It's time for our first results show in the real finals part of the American Idol
finals (they were considered the top 20 finalists), and I'm assuming we're going back to our old style of determining a bottom three and then eliminating someone.
It's be really strange if they kept last week's method and made Ryan Seacrest run back and forth to a tiny room while they told nine singers they were advancing. Unless Lazaro Arbos is the one going home. Then they might do it that way just to spare us from having to see him eliminated.
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We've also got performances from Bon Jovi and Phillip Phillips on tap. They'll both be singing songs I've likely never heard before, so I'm going to mute the TV and sing "Home" when last season's Idol takes the stage. I like that song. I wish there was some way to bill this as a Hurricane Sandy relief telethon, so we could get Bruce Springsteen out on stage with Jon and really get my Jersey pride going. Jersey Strong, people! We will rebuild!
American Idol is also restoring a longstanding tradition of making all the remaining contestants perform in an awkward group number filled with Ford vehicles, so that should be a blast as well. Then we'll get down to the nitty gritty and figure out who's headed home in our first elimination. Assuming it's either Janelle Arthur (who can't hang with the other ladies) or Curtis Finch, Jr. (who wore a jacket that looked like wallpaper in an English castle), I can't imagine we're in store for any surprises.
The real question is, who will join them in the bottom three? It should be Lazaro, but it's more likely Devin Velez (who deservedly will move on). Who do you think should be in the bottom three? I'll be blogging live throughout the show, so keep the comments coming, and I'll do my best to get to them. Let's get to it!
Welcome Judges and a Jimmy Iovine Lookback
It appears all the judges are here on time tonight, and both Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey have chosen to accentuate the legs. Which makes sense, because they'll mostly be sitting behind a desk the entire time. They had a little trouble getting them all to their pre-determined spots for the open, though, as we could see a stagehand shuffling them out before their entrances. Off to a great start!
Jimmy Iovine walks us through Wednesday's performances, and he pans the guys from the start, particularly Curtis and Devin. He also says he was completely sold on Janelle Arthur, who was easily the worst of the five, but he wasn't AS sold on Angie Miller as the judges (and America). He thinks Paul Jolley is more pop than country and was just so-so, Candice won the night and that his criticisms of Lazaro were a "bubble bath." Kree Harrison is one of the few artists who can pick her own material, Burnell Taylor is 1,000 percent the best guy and Amber Holcomb is a star.
Seems like more of the same rhetoric, except maybe a little down on Angie to keep her on her game, but I think I'm supposed to assume Jimmy knows more than me (he does, of course, but that doesn't mean I have to agree with everything he says!).
The First Results
Devin Velez came in first place in Puerto Rico, Janelle took the Volunteer State of Tennessee and Candice crushed the competition in South Carolina. So they all took their home states? Shocking! But one of them is in the top 3, and that person is Candice!
Candice Glover is SAFE.
The First Group Number
So it's NOT a Ford commercial, but a live performance of "Shine Your Way," from the motion picture soundtrack for the upcoming DreamWorks Animation comedy, The Croods. It's a really quick rendition, and the ones who shined (get it??) for me were Angie, Candice and Curtis. No one else really got much time. Maybe Lazaro didn't bother to learn the song? Paul doesn't even look like he's really singing.
Ryan call Kree out to center stage to tell her that the mayor of her hometown is there, and he has a little message for her. He tells her that the entire town is getting blisters on their fingers voting for her (in mass blocks of 50), and the big fella wearing a plaid shirt and a tan coat gives her the key to the city. Then Ryan tells her he has better news -- She's in the top 3! Consider yourself dissed, Woodville, Texas!
Kree Harrison is SAFE.
Bon Jovi Sets an Example
The legendary band is on hand to perform their new single, "Because We Can," which might just be the same reason why Bon Jovi is still releasing albums and touring. Pay attention, wannabe Idols! I don't even know if I even like this song, but this is what it looks like when it's easy. Also, I never noticed how much Keith Urban looks like a young Richie Sambora.
It's time for the runner-up guy and runner-up girl from the top 20 to sing for a chance on the American Idol tour, and the first person up is Charlie Askew? Really?? Where is my Nick Boddington??? Charlie was really THIS close to the finals????
