May 20, 2011— -- Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery will face off next week in the final round of "American Idol" after Haley Reinhart was eliminated Thursday night.
Next week's finale will be an all-teen, country-tinged southern affair, as the 17-year-old crooner Scotty McCreery and the pop-country diva Alaina face off to see who will be the next to take the title of "American Idol" in the wildly popular show's 10th season finale next week. This finale will be the youngest in "American Idol" history.
"This is the biggest platform anybody can ask for, and I rocked it out. And I had a blast … And this is only the beginning," said 20-year-old Reinhart after it was revealed that she received the fewest votes on Thursday night's show.
As a final song, Reinhart sang Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets" laced with her signature growls.
During Thursday's broadcast Ryan Seacrest also revealed that an astonishing 95 million viewer votes were cast on Wednesday – up 15 million more from the same night during 2010.
The remaining three finalists were feeling the pressure, as two of them stumbled Wednesday.
Reinhart literally fell on the stairs during her performance of Led Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be," as her father, playing on guitar, watched helplessly on stage. But she quickly popped up and kept going as if nothing happened.
"It's not about how many times you fall," judge Steven Tyler, who knows a few things about falling, told Haley afterward. "It's about how many times you get up."
Alaina, who has struggled with nerves and confidence all season, missed a key change during The Band Perry's "If I Die Young." But she made up for it with her third song of the night, Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance," when she gave judge Jennifer Lopez "goosies."
"You cannot buy those," Lopez said, declaring Alaina the winner of round three. "Those are not for sale. Those only come out when somebody makes them come out. You gave me just goosies from head to toe."
Earlier in the show, clips were shown of the contestants back in their hometowns, where they received a hero's welcome.
Locals in McCreery's hometown of Garner, N.C., dropped $61,000 on his homecoming bash, according to TMZ. The event included a traditional pork barbeque, a parade and a concert by the country crooner himself, who performed six songs.
But the real action was on stage, where, on Wednesday, the aspiring Idols each performed three songs -- one of their favorites, a Jimmy Iovine pick and the judges' choice.
Superstar Beyonce, whose "Run the World (Girls)" video was premiered later in the show, mentored the contestants for their first songs and showered them each with praise.
Besides Zeppelin, Reinhart performed Stevie Nick's "Rhiannon"and Alanis Morissette's "You Ought Know." Alaina also sang Faith Hill's "She's a Wild One."
McCreery started off with Lonestar's "Amazed," followed up with the Round Two winner "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not?" by Thompson Square and finished with Kenny Rogers' "She Believes in Me."