American Idol Top 20 Results Recap: It's the Finals Countdown

candice glover american idolHow do you take the task of announcing the names of American Idol‘s Season 12 finalists and stretch it out over a 90-minute telecast? Well, you can start with a super-awkward framework for the episode that requires Ryan Seacrest to dash back and forth from the stage to a tiny holding room, retrieving finalists one at a time and leaving the unfortunate castoffs to stew in their own anxiety and terror.

The good news, however, is that Nigel Lythgoe & Co. introduced the idea of a victory song for each singer before he or she decamped to the Idol Couches of Safety (TM). Okay, so more than half of the contestants didn’t exactly make the case that they’re ready to be the next Kelly Clarkson, let alone Taylor Hicks Taylor Hicks, let alone Kelly Clarkson. But hey, it beats the living daylights out of a lip-synched group number, doesn’t it? And to be fair, the adrenaline and emotion of knowing that half of the 20 contestants who entered the week were about to walk the plank probably didn’t help the performances as a whole.

RELATED | American Idol Guys’ Performance Recap: See Me Running Through That Open Door?

In fact, I’d argue that at least six members of the Season 12 Top 10 have at least some chance to inherit Phillip Phillips’ hitmaking throne. I’m a little crestfallen that contestants whose names rhyme with Rihanna Beer and Awe-Three Hell-Land didn’t score a pair of Wild Cards to add a little more vocal horsepower to the next three months of proceedings — and that a dude whose last name is a species of bird didn’t get swapped out for the guy whose last name is a homonym with the first name of a famous actor whose surname is Diamond Phillips — but like Gloria Gaynor, I will survive.

Let’s get to the results:

Voted Through by America (in Chronological Order) Along With “Victory Song” (and Letter Grades)
Paul Jolley: Heart’s “Alone” | Grade: C
Burnell Taylor: india.arie’s “Ready for Love” | Grade: B+
Curtis Finch Jr.: John Legend’s “So High” | Grade: C+
Devin Velez: Israel Houghton’s “The Power of One (Change the World)” | Grade: B+
Lazaro Arbos: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” | Grade: C-
Janelle Arthur: Dierks Bentley’s “Home” | Grade: B
Candice Glover: Rose Royce’s “I’m Going Down” | Grade: A+
Angela Miller: Beyoncé’s “I Was Here” | Grade: B- (tears may have affected the vocal a bit)
Amber Holcomb: Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman” | Grade: B-
Kree Harrison: Susan Tedeschi’s “Evidence” | Grade: A-

[Can I just say Keith Urban's ecstatic facial expression during Candice Glover's performance (see accompanying screengrab) kind of says everything that needs to be said?]

keith urban american idol face

Sent to the Guillotine
Cortez Shaw
Charlie Askew
Nick Boddington
Elijah Liu (awwww)
Vincent Powell
Zoanette Johnson
Adriana Latonio
Tenna Torres
Aubrey Cleland (NO!!!!)
Breanna Steer (NOOOOOOO!!!!)

american-idol-season-12-top-20-resultsWild Card
Nope, none!

RELATED | American Idol Ladies’ Performance Recap: Women on the Verge of a Righteous Breakthrough

Special Twist
Next week, Idol will hold a singoff between the No. 6 vote-getter among the men and the women, for a spot on the Season 12 summer tour. Viewers will choose the winner. Ryan didn’t tell us who the mystery contestants will be. (I vote for Breanna and Elijah, but I suspect it’ll be Aubrey and either Charlie or Nick.)

And with that, let me turn things over to you. What do you think of Idol’s Season 12 finalists? Did the speed-dialing, powervoting nation get it right? Did anybody get robbed? If so, who? Take our poll to choose your favorite performances tonight, then sound off in the comments. And for all my Idol-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments (471)

  • Michael – Please talk on Idology how Candace needs to watch that her default face is a stink face and can make people think she’s mad or angry. She needs to check that when the cameras are rolling. I know a lot of people in life who have default faces like that who in turn get judged as surly. We don’t want to lose her early because people think she’s angry or something.

    Comment by Joe – March 7, 2013 08:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • On the other hand, her ‘Running Man’ happy dance was pretty endearing.

