What have you done, America?
No. Seriously. I’m actually kinda curious. I want to know which girl is going to advance along with Amber, Kree, Candice and Angela.
I want to know who’s going to advance among the Men, who were mostly a mediocre lot.
And, finally, I want to know if the judges are going to toss in any twists, two wild cards, perhaps? “Idol” is ending a week earlier this year, so I suppose that if you eliminate the Judges’ Save and just do a Top 10, that fits, right?
We’ll see. It’ll take 90 minutes, but we’ll find out.
8:00 p.m. ET. I’m using a Kree Harrison picture, because I’m roughly 98% sure that she’s advancing. I’d have used Angela Miller, but I had a picture of her for the Sudden Death Round.
8:01 p.m. I’m very confused by the process Ryan Seacrest just described. He seemed to imply that each member of the Top 10 will get to sing a victory song? That makes zero sense in a 90-minute show. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
8:02 p.m. This is our first glimpse at the new “Idol” stage, which looks a lot like the old “Idol” stage, only with more gold.
8:03 p.m. Keith Urban escorts Nicki Minaj down the “Idol” steps, while Randy Jackson escorts Mariah Carey. With their heels, neither female judge is capable of going down steps on their own.
8:04 p.m. This week, 39 million votes were cast. Ryan explains the procedure a second time and I still don’t get it. But first, we have to watch a recap of journey for the full Top 20. Ugh.
8:06 p.m. That was shorter than I might have guessed. But we’re not getting a single result before the first commercial break. It’s gonna be that kinda night.
8:10 p.m. The guys are getting their results first, but only after another recap.
8:11 p.m. Burnell and Devin are the only two guys I actually care about seeing advance. And I’m not sure how much I actually “care” about that. I guess I care about Vincent as well, even though he was pretty weak last night. I’d be disappointed if he didn’t advance.
8:14 p.m. The first person in our Top 10 is… PAUL JOLLEY. Shrug. I don’t dislike Paul and I know why he advanced. Wow. We really are going to hear performances from each member of the Top 10. Paul further muddles the waters of his musical identity by singing a
Celine Dion Heart song characterized by at least one arbitrary key change and more bum notes than he hit last night. I don’t think Paul would be advancing if he’d done this last night. He’s pretty much mangling “Alone,” though whoever arranged the song is at least partially to blame for making it too high for Mr. Jolley. “My ears were kinda numb,” Paul says of his reaction to Ryan’s news. Keith says Paul’s performance tonight was even better than last night. Keith is wrong. Keith also says that Paul is learning from the judges, which is ridiculous, since they told him to sing country and to be authentic and he didn’t and he wasn’t.
8:15 p.m. Our second person in the Top 10 is… BURNELL TAYLOR. I’m going to get tired of Burnell’s “I’m Conducting You And Your Love” performance style, but I’m still very happy with his voice on this version of “Ready for Love,” which gives indications of a lower register that we haven’t heard from Burnell previously. The judges stand for Burnell. Mariah, who has decided that tonight is all about her cleavage, calls this performance “impeccable.” “I don’t want to sound too cliched, but it means everything,” Burnell tells Ryan.
8:27 p.m. Next through… CURTIS FINCH JR. He jumps around like he’s shocked. He sings “So High,” his second straight song to reference flying. And is it really necessary for him to go into falsetto and falsetto-falsetto whenever he sings “high” as if to remind us that he can sing high and higher? Randy gives Curtis big props.
8:35 p.m. Charlie looks like he’s having a heart attack. This is very sad. The next person in the Top 10 is… DEVIN VELEZ. Good. I was a bit worried for Devin. I like Devin’s unassuming humility. I don’t think he’ll ever make me hate him. And that’s a nice relief. Devin does a nice version of “The Power of One.” He’s got a somewhat quirky roster of musical references. Nicki praises Devin’s consistency and says that fusing his Spanish “obviously helped.” She says that what he’s doing playing to that audience has never been done before on “Idol.” Jorge Nunez and Karen Rodriguez would be insulted. Devin’s mom is a trip.
