Let me admit right off the bat that I am not a country music fan. However, this season on American Idol 2012 I have almost become a convert thanks to contestant Skylar Laine. If there are any country music stars I do admire, it would be Reba McEntire, and I think Skylar Laine fits in the same kind of mold.

Even though I am a fan, I usually am still not all that fond of Skylar Laine’s song choices. Last week I really wanted her to do “Fancy” by Bobbie Gentry rather than the song she did. I just think it really didn’t do her justice on stage.  Hell, I still want her to do “Fancy” even if the judges would probably think it is too much of a ‘storytelling’ song. That song kicks butt and only a real country star can sing it properly.

This week on American Idol 2012 I was once again disappointed when I found out what Skylar Laine would be singing. When at first it looked like she was going to sing Dolly Parton‘s “9 to 5,” I was thinking that would sound great, although pit was rather predictable. Then Laine decided to switch songs after the mentors, including Gwen Stefani, heard her sing Bette Midler‘s “Wind Beneath My Wings” and went gaga over it.

I have heard “Wind Beneath My Wings” sung about five billion times by singers ranging from amazing to frighteningly horrific. I really, really did not want to hear it again.

As I sighed and sat back to listen to Skylar Laine sing Bette Midler on American Idol Wednesday night, I experienced a strange feeling. I didn’t hate it. I wasn’t bored by it. In fact, I actually kind of liked it. Then, right at the end, when Skylar Laine suddenly exploded and her voice went through the roof of the American Idol 2012 stage, I was like… WOW. That was really impressive!

The American Idol 2012 judges seemed to agree with me across the board. Randy Jackson echoed my “wow” with several more ‘wows’ and said he thought it was her “best performance on the show to date. Jennifer Lopez said the song proved American should not count her out. “You can sing with the best of anybody who’s here,” Lopez said.

Steven Tyler was also impressed, telling Laine it was “the best song you could have picked for your voice and the end of the night.” I never thought “Wind Beneath My Wings” would sound good in country form, but it actually kind of worked quite well.

Happily, Skylar Laine also sounded very lovely on her duet with Colton Dixon of “Islands in the Stream” by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Although somewhat the odd duet couple, the two blended beautifully and had a great performance.

I have been worried that Skylar Laine might find herself in the bottom of the American Idol 2012 elimination results this week after several weeks of what I consider not-so-strong performances. After her rendition of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” t his week, I would be kind of pissed off if she did end up in the bottom three.

>> Related: American Idol 2012: Colton Dixon Rocks Cyndi Lauper (VIDEO)


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