Last season's "American Idol" saw two country singers consistently rise above their competitors en route to the top two and the show's finale. Unfortunately for Skylar Laine, "Idol" voters weren't looking for a second straight twanged-out finale.
Skylar, the 18-year-old spark plug who's been compared to genre heavyweights Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert during her tenure on the show, was sent home Thursday night (May 3) after accruing the lowest number of votes, finishing in fifth place on "Idol"'s 11th season. Hollie Cavanagh, who had her most acclaimed week on the show yet with her commanding performances, joined Skylar in the bottom two.
The country singer-songwriter's elimination comes as a small surprise, given "Idol" viewers' general taste for country artists and the fact that the Mississippi native hadn't really had a bad week on the show. It was Skylar's third week in the group of lowest vote-getters and second in a row, her rocked-out rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" and her Broadway/Vegas treatment of Dusty Springfield's "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" apparently not connecting with this week's voters.
Or maybe voters were drawn away by the strangeness of that couple just kind of chilling onstage on that park bench during the latter performance. Perhaps they weren't in it to win it, Ryan.
Whatever the reason, Skylar certainly went out with a bang, giving viewers probably the best send-off performance of the year with her fiery rendition of Lambert's "Gunpowder and Lead." I always said I was most impressed with Skylar when she had a performance that sounded authentic and as though it could be on the radio the very next day, which is exactly what she exudes whenever performing this and many other country songs.
In other words, don't feel too bad for Skylar Laine. In fact, I'm willing to bet that of the top 10 of this season, she'll be the first to notch multiple chart-placed songs in her respective genre. She's got a definite future. After all, Kellie Pickler certainly didn't win "Idol."
Speaking of country stars, former "Idol" winner Carrie Underwood stopped by to promote her newest single, "Blown Away," the performance of which was taken quite literally, with thunderstorm and wind effects surrounding her. Apparently the judges were also quite blown away, giving her a standing ovation afterward.
Coldplay also came on the show to promote two singles from "Mylo Xyloto." Of course, rather than perform new single "Charlie Brown," we were treated to a rehash of the band's "SNL" performance, with fluorescent colors surrounding the band on "Paradise" and "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall." Hey, Chris Martin sounded a lot better on the former song than he did at the Grammys this year, so at least that's a plus.
Did the right singer go home? Can Hollie survive yet another week? Who do you have in the finale? Winning the show? Let us know in the comments!