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James Durbin departed "American Idol" last night, which translates to the series' eventual champion this year not being a male pop/rock artist.
The coronation of either country/pop-leaning Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery (country) or Haley Reinhart (pop/blues), will end the streak of male pop/rock "Idol" winners Lee DeWyze (2010), Kris Allen (2009) and David Cook (2008).
Durbin brought perhaps the strongest rock flair of any "Idol" contestant to-date, proudly stating last night that he was the first to perform metal (specifically, Sammy Hagar's "Heavy Metal") on the "Idol" stage.
He also proved versatile, performing a tender version of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" five weeks ago.
My girlfriend Michelle finds it interesting that of the three remaining finalists, we noted that all had top 12 potential during this season's audition rounds. Still, we agreed only that Lauren could emerge the 10th-season champion. She predicted a strong finish for Haley (I didn't), while I was instantly impressed by Scotty (she wasn't; not a country fan).
As much fun as it will be to find out who's crowned this year's "Idol," we'll also enjoy battling for bragging rights; hers if Haley wins, mine if Scotty wins, and a more boring ours if Lauren (whom we both excitedly predicted to finish first) takes the title.
Like the singers themselves, each of us is "in it to win it!"
(Hmm, why does that phrase sound familiar?)
Have a great weekend, and, as always, follow Billboard.com's complete coverage of the 10th season of "American Idol" and please feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.