This week showed just how different two of these four American kids are to what we might have expected of young pop star wannabees. We had Scotty kissing his crucifix in some apparent attempt to get God to keep Lady Gaga's suggestions for microphone technique from affecting his pure and wholesome mind. Then we had Lauren unable to sing "I'm evil" which made you wonder why on earth she agreed to do the ruddy number in the first place. You also got the impression that at least two of the judges, or the producers, had heavy bets on James, Scotty and Lauren and that they didn't really think Haley should be there at all. God moves, though, in mysterious ways and the Gaga influence may just change everything.
Discovered that Randy was in Foreigner tonight! So James starting with the current commercial anthem Don't Stop Believing was a damn good way to get himself booked in to the final. Something odd happened in the middle when he seemed to be going too slow. This guy is always spot on tone-wise and the screams were thankfully absent too. Not bad, not bad at all. If all else fails he can apply to join Glee, I guess.
Haley followed and I had to wonder how on earth she'd do Michael Jackson's Earth Song. It was a great, passionate effort but she started to growl way too early. So tough, this song and so cut back. She brought it round with a fine ending but, for all the effort, gets the traditional pasting from Randy and JLo who seem convinced that she shouldn't be in the final. It is actually getting quite painful to watch and you just wish a Simon Cowell would appear to shut them up. Steven Tyler attempted a rescue but the damage was done bythen.
Scotty excelled with a truly professional, releasable version of Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning? Note perfect. Classy. Totally professional. Period.
Lauren restored herself brilliantly and put Haley in the shadows with the powerful, anthemic Do It Anyway. Very, very good and this is her area. WIll she become a big star in this area though? Not sure but she is very much being promoted by the judges who seem to be willing to do anything to get her there, inclusing JLo's reference to fluttering confetti coming down next week.
Lady Gaga mentored them for the second numbers and helped Haley create a stunning version of I Who Have Nothing. Magnificent. She held that last note which was so important. I would have preferred the vulnerable version but guess the vamped up one was necessary to give her chance and she needs every chance she can get. It was one of the best AI moments for me. But she's up against three people who are doing well too.
Scotty was totally lost in the world of Gaga and his performance was forgettable crap.
Lauren was also scared of the woman and didn't get anyone convinced that she was Trouble.
James also failed to impress with a predictable rendition of love Potion Number Nine. I expected a lot more from him but clearly he and Lady Gaga were incompatible.
Amazingly, after that, Haley must stand a good chance of getting through after all. Lauren, despite the terrible second song, deserves a place as that first number was excellent, as was Scotty's, who simply has to be there or the whole of Texas will revolt. That leaves James. Hmmm.