges, feeling that she had to keep giving it her all and sing as though her life depended on it. Lauren, on the other hand, had a love fest from the judges so that took a good deal of pressure off her. That’s not to say that she didn’t work hard on her songs. She was given some really challenging ones like “Unchained Melody”, which did not do her any favors.

    Maybe it’s more of a double standard issue. Haley was held to a much higher standard than Lauren and, in that sense, had to work hard to be perfect every week to balance out the fact that she was the only one being criticized. I don’t know if that is what Louise meant, but this is my view of what happened. Lauren was praised even when she missed the key change, botched lyrics, had such poor breath control that her voice went flat, while Haley sang technically well every week yet had to endure bizarre criticism that seemed to have nothing to do with her performances.

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  50. Typos galore! I am tired and it’s obvious in my last post!

    First, I meant to say in the second paragraph that my hunch WAS RIGHT that they messed with Jacob’s mind!

    Lauren and Scotty also have school WORK to do!

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  51. Thanks, Mindy! You took the words right out of my mouth :) when you said, “I don’t know if that is what Louise meant, but this is my view of what happened. Lauren was praised even when she missed the key change, botched lyrics, had such poor breath control that her voice went flat, while Haley sang technically well every week yet had to endure bizarre criticism that seemed to have nothing to do with her performances.”

    Thanks for saving me from writing an explanation of my own because I’m a little rushed this morning!!!

    I am sure that Lauren worked on her songs, but she didn’t always give the best performance but still received positive feedback from the judges. What incentive did she have to put more heart and soul into each performance? She was getting by on what she was already doing so why did she have to up her game?

    I do think Lauren seems like a nice girl, but I personally don’t enjoy her voice enough to ever want to purchase her music. But I’m sure she has lots of fans who will.

    I will, however, purchase Scotty’s first CD–also Haley’s and Casey’s. It depends on what kind of CD James puts out–if it’s metal, I won’t even though I think he’s a terrific performer.

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  52. If you’re a Haley fan, check out this article (also if you’re hoping Scotty will win!) . . .

    http://idolheaded.com/blog/2011/05/top-3-results-but-shes-weird-and-shes-wonderful/

    Like

  53. Mindy,

    I’ll have to check out Michael’s recaps of Jacob. Thanks so much!!

    I disliked the way the judges treated Haley so much this season when she had given such stellar performances. The judges not addressing Lauren’s issues is certainly of no fault of her own. But Lauren is not the only one they have been doing this with, that’s for sure.

    Many of Lauren’s performances are not as memorable to me as others, but I can’t say I haven’t seen growth in her. I love the sound of her voice, and might even buy her album. I hope those who work with her in her career will encourage, guide, and believe in her.

    I was sooo touched by her Homecoming video. To me, it speaks volumes of what a sweet, compassionate heart she has!! I know I sound like I’m on a Lauren Crusade, but I just admire her, and give her cedit for what she’s brought to the competition.

    I’m so excited about Tuesday and Wednesday, and hope both Lauren and Scotty do incredible jobs. I’m rooting for both of them, but like I’ve already said, I’m voting for Scotty!

    Like

  54. Hey, Gene, I think you will LOVE Idolhead Ed’s article featuring Haley’s best performances. After watching all of them, I just can’t believe that she didn’t win the whole thing this year. FABULOUS!!!!!!!

    http://idolheaded.com/blog/2011/05/35-great-performances-of-season-10-or-at-least-my-opinion-part-1/

    Like

  55. Predictions about the outcome . . .

    http://idolheaded.com/blog/2011/05/the-odds-are-out-and-they-are-out-rageous/

    I agree with Ed. I think TPTB would LOVE to have a Lauren win.

    Like

  56. Louise,

    Thanks for the link…I appreciate what he said about Haley, especially since I have liked her from the beginning; but this guy didn’t leave me with “warm and fuzzies”.

    I really am bummed that people are saying Scotty has no talent and that there were more talented people this season who should have his spot???

