Idol Beat: For Haley The Bell Tolls

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Two hours. We're down to three contestants and the program last night lingered for two freaking hours.

It's hard to blame Fox. NBC is coming up on the outside with The Voice, ABC has a slew of new programs debuting in the fall (a reboot of Charlie's Angels!!!), and CBS is unleashing 30 new versions of N.C.I.S.. They need the ratings.

And so we enter the home stretch. Three hopefuls remains from the... dozens that started this journey eleventy hundred weeks ago. Or words to that effect. I tend to zone out when Ryan Seacrest is talking.

This week's mentor was none other than Houston's own Beyoncé, and I can sum up the first ten minutes of the show thusly: Beyoncé Beyoncé Beyoncé. Beyoncé? Beyoncé. Beyoncé Beyoncé. Beyoncé... Beyoncé Beyoncé; Beyoncé. Beyoncé!

The first round(!) is songs chosen by the contestants themselves. According to the B-ster, Scotty "has range." And he exhibits it by singing another country power ballad ("Amazed" by Lonestar). C'mon Scotty, branch out a little, sing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" or "Is This Love" and at least spread your monotony across genres.

"Has range." Yeah. He held that half-octave jump for a full beat-and-a-half.

I'm not going to break down the judges' reactions, because I'm going waaay out on a limb and assuming they're going to love everybody. J Lo: "We have three great singers." No. No you don't.

Is it possible that Lauren Alaina's butt is bigger than Beyoncé's? Somebody get Nicki Minaj in there. Her choice is "Wild One" by Faith Hill. We're really straying outside our comfort zones, here.

Haley Reinhart has been stepping it up, and I'm as surprised as hell she's here after paying rent in the bottom three a month or so ago. She picks Zep's "What Is And What Should Never Be" (with her dad playing on stage, no less...jesus, that dude looks like Jerry Lee Lewis). Haley is now my favorite.

Even after she busts her ass. Nice recovery.

Predictably, the judges. love. everybody. I'd give the round to Haley, as do the judges. As if there's a chance in hell of Scotty the Notty not winning.

That guy in the dog suit was throwing me off, but thanks to Google I know he's from Elijah Wood's new TV show (on Fox!). Whew. That was going to bother me all night.

Jimmy Iovine picks their songs next. Scotty gets "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" by Thompson Square, a - wait for it - country band, and he... hey, did you know you can skip forward three minutes every time you fast-forward a Scotty performance?

For Lauren, the Band Perry's "If I Die Young," another country tune. I guess the Misfits were too much to ask for. Haley gets "Rihannon." The only fault I can find is she didn't "baaa" quite enough to effectively emulate Stevie Nicks.

Nice use of the wind machine, though.

Re: Beyoncé's new video. What the fuck am I looking at? Epilepsy: The Musical?

Next were the judges' choices. The startling choices continue as Scotty gets - jesus christ - "She Believes In Me" by Kenny Rogers? Kenny Rogers? His dad seems nice, though. Can we get him up there?

"I Hope You Dance." Lee Ann Womack would never wear that horrible prom dress, Lauren. I guess they're running out of ways to hide her ass.

Aaaand the judges have pretty much fucked Haley with Alanis' "You Oughta Know." The only part of that song that is even sung is the chorus. And then there's: "Would she go out with you to a theater?" Sorry, kid.

Tune in tonight to see Haley voted off.

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