The spunky, southern teen with the country-pop singing sensibility has been charming Steven Tyler since her very first audition, when they sang "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" together. (Then she introduced the judges to her cancer-stricken cousin, who inspires her to sing.) The first time Alaina performed for viewer votes, she rocked out to Reba McEntire's "Turn On the Radio" -- which led Randy Jackson to compare her to both Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
Why she got cut:Idol has had two female country winners, thanks to Clarkson and Underwood. It may have just been time for a male country crooner -- hey, Scotty McCreery! -- to win, y'all.