Tonight, the contestants have three rounds to this knock-out battle for a place in the finale:
Round One: Contestant's choice
Round Two: Mentor Jimmy's choice
Round Three: Judge's choice
Tonight's Mentor: The irreplaceable Beyonce.
Round One: Amazed, by Lonestar. Beyonce clearly adores Scotty. There's nothing Scotty can't sing in that deep country boy voice. Amazed is a beautiful song, albeit a little overplayed. Here's the thing: Scotty's deep, deep voice on this song made it brand new to my ears.
Round Two: Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not, by Thompson Square. LOVE this song! If you haven't heard it, go listen...seriously. Y'all will love it. Fantastic pick for Scotty, and, playing his guitar, Mr. Country delivered. Absolutely loved his performance, vocals, everything. Note: Would love to see him playing his guitar more--it really lifts his performances to another level. Dare I say it? He looks like he's already a country star.
Round Three: She Believes In Me, by Kenny Rogers. One word: Beautiful.
Round One: Wild One, by Faith Hill. Beyonce prefers Lauren singing fun songs because they "...really open her [Lauren] up." She also tried to impart the Sasha Fierce mentality on Lauren--as Beyonce said, she needs to believe in herself. Throughout the competition, Lauren has really shined with an upbeat tempo. On tonight's first song, she did just that, although I felt she might have been a little nervous, maybe even getting a little ahead of the music in a couple of spots.
Round Two: If I Die Young, by The Band Perry. In the middle of the performance, she was thrown off the song, missing a key change. The judges thought she simply got caught up in the moment and lost her way. I mean, she's only 16 years old, y'all! Prior to that moment, it was flawless and she recovered beautifully.
Round Three: I Hope You Dance, by Lee Ann Womack. One of my favorite songs...and she was absolutely flawless.
Round One: What Is And What Should Never Be, by Led Zeppelin. Beyonce said Haley is a risk taker and a rocker...and she is. With her dad ripping it on guitar, Haley rocked it out. Apart from wiping out on the stairs in the middle of the song--she got up and kept going, bless her--she turned in a solid performance. Honestly, I think she'd do really well in a rock band.
Round Two: Rhiannon, by Stevie Nicks. She was very hard to hear over the background vocalists at times. She sang in a softer voice, minus the growl. Nicely done.
Round Three: You Oughta Know, by Alanis Morissette. Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no. There is only one person, one voice who can ROCK this song: Alanis. It's a tough, tough song to sing and Haley's voice just couldn't cut it in my book. If they had given her, maybe, Ironic or You Learn...I don't know. It just didn't work for me...I'm a bit partial to Alanis, though. I felt like she was trying to sing it too much like Alanis and it took away from the Haley-style.
Scotty: Sincere country boy with a classic, throwback country voice. If you're looking for consistency, Scotty has delivered week after week after week. Like I said, he has a contract waiting for him in Nashville and a looooooong career in country music ahead of him.
Lauren: She's an absolute humble sweetie-pie with a powerful voice. She just needs to find that inner confidence...once she does, she will soar.
Haley: The girl can belt a song, but my major concern with Haley is her attitude. According to reports--and personal observations from watching the show--her reactions to criticism haven't been good. I know it's hard to hear negativity, but how you respond is key. The judges are simply trying to help guide her, as they are with all of the contestants. Hopefully she was just having some off moments.
Who would my ears like to hear in the finale? Well, now that James isn't here (still shocked at that one)...let's make it all country with Lauren and Scotty. I just think both of them are darling with such amazing country voices. It would be great to see a country showdown in the finale...at least to this Texan. ;)
What about y'all?