Randy Jackson nicknamed "American Idol" season 10 "The Remix." As the Simon-less cycle starts its final descent, and as teenage country singers Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina compete on TV one last time, it's clear that Randy's premonition was 100% accurate. (At this point I should mention that I think remixes are often endless, repetitive, lazy cash grabs, more about the producer than the original artist.)
At this point, I'd urge everyone to raise your seat backs to their full, upright position. Failure to do so will result in you falling asleep within eight minutes. Unless you're a country fan, this will be the most boring "Idol" finale since Katharine McPhee sat down to sing "Over the Rainbow" for the 900th time.
But wait! What's this? A carefully worded post on TMZ hinting that Lauren Alaina may be too sick to perform and producers are scrambling to reinstate third-placer Haley Reinhart in the eleventh hour? Damn you, "Idol"! All the jokes I prepared about Smirky McSmirky versus Lauren Alaina and her ageless wonder of a mother will have to be tossed.
But relax, Lauren Alaina fans. I'm all but certain that this was a last-minute attempt to drum up publicity and get some extra eyeballs on Fox at 8 p.m. But either way, keep your chin up. Because I vow to make our two-night "Idol" finale viewing as fun as possible! I'll be live-blogging every Scotty smirk, every Steven Tyler expletive and every sighting of the true star of "Idol" this year: Mama Alaina.
So join me as we, as a nation, decide who is truly "in it to win it." Will Scotty's front-runner status bite him in the (illegal in most states) ass the way it did Crystal Bowersox and Adam Lambert? Will Lauren finally (FINALLY!) live up to the potential we all saw back in her Nashville audition? Will Haley fans rejoice as their fave gets thrown into the finale last minute? Will Randy Jackson rival BetaMax as the most useless part of pop culture from the past 50 years?
Let's find out, together! The live blog kicks off a little before 8 p.m. ET. If you're on the West Coast, wait three hours or else you'll be spoiled. While you wait for the fun to begin, catch up on season 10's shenanigans with my "Idol in 60 Seconds" recaps, embedded above.
7:49 p.m.: So much last minute dramaz! So TMZ (who appeared on "Idol" this season, just a reminder) is reporting that Lauren is going to drop out of the finale, giving 3rd placer Haley Reinhart a shot at the title. TV Guide says Lauren IS performing. TVLine's Michael Slezak has an exclusive that Haley Reinhart is currently rehearsing. I've heard that although Lauren is sick, she is "in it to win it" tonight. Whew!
7:53 p.m.: Seven minutes until millions of Haley Reinhart fans are disappointed!
7:55 p.m.: What will happen first on tonight's "Idol" finale? Scotty McCreery will make a scary face or Lauren Alaina will call Seacrest "peaches?" Answer: I miss Naima Adedapo.
7:57 p.m.: Full disclosure: tonight I'm live-blogging from MTV's Santa Monica office. I'll be "Glee-capping" later, so I couldn't go to the Nokia tonight. But tomorrow I'll be all up on "Idol's" red carpet AND live-blogging from on site.
7:59 p.m.: T-minus sixty seconds before J. Lo guest stars on "Howdy Doody!"
8:00 p.m.: The show begins with creepy childhood footage of Carrie Underwood and David Cook. Even scarier: a shot of Scotty's audition flip flops and Lauren's B-52's "Cosmic Thing" inspired satin top. The horrors!
8:01 p.m.: An eight-year old Scotty McCreery introduces himself as an "Idol" winner. Damn, Nigel Lythgoe's been pimping this kid as a winner way longer than we thought!
8:02 p.m.: Oh my heck, David Archuleta's in the audience!
8:03 p.m.: Ryan Seacrest is wearing his Emmys tux. "Idol" goes green! #Recycling
8:04 p.m: In "Things I Could Have Told You Four Months Ago" News: Lauren Alaina's mom is wearing animal print to the finale.
8:04 p.m.: America, meet "Idol's" Dr. Spaceman! His name is actually Dr. Nuzhatmansomething, but he has as much credibility as Chris Parnell's "30 Rock" character.
8:05 p.m.: First round is Contestant's Favorite from the Season. (More recycling!) Scotty is reprising "Gone," but giving it an angry swagger. I'd be angry too if the first five minutes of a competition was dedicated to making the audience feel bad for my opponent.
8:07 p.m.: Scotty's "angry face" reminds me of when my four year old nephew isn't allowed to watch "Scooby Doo."
8:08 p.m.: We're not going to hear what the judges have to say about Scotty's first performance? I guess "Idol" producers finally realized what viewers have been saying for months: these judges are useless.
8:10 p.m.: Commercial break #1 reveals my beautiful dark twisted fantasy: I'm 99% sure I could eat a Taco Bell 12-pack by myself.
8:11 p.m.: Lauren Alaina's pick is "Flat On The Floor." She began the song being raised on a platform. Perhaps she'll change the lyrics to "Flat On The Stage Mechanisms" instead?
8:13 p.m.: Lauren sounds awesomely hoarse during some sassy high notes. I like sick Lauren!
8:14 p.m.: Round one is a tie. Sorry guys, all country music sounds the same to me. (Does that make me racist?)
8:15 p.m: Next round is Songs Picked By The Idol's Idol! We should all be thankful that James Durbin did not make the finale because his idol, WWE champ The Miz, would have picked something off of "Macho Man" Randy Savage's hip hop album. Shudder.