    I think Scotty has earned his spot and if the articles is right and he got 45 million votes; then alot of other people think that he derserves to be there too!

    Like

  57. Vonnie,

    I think Scotty has lots of talent too and I think he earned his spot. Besides his wonderful voice, he is a natural performer. I guess no one can ever please everyone.

    Like

  58. Vonnie,

    I have such a soft spot for both Scotty and Lauren. I’m sure there’s people with nasty things to say about both of them, and it’s a shame. The pressure of people being so judgemental over the fact that they are the final two standing, I hope hasn’t been too overwhelming for them. If Scotty and Lauren can get on that stage Tuesday night, and deliver big time, I’ll be extremely proud of them!!!

    Like

  59. Anita,

    I think Lauren has a good deal of natural appeal, which is why there hasn’t been that much hate directed at her. I have no doubt that she is a nice person, decent and caring.

    I was just trying to say that she has had an easy ride as far as the judges. Even Scotty was told to step it up and I was glad that the judges finally said something. He had so much potential and wasn’t challenging himself. They asked him to sing more in his upper register and he is now doing just that. He hasn’t had much criticism, but whatever the judges did say, Scotty listened and learned.

    Lauren has a lot of potential, but I haven’t seen a lot of growth and development, except for seeing her much more comfortable and confident on stage. All I am trying to say is that this isn’t a perfect world where everyone will love her. At some point she may experince some tough criticism. Is she going to fall apart or will she be stronger for it?

    Louise,

    Thanks for your kind words. I know you too well to think that you would ever have any harshness or bad intent. I did not presume to speak for you, but now that you have posted your thoughts I am glad that we have been thinking the same way.

    Vonnie,

    I have been debating whether I should read that article. I must say that this is not the first time someone has criticized Scotty in very strong terms. To each his own, is all I can say. I have made up my mind about him and no one can ever take that away from me. I believe in him and his innate talent. I think some of it is just because he is considered such an overwhelming favorite to win.

    I am never comfortable with anyone being a sure thing in this competition. All these predictions that Scotty has it won make me very nervous. I do think that TPTB want Lauren to win because it would accomplish a few things all at once. They would have a winner that they think will be commercially successful and finally they can say that a girl has won Idol. I do think Lauren has a better voice than Taylor Swift, but as we all know so well, it’s not always about the vocals.

    I am sure that TPTB feel that they have two contestants who both have a good chance of success. I will be disappointed if Scotty doesn’t win, but Lauren has a great deal of appeal. The fact that I think she is still too young is my personal belief, but I don’t know that it enters the equation with Nigel and Jimmy.

    Like

  60. Mindy, Louise, and Anita,

    I agree; I think Scotty has alot of talent and just seems to be a Mother’s dream, LOL.

    I will put myself on record by saying that I think Scotty will be one of the top earning idols!

    I really see this kid taking country music by storm for two reasons…one; he’s got an amazing voice! Two; the teenage girls and grandma’s are gonna eat him up!

    I can even see the teenage boys in my area drivin’ around with Scotty boomin’ from the radio.

    Yeah! I think this kid is going to do just fine…I look for his name to be called alot at the music awards!!!

    I am going to be very sad if he doesn’t win; I’m going to vote my fingers off to help make sure he gets that “confetti bath”.

    STILL NO GENE…DO I NEED TO PAGE YOU AGAIN???

    Like

  61. Vonnie,

    Our Gene is still M.I.A., despite our pleas for his return!

    Is he disappointed because Haley didn’t get into the finale? It’s not like him to just go awol right before the finale.

    MISSING PERSONS BULLETIN – Our wonderful Gene is not accounted for and hasn’t answered our pleas for his return!

    I hope that you are right about Scotty. I would love to see him have great success. I will be wearing out my finger as I hit the redial button tomorrow night.

    Like

  62. Vonnie,

    I totally agree with you about Scotty! I’m not a mother, but oh, if I was….!!!

    Like

  63. Mindy,

    Gene must be shopping elsewhere!!! I thought he loved us here at MCL-MART! :-(

    Anita,

    I am a mom, and I can only imagine how proud Scotty’s mom is of him…that mamma’s pride is a beautiful thing!

