Who will it be?
After four months of competition, Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina's American Idol dreams rest on the three performances they delivered on Tuesday's live finale…the finale that almost wasn't for Alaina, 16, who faced a nasty bout of laryngitis before hitting the stage.
"She is trying to get her head together. It's been a roller coaster for her. She's determined to get through this," says the source of Alaina, citing nerves as the reason for the singer's health scare. "She's a trooper."
Indeed, Alaina came prepared to sing, telling host Ryan Seacrest "I'm here, I'm ready to sing and I'm fine. Don't worry about it."
Alaina and McCreery, 17, each offered three songs on the finale stage at L.A.'s Nokia Theater: Their favorite from their Idol run, one chose by their own idols (Carrie Underwood chose for Alaina, while George Strait selected for McCreery) and what would be their first single should they win the competition.
Having won the coin toss, McCreery deferred to Alaina, who chose to sing second. Offering "Gone" by Montgomery Gentry and "Check Yes or No" by Strait, McCreery delivered his "Scotty cool" country groove Idol fans have come to expect. He managed to really wow the judges with his single performance of a new song titled "I Love You This Big."
"You've come a long way," judge Steven Tyler told McCreery. "In the beginning we were worried about your range and you proved it right there again. You take your chances, you ran with it and you nailed it again."
Idol's season 10 title, however, just may go to Alaina, who rallied from her health scare to belt out Underwood's "Flat on the Floor," Pam Tillis' "Maybe It Was Memphis" and her single, "Like My Mother Does."
"Everyone will agree it's a tight race tonight but with that song you may have just won! That was beautiful. You sang it beautifully, it was perfect for you and you sang it just the way you needed to — with heart, emotion, feeling and a beautiful voice," Jennifer Lopez gushed to the teen, who briefly left the stage mid-song to hug her own mother.
Tyler summed things up for Alaina more directly. "As far as I'm concerned, the first time I saw you, I thought you were my American Idol and I think America's going to find that to be true as well," he told Alaina. "You are it in my eyes. You are it for me."
As the winner is crowned live tonight, revisit McCreery and Alaina's finale performances in the highlight reel above and tell Us: Who should take the title?
Who should win American Idol?
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