Tonight was our two Idol finalists (Idolists?) last chance to impress us, and they managed to do a pretty good job. Or at least, they reminded us why they were in the finals in the first place. In any case, let’s get into it! Tonight, each contestant had to perform three songs: their favorite song from the season, a song by their own idol, and the song that will be their first single if they win. First up…

Mr. Countrypants chose “Gone” as his favorite song of the season, which was fine, but not much of a departure when he sang it earlier this season. He still seems a little stiff when he sings more uptempo songs, herky-jerkying all over the stage and double gripping the mic while he belts the high notes. I dunno, it just didn’t seem like the best choice for him, particularly for his final song. However, he seems to really like it and the judges were into it too, so who knows.

For the song by his idol, Scotty sang “Check Yes Or No” by George Strait, which he fared better on. This type of mid-tempo country gusher with schmaltzy feel-good lyrics about a time gone by that he wasn’t alive during is exactly the type of song he’s meant to song. While it may not have necessarily been my cup of tea, I have to admit he sang it really well. If he wins, I predict his album will be full of a lot of these sort of old timey dittys.

His last song was “I Love You This Big,” which will be his single if he wins and…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh, sorry, what was that? I didn’t hear you because I was asleep. Seriously, what a boring dry toast snoozer of a song. It was all soaring choruses and lyrics about general lovefeelmotions that was safe and completely uninteresting. I don’t know, maybe I’m being too hard on him because I have Idol fatigue, but I really didn’t like this last song. Not a super great note to end on, IMO.

Ok, is it just me, or did Lauren really step up her game this episode? For her first song she sang “Flat On the Floor,” a song that I’ve always thought was really well suited for her, but which she sang especially will this time around. She was a lot more comfortable than in the past, and her vocals were good too, although she did break a little during one of the high notes.

Her rendition of “Maybe It Was Memphis” was surprisingly good too. Admittedly, it’s not the most interesting song, but she came out in her big puffy Dolly Parton dress and belted it out with all her heart. I suppose you could say it was a tad boring, but something about the way she sang it warmed my cold dead heart.

For final song was called “Like My Mother Does” and it was…interesting. I mean, it was basically her being like “My mooooooooooom is greeeeeeeat and I looooove heeeeeeer” over a power ballad backing track. At one point she started crying and went into the audience and hugged her mom, still singing all the while. It was a little weird. It was weird, right? Like, I know American Idol isn’t known for it’s subtlety, but this song was REALLY literal. You have to admit though, it was sort of a clever choice, since how can anyone not vote for a sixteen year old singing a ballad about how much she loves her mommy? It’s practically impossible. Jennifer (who was dressed like she raided Charo’s closet) said that that song may have secured Lauren the title, and I think might be right.

So that’s it! The performances are over, and both sad Southern puppydogs have tugged at our heartstrings and pleaded for our votes for the last time. I felt inspired to take singing classes after these great performances. Going into tonight I felt that Scotty had a lead over Lauren, but after her performance tonight I think it’s possible that she grabbed just enough votes to win the title. However, Scotty sang well too, and while I may not be a fan, obviously a bunch of other people are since he’s done so goddamned well. So I don’t know people! It’s close! I guess if I had to choose, I’d still say Scotty has a slight advantage, but only by a little bit. What do you guys think? Is Scotty going to keep his lead, or will Lauren come from behind and snatch victory out of his hands? Tomorrow should be interesting.