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She's in it to win it, dawg!

I may just be desperately trying to justify their existence, but the “American Idol” judges might be pulling a fast one on us.

They like to blame us for getting complacent and not voting for contestants we deem “safe,” so maybe Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez trashed Haley Reinhart’s genius decision to sing Lady Gagy’s unreleased “You and I” so that fans got angry on her behalf. It worked!

They positioned her as the underdog instead of the frontrunner. It helps that she also nailed “House of the Rising Son” by the Animals. She also got the last song of the night, which leaves the strongest impact in people’s minds. She definitely won the night.

I think the producers and judges love her and want us to vote for her.

They overpraised Jacob Lusk to such an extent that I have to believe they did it to turn us against him. There’s no other logical reason.

I’m not into James Durbin — and I know there are more ways to sing with emotion than to cry — but his fan base will propel him into the finale.

Scotty McCreery makes me laugh every time I see him. I live in North Carolina now and I shop at Lowe’s all the time, where there are posters celebrating him as a Lowe’s employee. His squinting Mad Magazine face is so cute. But he’s one note and I’ve heard it so I don’t know that I need to keep hearing it.

I love Lauren Alaina’s voice, but she’s a very young teenager. Some people are older than their years, but she is just a sweet kid. She’s too young for this. I don’t think Scotty’s age is as much of an issue as Lauren’s. I can’t imagine her leaving “Idol” and getting thrown into the music industry pit. Someone should protect her.

Still, I like this final four. I think America definitely made the right call this week, despite the judges being useless. We don’t need them … although they can be fun. Steven Tyler defended Haley. He knows.

Haley should win this season, but I don’t know if she will. (And not because she’s a girl. I’m over that tantrum.)

I hope she learns from the fans’ votes this week and IGNORES the judges’ advice to go with familiar songs. She needs to be taking these risks. Now is the time to introduce songs that feel “original” since the goal is to go out and create songs that we’ll hear for the first time on the radio. I hadn’t heard that Lady Gaga song before, but I loved it because Haley slayed it.

I wasn’t a Haley fan at the start of this season because she screamed everything. But she is getting better every single week, while everyone else is either coasting along or getting worse.

Catch up on my few-and-far-between “American Idol” stories in this archive.


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