The moment is finally here–the season ten “American Idol” finale performers have been revealed. Confirmed during Thursday’s results show, the matchup will undoubtedly spark water-cooler discussion over the next week.

Getting there unfortunately meant that one of the final three was sent packing Thursday. Was it Scotty McCreery, whose deep voice, down-home charm and youthful performing style made him an instant hit with teenage girls and American families? Was it Lauren Alaina, the sixteen-year-old with the big voice whose lack of overt confidence made her seem like an underdog even though the odds of advancing to the end were always on her side? Or, was it Haley Reinhart, who scored the most standing ovations from the judges this season but simultaneously seemed to garner the most scrutiny from the panel?

It was Haley. With 95 million votes cast, the fanbases for Alaina and McCreery proved too strong, and Haley Reinhart missed out on her opportunity to compete for the season ten “Idol” crown.

That means the finale battle, Scotty McCreery vs. Lauren Alaina, will be a competition of two teenage country acts. From the onset of the season, Lauren Alaina seemed like the ideal “Idol” winner for season ten. As a cute, marketable female who could deliver hits in the country and pop spaces, Alaina represents the kind of act “Idol” has fallen short of delivering since Carrie Underwood won in season four.

But Scotty McCreery, who comes off as even more of a “sure thing” for commercial success in country music, seems to have stolen Lauren’s “frontrunner” spot over the course of the season. Plus, he comes across as a bit more mature and poised and also has the advantage of being a teenage boy in a competition that receives the majority of its votes from females.

The winner will be crowned next week–the performers take the stage on Tuesday for the final showdown.

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