We here at the Beehive have been mostly silent on this latest season of “American Idol.” Not even the spectacle of Jennifer Lopez — who in her interactions with the singers seems to be trying to add Most Bestest Friend to her title of “People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Judge” — doing her thing, or Steven Tyler getting all loosey-goosey on national TV, or Randy Jackson trying to channel a slightly kinder and gentler Simon Cowell as he competes with the star-power wattage sitting next to him, was enough to draw me in on a regular basis.
But now that there are just four singers left — with one booted off tonight — it’s time to weigh in. I watched last night. My impressions:
James Durbin. So cocky he owns the stage. Perhaps too cocky? Though Lopez kept trilling last night about his fabulous vibrato last night in Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’ ” I thought the second part of the song wasn’t all that impressive vocally. But I do like his swagger. And he’s from Santa Cruz, and I’m from Santa Cruz County, so there’s the homeboy thing. Who knows? Maybe he’s different enough to shake up the winning “Idol” formula by being a champion we can actually remember in a year.
Lauren Alaina. Too, too young. She screams high school to me. When guest mentor Lady Gaga tried to foist a slightly more provocative edge on Alaina’s sunny immaturity, it came across as a little desperate. Yet — like all the others — a powerful voice. No mediocre finalists have made it to the Final Four.
Scotty McCreery. OK. In the first part of the season, I was tickled by McCreery’s amiable bass and his Johnny-Cash-as-tadpole impression. He knows his material. But by this point, I’m bored. His attempt last night to goof things up with “Young Blood” was three-fifths dorky. Is the country contingent really strong enough to send Scotty to the top?
Haley Reinhart. Best for last. Again, I’ve only dipped in and out of this show this season, but I find in the last few weeks that Reinhart’s raspy vocals and stage stature is really growing on me. Contrary to Lopez and Jackson’s diss of her first number, “Earth Song,” in last night’s show, I thought she was stellar. She’s my pick.
And here’s my prediction: Lauren Alaina goes home tonight.
Who do you think is going to win it all?