Recap

'American Idol' Finale Recap: Scotty McCreery Takes the Title

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May 26, 2011 | 5:47am EDT

Scotty and LaurenS10E39: It was a pure country American Idol finale and, appropriately, the streamers fell for North Carolina's own Scotty McCreery last night. Of course, some of you probably already know that after a few news sources leaked the vote count early yesterday. Even so, the show provided enough entertainment to give you a reason to watch, even if you're a disheartened Lauren Alaina fan like me.

Sure, those of us on team Alaina were a little bummed last night. Our girl took the runner-up spot, but in reality, it doesn't matter that much. Check out a slew of entertainment websites today and you'll see banner ads for Alaina's single, "Like My Mother Does." It's never really mattered who gets the glitter shower at the end of the Idol road; if someone gets to the upper reaches and they're marketable, they'll put out an album, so worry not, fellow Alaina supporters.

As for Scotty, the kid is clearly going to be just fine for at least a little while. His 17 year-old charm will need to mature a bit if he hopes to keep it going, but it's clear that he's got plenty of fans and that at least for now, he doesn't really need to change a thing.

But the results weren't the only spectacle last night. Idol finales always run a bit like a variety show and this one was no different. We saw practically nonstop performances from Season 10 contestants, Jack Black, Tony Bennett, Carrie Underwood, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga along with a few video features and montages, and I'd be remiss if I didn't at least touch on my favorites.

Alright, this wasn't by any means amazing, but we saw a performance from our top 13 and it was sort of like seeing people from high school that you forgot about. "Oh, wow, I totally forgot you existed, but you're alright!" Even Haley Reinhart, who was only eliminated last week, seemed long a long-lost friend. Of course, it was great to see Paul McDonald, even though I'm sure he was not exactly stoked about performing "Born this Way."

This was probably my favorite part of the entire show. The man I wanted to make it to the end, Casey Abrams came out and rocked "Fat Bottom Girls" only to surprise us all with Jack Black. Sure, it was to help promote Kung Fu Panda 2, as Ryan so graciously reminded us, but I'm stoked to see that movie anyway and how fun was it to see those two act like a pair of crazy (awesome) people onstage? It was pretty fantastic...even if Seacrest manages to ruin everything.

Both Scotty and Lauren got to sing duets with country music superstars, Scotty with Tim McGraw and Lauren with Carrie Underwood, but Scotty also got to sing when he won, so we're going to talk about Lauren instead. She chose Underwood as her idol and then she actually got to sing one of her most well-known songs, "Before He Cheats." Now maybe I love this song too much (seriously, I don't listen to country music and I know every last word of it) and maybe I like Lauren too much, but this was just about perfect. The pair had great onstage chemistry, they worked so well together and even if Lauren didn't win, she got to perform with the singer she's hoping to emulate. I'm not going to lie, it's the moments like this that put a big goofy grin on my face.

Of course Lady Gaga performed. Of course she did. She did her latest single in her onslaught of singles, "On the Edge of Glory," while standing on a musical theater grade cliff complete with a piano and eventually a male model for her to simulate sex with. Did anyone else make a bet in those first few seconds that she'd end up jumping off that Pride Rock replica when the song was over? (I did.)

Of course we also saw Steven Tyler sing "Dream On" complete with his famous praying mantis side-bends and overzealous screeches (and it was awesome); we witnessed four mind-numbingly boring minutes of Spider-Man: Turn Out The Dark (a.k.a. Spider-Man: The Moneypit); Haley Reinhart sang a duet of "Stepping Out With My Baby" with Tony Bennett and proved that she needs to be a famous jazz singer; James Durbin donned his best Judas Priest outfit and performed with the band, so that happened; Beyonce performed her new single, but she's amazing so we'll share more on that later; and there were a few other performances, but seeing as the whole point of the this episode was to crown our Idol, let's end on Scotty's night-ending performance of his new single "I Love You This Big" as he choked back happy tears and walked around delivering thankful hugs to friends, family and his fellow contestants.

Congrats and all, but really? That's the song? Is his next song going to be about fingerpaints? Alright, snark attack over. Thanks for reading along throughout these almost 40 episodes of television. I'm not sure how many hours that adds up to -- I could do the math, but I choose not to -- but however many hours, it's a hell of a lot of television to get through. I always forget how these seasons feel like marathons. Sure, you didn't win a trophy last night, but go ahead and pat yourself on the back because holy crap, we made it!

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