‘American Idol’: The Top 3 Are Visited By Beyonce, Haley’s Dad

Becky Bain | May 19, 2011 5:09 am

Beyonce mentored the Top 3 on American Idol this week, which is such a coincidence, since her music video for  “Run The World (Girls)” premiered during the two-hour episode! What good timing. Anyway, Lady Bey was all smiles and support when mentoring the contestants, who had three songs a piece to perform – one picked by the judges, one picked by Jimmy Iovine, and one of their own choosing. Jump below to find out which Idol really blew us away – and it’s not (just) because of a giant wind machine.

Scotty McCreery

Scotty’s Choice: “Amazed” by Lone StarThoughts: Scotty digs into his higher range (yes, he has one) on this somewhat sleepy love song, but we’re amazed that Scotty has finally learned how to hold a microphone correctly (ie. not holding it like he’s playing the flute). It only took four months!

Jimmy’s Choice: “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” by Thompson SquareThoughts: Scotty brings out his guitar for another love song. It’s fairly by the numbers, but Scotty remains consistent as usual.

Judge’s Choice: “She Believes In Me” by Kenny RogersThoughts: Have you got something in your eye? Yes, you do — tears after watching Scotty’s mature balladeering on this emotional tearjerker. McCreery (who is 17!) nails the big chorus and secures his rightful place in the finale.

Overall: Scotty wavers between being predictable and sufficient to being absolutely incredible. That’s already a better than a ton of artists working professionally today. This is his to lose.

Lauren Alaina

Lauren’s Choice: “Wild One” by Faith HillThoughts: All we can see are giant earrings. Could Lauren not think of any other more interesting, moment-having song in the history of (country) music? This is a good pick for a performance in the Top 24 to show you can sing… not during the Top 3 when you’re trying to prove you deserve to win the entire competition.

Jimmy’s Choice: “If I Die Young” by The Band PerryThoughts: Now we’re just looking at her shiny, pantyhose-less legs thanks to the cameras catching an embarrassing moment of Lauren before her performance. Her singing is fine, if shrug-worthy, but it makes it seem all the more disappointing after we’re shown Lauren’s audition package. She had buckets more personality and confidence back then than she does now. What happened?

Judge’s Choice: “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn WomackThoughts: This is not only Lauren’s best performance of the night, but one of her best ever. The song fit her vocals to a T, and this is the type of song that works magically on Idol when done well.

Overall: Lauren has a great voice, but we’re not entirely convinced she knows how to use it yet. Give her a few more years and we’ll gladly give her another chance, but right now, we’re not sold.

Haley Reinhart

Haley’s Choice: “What Is and What Should Never Be” by Led ZeppelinThoughts: Haley wins Round 1 for best song choice, most memorable entrance (high above the Idol stage), and best recovery after becoming pop music roadkill. Basically, this performance had everything, including her own dad on guitar! Talk about a great early Father’s Day gift.

Jimmy’s Choice: “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood MacThoughts: No matter how Haley sang this song, she would come off a lot better than Taylor Swift did at the 2010 Grammys. Regardless, with the dramatic wind machine and the sweeping arm movements, Haley gives a captivating performance, though it pales in comparison to her first song. Randy wins, though, with this comment: “I would grow my hair long if I could have a whole wind thing.”

Judge’s Choice: “You Oughtta Know” by Alanis MorissetteThoughts: As much as we truly love this song, and think it fits Haley’s voice perfectly, it’s a) kind of a novelty karaoke song nowadays, and b) has the wrong message for such an important Idol moment. Haley should be singing an inspirational song about overcoming something, or believing in yourself, or loving someone… not indemnifying a former lover. Who wants to vote for someone whose bitter after a breakup? If she was going to perform the song (and she had to, since it was Judges’ choice), we think she should have at least done the stripped down version that Alanis performed at the 1996 Grammys. She would have had more of a moment that way.

Overall: Haley started stronger than she ended, but she’s still got our vote for the finals.

Who do you think is being eliminated tonight? Tell us in the comments!