Scotty McCreery's singing voice isn't as low as I remembered, though his speaking voice may have gotten even deeper. I suppose we all get deeper as we grow up. This child won Best New Artist at 18 and is working on his second album. How old are you and what have you accomplished? NOTHING.
Just kidding. Scotty's cute, and it was cool to see him rock out (he's not as "pure country" as I remember in this new all-black getup) with his band in a laid-back performance of "See You Tonight" -- a perfect tune for girls to blast out of their cars while zooming around town to pick each other up. I liked how Scotty shrugged off Ryan's introduction of him as "the big guns" -- "I don't know about that."
Then we were treated to the original Idol, now glow-in-the-dark makeup model, Kelly Clarkson! I love seeing this footage from the early winners' auditions -- how hilarious was it that she told Seacrest she'd be referring to him as "the guy outside"?
I really think Kelly would have won any season of American Idol, simply due to the unparalleled energy she evokes while performing. Of all the judges, Keith Urban exhibited by far the most vigorous glow stick action during "People Like Us." But it was Mariah Carey who landed herself in the spotlight after sauntering onstage (that's two nights in a row!) to greet an awestruck Kelly.
"That was like the 'Heartbreaker' video, with the jeans," Mimi suggested to Kelly re: the homemade denim structure she'd worn to audition back when it all began. "I was also very heartbroken and poor!" Kelly shot back. Ha!
Lasting image of the evening: Ryan's blink-and-you'd-miss-it "Namaste":
Peace be with you all. Are you relieved to see Lazaro go? Which lady will take it?