8:43 p.m. The last guy in the Top 10 is… LAZARO ARBOS. The atmosphere in the red room is mournful. Lazaro heads to stage and because this is LIVE TV, we get to watch Lazaro give last-second musical instructions to the bandleader. Lazaro sings “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” He’d told Ray Chew that he didn’t know the last notes. I’m not convinced he knows most of the notes. I understand completely, though, why Lazaro advanced. It’s hard to say bad things about the kid and it’s even harder to say mean things. I just wish he was better. Mariah tells Lazaro that people relate to him on several levels. She thinks he’s growing each time he goes on the stage, but she wants to hear more of his lower register.
8:49 p.m. We get to cheer for Charlie, Nick, Elijah, Vincent and Cortez. Vincent got absolutely and totally hosed, but it was at least partially his own fault after last night’s performance. Ryan tells Charlie to stay strong. Sniffle.
8:54 p.m. We’ve had no indication that any of the guys in the Top 10 play the guitar. Or any other instrument. Interesting…
8:54 p.m. On to the Girls… Bring on The Big 4 and The Big Question Mark…
8:56 p.m. Tenna Torres was awful on Tuesday. Why did the judges not tell her she was awful? Geez.
8:58 p.m. The ladies are freaking out.
8:58 p.m. The first girl in our Top 10 is… JANELLE ARTHUR. This is what I predicted on Tuesday. Janelle is very cutely excited after falling short in her first two “Idol” tries. I think Janelle’s a very viable dark-horse. She’s one of the few people in the Top 10 who’s going to fit a blueprint for a previous “Idol” winner. She sings what is apparently a Dierks Bentley song called “Home.” I don’t know it. I think she’s a bit pitchy, but probably reasonably good. The judges stand. Nicki’s happy her marshmallow advanced, telling her she’s going to be a humongous country star.
9:03 p.m. Well, either we go 1-2-3-4 with the Big 4, or there are gonna be problems.
9:06 p.m. Up next… CANDICE GLOVER. OK. There’s one of Big 4 through. I don’t think Candice and Angie were ever vulnerable. I think either Amber or Kree could be a shocking elimination. I hope not. Candice sings “I’m Going Down.” She’s been going a bit old-fashioned previously, but this is a good reminder that she can certainly be a contemporary Mary J. Blige-type. Easily. She’s talented. Very. And I like watching the other performers listen to her. There are always a few contestants who the other contestants appreciate because they do things nobody else can do. Candice is one of those. “This girl can really, really sing and in case anybody’s wondering, this is a singing competition,” Randy says. Curtis is particularly excited for Candice.
9:11 p.m. The third woman through is… ANGIE MILLER. Like I said, if there’s a surprise coming, it’s coming on one of the other two Big 4 members. Angie’s pleasure seems genuine. She sells it. She doesn’t try selling “surprised,” but she definitely makes “overjoyed” seem believable. She does a little Beyonce with “I Was Here.” You can hear the emotion in her voice. This is definitely not her best performance, but I’ve gotta say that she moves me a tiny bit. Little lump in my throat. I’m not sure why Candice isn’t standing for Angie. Should we read anything into that? Probably not. And Candice is up by the end of Angie’s performance. “I’m virtually crying down here,” says Keith. See? That’s what I’m talking about. “All you needed, baby, was a break,” Keith says.
9:21 p.m. The penultimate member of the Top 10 is… AMBER HOLCOMB. OK. Why am I suddenly worried about my choice of image? I’d hate to think I jinxed Kree. Amber does a decent-but-unremarkable version of “I’m Every Woman.” It’s not especially musically interesting, but it’s… ummm… fun to watch her perform it? If you know what I mean? I’m trying not to be a Neanderthal here! “Mariah, I know you love seeing this,” Ryan says. “What do you mean by that?” Mariah asks. He means it’s your turn to say nice things, Mariah. GEEZ.
9:28 p.m. The last person in our Top 10 is… WHEW. It’s KREE HARRISON. Why am I so relieved that America did what should have been totally obvious? The other finalists are very happy to see Kree advance and Candice and Angie even hug. “Let’s have some fun y’all. I’m so relieved right now,” Kree says. Kree closes the show strong. That’s what she should be doing. She’s sexy and and strong.
9:31 p.m. Farewell to the five women who probably deserved to go home.
9:32 p.m. They’re doing a sing-off next week for one other spot on the tour.
9:33 p.m. And now I’m off to talk to the Top 10…
Did America get it right?