8:16 p.m.: Commercial break #2 has me thinking, who is Haley Reinhart's idol? And who would producers have booked instead? "With his pick for Haley Reinhart, here's internationally convicted child molester Gary Glitter!"
8:18 p.m: George Strait picked one of his own songs for Scotty, "Check Yes Or No." Come on! That's like when college professors put their own writing on the syllabus to ensure some book sales every semester.
8:19 p.m.: Speaking of child molestation, this country song is about a third grade romance. George Strait wistfully writing about an 8 year old's dress is making me want to take a shower.
8:20 p.m.: Scotty convincingly sang about what his life was like nine months ago. Ugh, really "Idol?" We get that this is the "Youngest! Idol! Finale! EVER!" but forcing them sing to about elementary school makes this "The Most Obvious! Idol! Finale! EVER!" $5 says Carrie Underwood picks a Raffi song for Lauren.
8:24 p.m.: Commercial break #3 has me scheming. "Can I call in sick tomorrow so that I can watch the final Oprah episode?"
8:25 p.m.: Carrie Underwood picked "Maybe It Was Memphis" for Lauren. The "Idol" stylists picked "Space Boots and a Quinceañera Dress On Crack" for Lauren.
8:26 p.m: Is it just me, or does Lauren Alaina wear "Busted Vocal Node" really really well? Was getting sick the best thing that could have happened to this girl? [Grabs popcorn!]
8:27 p.m.: The judges are finally speaking. (Randy Jackson stole a suit from Oran "Juice" Jones. I really hope he accuses somebody of being a squirrel trying to get a nut before the episode ends.)
8:28 p.m.: Randy Jackson has been speaking for two minutes. I've transcribed his comments. "GarbledigookblahblahblahblahblahIsuck." (Okay, okay, he gave Round 1 to Scotty and Round 2 to Lauren. Yet another thing that could have been written four months ago.)
8:29 p.m.: J. Lo agrees with Randy, destroying any remaining credibility she had.
8:30 p.m.: Steven gives Lauren an edge because she's prettier. Gary Glitter approves.
8:31 p.m.: Spotted! Mama Alaina fluffing her hair as Seacrest enters the audience. Werk! Simon Fuller, give this woman her own show immediately!
8:32 p.m.: 30 million people just realized why the pacing is needlessly rushed. They needed to squeeze in Taio Cruz's integrated marketing Coke single. So...which lyric did America choose? Was it the one about overcoming obstacles or the one about overcoming obstacles?
8:34 p.m.: Commercial break #50 (I've lost count) realization: I could write next year's "Idol" finale live-blog next week if I want. This ish is predictable!
8:37 p.m.: If Scotty wins, his single will be "I Love You This Big." The verse has the same chord structure as Justin Bieber's "Baby." Fun fact! (Country Bieber.)
8:39 p.m.: This song is about being young and in love. So basically, it's a less-good version of that George Strait tune he rocked in round 2. Ruh roh.
8:40 p.m.: Spotted: Mama McCreery is crying. Seriously, how has there not been an "Idol" parent spin-off show?
8:41 p.m.: Randy doesn't think his single is "perfect for him." But then points out that it has the perfect range for him. (Four notes.) So...it's perfect for him.
8:42 p.m.: A Moment Like This > I Believe > The Time Of My Life > Inside Your Heaven > Flying Without Wings > This Is My Now > I Love You This Big > No Boundaries. (Note: I've left off season 9's coronation song since "Idol" has left off Lee DeWyze from tomorrow night's finale line-up.)
8:46 p.m.: Commercial break #423 thought: "X Factor is going to be awesome."
8:47 p.m.: Lauren Alaina's single is a leftover from Kristy Lee Cook's album. Seriously. It's called "Like My Mother Does" and she's dedicating it to her mom.
8:48 p.m.: Whoa. In honor of Kristy Lee Cook, who Hail Mary'd "God Bless The USA" to pander to voters, Lauren picked a song that, if you dislike, means you hate your mother.
8:49 p.m.: Spotted: Mama Alaina holding her hand up to the skies like she's on a Time Life Songs 4 Worship commercial. (Mama Alaina, I love you this big.)
8:50 p.m.: Nigel Lythgoe tosses a young boy on stage to accompany Lauren. He loves doing that! Oh, turns out the young man is actually Seacrest helping Lauren down the stage stairs. Wait...she's not...No. She can't be... Is she....
8:51 p.m.: SHE IS EMBRACING HER MOTHER WHILE SINGING. THIS! IS! INSANE!
8:52 p.m.: Okay, you have to give it to Lauren Alaina. Girl is working hard for votes.
8:53 p.m.: Randy and Steven give the edge to Lauren. J. Lo is non-committal. (If only she were this wishy-washy when deciding on doing "Gigli.")
8:54 p.m.: Lauren Alaina just stole the "Idol" crown for Scotty. At least, that's what David Archlueta would like you believe with his Cheshire cat grin.
8:56 p.m.: David Cook sings "Don't You (Forget About Me)" as footage of Ashthon Jones plays behind him. Too late!
9:00 p.m.: "Idol" is over! Happy voting, South! Happy "Glee" everyone else in the country!
So there you have it! What do we think? Who will win? Did Scotty drop the ball? Did Lauren Alaina step it up enough? Will all the drama surrounding her appearance give her a leg up? Or does Scotty's penis make him a lock for the win? Leave a comment below, follow me on Twitter @jambajim, and don't miss tomorrow's 2+ hour finale live-blog!