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American Idol: Season 10, Episode 36 :: Top 3

May 18, 2011

American Idol Season 10 is getting down to the wire. After James Durbin’s shocking elimination last week, only three contestants remain. Episode 34 aired on May 18, 2011.

The Top 3 sang three songs this week—the first chosen by them; the second chosen by their mentor, Jimmy Iovine; and the third chosen by the judges. Scotty, Lauren and Haley all received warm receptions as they traveled back to their hometowns, giving them the courage and confidence to fight for a spot in the finale.

Round One: Haley Wins

Beyonce showed up this week to give the Top 3 some advice on their first songs choices. Scotty chose Amazed by Lonestar, Lauren sang She’s a Wild One by Faith Hill, and Haley went with What Is and What Should Never Be by Led Zepplin. Haley made history this week, not because of her trip and fall on stage, but because her dad accompanied her on guitar. The judges awarded Haley with the win for that round, and J-Lo said it may have been her best vocal performance ever on the show.

Round Two: Scotty Wins

Next, this year’s mentor Jimmy Iovine chose the songs for the contestants, and overall, he did a pretty good job. Scotty knocked it out of the park with his song Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not by Thompson Square. J-Lo got a little too excited and asked Scotty to shave his head for the next episode. (No, Scotty! No!). Lauren sang If I Die Young by the Band Perry. Even though she faltered a bit in the middle, she pulled it off in the end. And Haley sang Rhiannon by Stevie Nicks. The song was too abstract for her style and the wind—oh, dear—the wind machine was just so darn corny. It’s no surprise that Scotty received the win for that round.

Round Three: Lauren Wins

For their final performances, the judges made the song selection. Scotty sang She Believes In Me by Kenny Rogers, which (let’s face it) was not a good choice for him. But he did the best he could, and somehow the judges found nice things to say about it. Lauren did an amazing job with Lee Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance (which J-Lo gave her the win for even before Haley performed). And Haley ended the show with a song that, after Lauren’s performance, left viewers with a bad after taste. It was You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette. She butchered the verses...thank goodness she nailed the course.


After more than 90 million votes, the two contestants to make it into the finale are Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina. The country singers prevail!

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