He is playing the piano and singing an original song called "Sky Blue Diamond," and it kinda reminds me of why we liked Charlie in the first place. Don't get me wrong, it's not great, but it's endearing. Especially since he just said the he had to choose between a 2 1/2 year relationship and doing Idol in the first place. If your significant other can't get behind you being on American Idol, pick the show, dude. Still, I am behind whatever girl he's squaring off against.
And his opponent in this good ol' fashioned sing off is none other and Aubrey Cleland, and she and her forehead mole destroy him. Her rendition of "Here on my Own, from Fame, is beautiful, and she looks really, really hot. This just in: Charlie has won America's vote and will on the American Idols Live tour. Just kidding, but it's probably what is going to happen. Niiiiccckkk!!!!
Phillip Phillips is "Gone, Gone, Gone"
Last year's Idol is back with his new single after "Home" went quadruple platinum. I was worried I would have to mute the TV and sing "Home," but I don't need to worry, because this song is almost exactly the same. But because Phillip Phillips is awesome, he can sing the same song a million different ways and I'll still enjoy it. Plus, you'd better get used to it, because we're going to have to hear it nine more times when each contestant is eliminated.
The song is over, and I immediately want the results show to just be an hour-long Phillip Phillips concert. Or maybe a 25 minutes of him, 25 of Kris Allen and then an elimination. Who's with me?
Who Else is in the Top 3?
Speaking of an elimination, it's time for more results! It's between Angie and Lazaro, who both took on Kelly Clarkson. But only one is in the top 3. Gee, who could it be?? In the state of Florida, Angie got 17 percent of the vote, but Lazaro beat her there. That being said, the entire nation picked Angie.
Angie Miller is SAFE and in the top 3!
The Rest of the Results
So we're 48 minutes in to an hour show, and all we've determined is the top 3. So I expect some rapid fire results now. We won't find out the order of the top 3, but we will for each other position. Shockingly, Lazaro Arbos came in fourth! Way to go, sympathy vote.
Amber Holcomb is in fifth, and I can barely keep up with this new format! No. 6 is Janelle Arthur and the seventh spot goes to Burnell Taylor. That means Curtis Finch, Jr., Devin Velez and Paul Jolley are in the bottom 3. Eighth place goes to Paul Jolley, so it's either Devin or Curtis. Devin would be a bit of a surprise, but not INSANELY shocking.
Keith Urban thinks that Devin is better than this, and Nicki Minaj says that if Curtis goes home, she's going home. With all the praise the judges heap on some of the other contestants, who did they want to send home? I can only imagine they were all pulling for Lazaro.
The Final Cut
The votes are in, and the person with the lowest vote total is Curtis Finch, Jr.
Devin Velez is SAFE, Curtis Finch, Jr. is singing for the judges' save.
Curtis is going back to R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly," but it doesn't matter how good it is. There's no way the judges can use their only save on the first person eliminated. Not if it wasn't a stunning choice like Candice, Angie or Amber.
Curtis holds his last note for like a decade, and he gets a standing ovation from Keith and Nicki. The crowds chant "Save!" and Mariah says she's shocked, but at the end of the day, they can't save him. Randy breaks the tough news, and Curtis is sent on his way.
Curtis Finch, Jr. is ELIMINATED!
icki blames it on the judges not having enough time, but his performance Wednesday was near the bottom, and it's just too early. At least we get to hear "Gone, Gone, Gone" again.
It's a bit of a surprise for Curtis, who was so solid all season. But with people constantly pointing out his seemingly smug and overconfident demeanor, he couldn't afford any slip ups.
Were you surprised by the elimination? Were you more shocked that Lazaro came in fourth? Were you even MORE surprised that Charlie Askew was the runner up guy in the top 10? I think we can all appreciate knowing the order of the votes, but did you like the new format as a whole? Did you find the end rushed? And based on what places everyone came in, who do you think will be next to go?
Tune in next week, when we live blog performances from the top 9. The theme hasn't been released yet, but I can assure you that the contestants will be picking songs from it and singing them. Now, go vote for Aubrey Cleland!
You can watch American Idol every Wednesday and Thursday at 8 p.m.