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Tearful Lauren Alaina sings through the pain after injuring vocal chords as she vies for American Idol crown
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
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Singing on: Lauren Alaina took to the American Idol stage tonight for the final showdown, despite having injured her vocal chords during rehearsals
Lauren Alaina managed to make it on to the American Idol stage tonight for the final showdown - despite fears she may have had to bow out of the contest.
The 16-year-old hopeful had earlier 'blew out her vocal chords' in rehearsals, the show's doctor explained.
But after receiving medical attention and medication she was declared fit to do battle with fellow finalist Scotty McCreery.
©Emotional night: The 16-year-old hopeful became tearful after singing her last song of the night
Lauren soldiered on without any audible hiccups, becoming tearful during her last song, with both her and Scotty, 17, receiving high praise from the judges for their performances.
However, despite her setback, Lauren appeared to get the edge over Scotty, with the judges being slightly more impressed by her efforts.
After the final song, all three judges said Lauren would get their vote over Scotty - although it is the public who get to decide the winner.
Steven Tyler even went as far to say: 'Lauren gets it hands down.'
©Graceful: Host Ryan Seacrest escorts the Georgia native into the audience at LA's Nokia Theatre as she sings Like My Mother Does
©Proud: Lauren shares a hug with her mother as her father watches on during the performance
The show began with the drama over Lauren's voice being discussed.
She reassured host Ryan Seacrest: 'I'm fine,' after the programme's doctor explained how she had received medical treatment for her vocal chords.
Tonight saw the boy next door versus the southern belle as Scotty and Lauren put in their final performances ahead of tomorrow's finale.
Each contestant sung three songs for judges Jennifer Lopez, Randy Jackson and Tyler.
©Let the battle commence: Lauren with fellow finalist Scotty McCreery and host Seacrest
Round one was their favourite song from the season, round two was a song picked by their mentors and round three was the single that each contestant will release if they win the competition.
Scotty's final song was the slow track, I love You This Big.
'When you hit that end note I was like "woah, dude". Scotty you are in it to win it. That was a brilliant vocal,' Jackson told him.
'You are a storyteller, you did an amazing job with that song,' said Lopez.
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Southern belle: She started the night off in a gold, sparkly dress
©Musician: Scotty performs with his guitar in hand. He also received high praise from the judges although they said Lauren had a slight edge over him
Lauren's final track was It's Like My Mother Does, which led her to hug her mother during the performance.
'Lauren Alaina has arrived America, that was amazing,' shouted Jackson.
'There was heart, emotion, feeling and a beautiful, beautiful voice,' said Lopez.
'It's been a tight race,' Lopez added. 'America has their job cut out for them.'
©Here come the judges: Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson
©In position: All judges agreed it was a close race, but called if for Lauren at the end of the night. The voting public will decide the winner, which will be announced in tomorrow's show
The songs were performed in LA's Nokia Theatre in front of seven thousand fans.
The public will vote for the winner with the result being announced tomorrow.
Tonight also saw a guest performance from Taio Cruz and American Idol winner David Cook from season seven.
This year marks Idol's youngest-ever, and first all-country music finale.
Alaina from Georgia, who has dreamed of appearing on the show since age six, is the youngest person to reach the finale.
McCreery, from North Carolina, has a deep voice that belies his youth and has barely put a foot wrong.
©Guest performer: Taio Cruz took to the American Idol stage to entertain the 7,000-strong crowd
But whichever contestant prevails when the votes are announced on Wednesday - and predictions as usual are for a close race - country music may end up the real winner, some experts say.
'Either way they have two people who could do very well in country music,' said Yahoo! Music managing editor Lyndsey Parker.
'If you look at some of the biggest sellers of the past couple of years they have been Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Miranda Lambert.'
©Look who's back: Fellow American Idol winner David Cook closed the show
Swift has sold more than three million copies in the United States alone of her November 2010 album Speak Now.
Searches on Yahoo! for American Idol finalists have spiked 949 percent this week ahead of 10th season climax of the most-watched TV show in the United States.
Alaina is getting nearly nine times as many searches as McCreery, according to Yahoo! data.
American Idol 2011 Top 2 Finale - Lauren Alaina (Like My Mother Does)

Lauren Alaina - Flat on the Floor - American Idol Season Finale Top 2 Performances May 24,2011

American Idol 2011 Top 2 Finale - Scotty McCreery (Gone)

Scotty McCreery - Check Yes or No - Top 2 - American Idol 2011 Finale (2nd Song) - 05/24/11

source: dailymail