Wednesday, May 25, 2011

'American Idol': Will Lauren Alaina or Scotty McCreery win tonight?

Tonight is the night. Will America choose Lauren Alaina or Scotty McCreery as its "Idol"?

In the show's previous nine seasons, there were times when it was clear who would be crowned the winner: clean-cut Kris Allen over eyeliner-wearing screecher Adam Lambert; bubbly blonde Carrie Underwood over long-haired rocker Bo Bice; blue-eyed Lee DeWyze over dreadheaded Crystal Bowersox.

But this time, the finalists are two seemingly wholesome, saccharine-sweet, teenage country singers.

It's a race almost too close to call.

The judges have heaped equal praise on both Alaina and McCreery this season, but on Tuesday night -- the night that would be their last performances before America voted -- Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler especially sang Alaina's praises.

After her third number, "Like My Mother Does," all three judges got out of their chairs to give her a standing ovation.

"With that song, you may have just won," said Lopez.

"You are It in my eyes," added Tyler.

And it seems Alaina is it in many other sets of eyes, as well.

"Lauren is the full package," says Senior VP of A&R at Def Jam Records, Sha Money XL. "Her sound is so versatile -- she can easily sing pop, country and her voice is perfect for TV and film. She's really pretty and has a great personality -- a complete magnet of attraction."

Monica Herrera, News Editor of, agrees that Alaina should probably win tonight since "she's the better singer...but she peaked too late."

McCreery, on the other hand, has "always been consistent," Herrera adds, therefore he will probably snag the majority of the 122 million votes that were cast last night. "Scotty has been a frontrunner all season. He's never been in the bottom three."

But just because the judges and experts think that Alaina -- who sang beautifully Tuesday night despite blowing out a vocal chord during rehearsal that afternoon -- is a worthy winner, it doesn't mean "Idol" fans will agree with them.

"One thing I can say is that the judges and the votes very often don't follow each other," says Lee Miringoff of the Marist Poll.

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