    Like

  64. Is it Tuesday yet?

    Like

  65. It’s Tuesday :).

    Like

  66. Well thanks a lot! I WAS shopping and nobody had spotted me until you began to page me. Then this burly fellow in a uniform said “hey fellow, you can’t go in there, that’s the women’s dressing room.” I am sooo busted. I hope they don’t do a strip search or it may ruin my standing in the community!

    Thanks Vonnie and Mindy for asking about me. I’ve been very busy and a little bummed, but it wasn’t me that got cut from Idol, so I’ll get over it. I have read some of the post but i haven’t had time to do them justice, so I haven’t responded. This is the only place that I go for Idol related chat, except that I like to watch Slezacs videos. I usually try to wait until the topics are no longer current before I watch them so that I maintain my own opinion. He and I do share tastes in our Idol contestants in many cases though. I don’t care for the other chat boards or talking about them much.

    First let me say that in the DEEP South, both Lauren and Scotty did the right thing regarding the coin toss. Ladies go first. It was Scotties role as a gentleman to offer, and Lauren’s role as a lady to graciously except his kind offer. The only exception would be if she was raised during the depression and you are eating at her house. This is not the time to keep going back and forth about who is going to help their plate first; She WILL NOT help her plate before he does. Period. Southern women are wonderful. They know how to lead men around by the nose and make them like it! I’m sure all of the other women are wonderful too, but this one’s for the home girls.

    I have a few thoughts on song choices, but these two are hard to choose for because of their age, clean cut personas, and lack of real world experience. I didn’t care for Scotty singing “She believed in Me” because the story wasn’t plausible for him. That sort of life experience song needs to be from the third person point of view to work when a teenager sings it, like this one:

    Randy Travis – “Spirit of a Boy and the Wisdom of a Man”

    There are a lot of things to recommend this song but one that is important for long time country fans is the linkage to George Jones. Randy Travis made his bones, I won’t say copying, but by paying tribute to Jones by adopting some of his characteristic phrasing and note bending. He’s not the only one to do this either. Patty Loveless, Alan Jackson and many other successful country singers throw in a little Jones now and then. Randy Travis is no slouch in his own right either, so this song, either directly or by inferance, would link Scotty to two great country singers before him and give him some roots in country music. The song is also a morality tale that fits Scotty’s point of view. The downside is that this song may be a better video song than a standalone song.

    Chris Young – “The Man I Want to Be”

    This song is another morality tale from a younger man’s point of view with a very good match for Scotties voice.

    George Straight – “I Saw God Today”
    Great story and if Strait is his mentor, he may recommend one of his own songs.

    Lauren might want to try:

    Miranda Lambert – “More Like Her”

    Great song, but the sentiment might be too much like her special song to be a good choice tonght. Miranda is on a roll right now so Lauren might want to try one of her edgier songs like:

    “Kerosene”

    Miranda did this as her breakout song on one of the awards shows several years ago. They used so much pyro that I thought the poor child would surely be consumed. It was bad to the bone at the time. It would be a good way for her to get some attention.

    Martina McBride – “This one’s for the Girls”

    It’s a good high energy song that’s become a standard of girl / women’s empowerment songs. It would be a good way to rally the troops for the last vote.

    I still like a female arrangement of:

    Lynyrd Skynyrds – “Free Bird”

    That is if anyone is bold enough to go a little off the all country script and try a little bit of Souther Rock. Southern Rock is much more grounded in the Blues than current Country music.It would look like a cool custom arrangement because very few people would be familiar with Joey and Rory’s version. I also saw another young woman doing it like they do on You Tube. BTW, “Free Bird is the original Bic lighter anchor song, IIRC.

    None of that matters because their songs are chiseled in stone by now, but those were some of my thoughts about what might work for them. I would declare the first one to do “Crazy” the winner if Willie would let them use it. The same would go for “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” voted the best country song of all time many times over, both by artist and fans.

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