Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhart were back on the stage of "American Idol" on Wednesday, May 18 after visiting their hometowns. The top 3 had to perform three songs: a song they chose for themselves, a song chosen by in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine, and a song picked by one of the judges.
Scotty picked a country song, Lonestar's "Amazed", for round one. Judges Steven Tyler thought Scotty took "that song up a notch," while Jennifer Lopez praised him for having "grown so much as a performer." Randy Jackson said, "It was a great song choice for you."
Lauren chose "Wild One" by Faith Hill. As a guest mentor, Beyonce Knowles helped Lauren to be more confident. She was having fun during her performance and Randy liked it. J.Lo told her to "attack it like that every single time."
Haley came out next with her version of Led Zeppelin's "What Is and What Should Never Be", accompanied by father who played a guitar. She slipped and fell on the stage, but managed to get right back up. Randy claimed it was one of Haley's best performances ever, while J.Lo said, "You sang it really, really great." The judges declared Haley won round one.
Scotty started round two with his rendition of Thompson Square's "Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not" chosen by Jimmy. Steven called it "beautiful", while Randy praised Jimmy for picking a good song for Scotty. J.Lo gushed, "There were so many moments in there that I loved so much."
Lauren then belted out "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry. J.Lo said, "You had a very honest moment in the middle of that song...It was beautiful." Randy stated this performance proved Lauren has the quality to be a winner on "Idol", while Steven simply said, "You nailed it again."
Jimmy picked Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon" for Haley. Randy said she "did a really good job with it," while Steven said Haley met his expectation. J.Lo, once again, used the word "beautiful" to describe the performance, adding that "it was very pretty."
The judges had different opinions about the best performance in this round. Steven was in favor of Lauren, while J.Lo and Randy said Scotty won round two.
The show went on with judges' choice for the contestants. Scotty got "She Believes in Me" by Kenny Rogers. Steven and J.Lo wanted to see if Scotty could hit the notes in the chorus, but in the end they thought he did a good job. Randy added it was about Scotty stretching himself at this point.
Lauren later sang "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. Seemingly enjoying the performance very much, J.Lo said Lauren gave her "goosies from head to toe," and gushed, "You won that round for me already." Steven chimed in, "You sang that song so perfectly."
Haley's rendition of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" closed the night. Although she was a bit off-key at the beginning, the judges gave positive reviews with Randy saying "Haley is in it to win it." Steven called it perfect, while J.Lo thought, "Your stronger parts were the choruses." The judges gave round three to Lauren.