      Comment by Miscellaneopolan – March 7, 2013 08:19 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • So true. Also I tend to be overly sensitive to people that appear to be smug or ungrateful and Candice to me appears very genuine, very sincere, and very real.

        Comment by MamaLis – March 7, 2013 10:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Misc-I think her reaction helped her. I also think once Janelle got put through 1st the fear of going home was put into every woman in that room since I think no one was putting her through in their minds. Once Janelle got in, you knew someone very talented was going home and I think Candace might’ve thought it was her. Her celebration did a lot for her. I just think her default face during the girl’s victory songs after her could’ve hurt her.

        Comment by Joe – March 8, 2013 09:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • If those contestants didn’t think Janelle was going through, they’ve never watched a single episode of American Idol. Early frontrunner, cute blonde country, got good reviewes for her last performance–she was a lock. Just because the interweb people like to rag on her doesn’t mean that opinion is in the majority.

          Comment by soundscene – March 8, 2013 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Very good critique. It’s something she probably doesn’t know…. Nice one.

      Comment by Teeny Bikini – March 7, 2013 08:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree. It is a great insight, allow me to make it cruder and less refined. She puts out an awful vibe of a DMV worker for most of the time is is on camera. She may be a sweetheart, but we all saw her thank nobody in the room when she got picked tonight. When you couple that with her imposing physique and broad shoulders, she elicits a naturally powerful response and therefore has an off-putting vibe. I don’t see her going very far in the competition. She sings well, but she has no “Xfactor” once the vocal chords are switched off.

        Comment by Zorn – March 7, 2013 10:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I can empathize with Candice in that regard. I guess in my “neutral” face my mouth has a slight downward turn. I can be sitting there happy as a clam and someone will say “Cheer up, it’s not that bad”

      Comment by The Beach – March 7, 2013 10:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Same here! I hate it when people tell me to smile when I’m already happy. It makes me not want to smile at all

        Comment by Dayrah – March 8, 2013 12:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Dayrah and The Beach, agree completely. I get the same thing, sometimes, and it’s annoying. Like, hey, this is just my face, doesn’t mean I’m angry or sad or anything!

          Comment by marie – March 8, 2013 08:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Beach – Same thing with me. That’s why I’m sensitive to it. When I’m thinking and not talking people often ask me “what’s the matter?”. There’s nothing wrong. I’m just thinking. But people often times assume I’m plotting revenge on someone while I’m inside my head figuring things out. I wish I could smile blankly when I’m thinking but that’s not me. I saw it on Candace last night and a few times before and I wondered if that was something that made Idol not put her through last year besides talent. I don’t think she’s mean or surly at all. She seems like a really sweet girl, but the camera caught her looking like she wanted to strangle Angie last night a couple of times & I don’t think she knew the camera was on her per se. She needs someone close to her to point out to her that whenever she’s possibly on camera to watch her default/thinking face. I figure if Michael or Melinda drop that on Idology it’ll get to her and help her. She’s my favorite singer. I don’t know how she hears some of the notes she throws into her runs instinctively. Very gifted.

        Comment by Joe – March 8, 2013 09:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good point Joe. When Angie was singing she looked pissed that she made it through. Which was probably not the case.

      Comment by Dayrah – March 8, 2013 12:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Conspiracy theory here: All social media has been totally down on Curtis Finch for weeks, including top journalists and reviewers. Maybe he was not a top-10 vote getter, and the producers slipped Charlie out the door even though he got more votes than Curtis? I can’t imagine the dilemma for the producers after Charlie’s breakdown last night. I believe they played the “powers that be” card on Charlie. Janelle is another one that doesn’t make sense. Her last two performances were so lame.

    Comment by karen – March 7, 2013 08:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If Charlie was shown the door even though he got more votes than Curtis (I doubt this), then the producers showed common sense and compassion.

      Comment by Scott – March 7, 2013 08:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • and fraud.

        Comment by Timmah – March 7, 2013 08:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • puh-leeze, ain’t no way charlie got more votes after his jekyll & hyde act. It was a bad move on his part and I’m sure he realizes that now.

          Comment by alfalfa – March 8, 2013 09:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Did Ryan ever mention America’s votes? All I remember is him saying stuff like, “and the next person to make it through is …”. Did he ever say explicitly that America voted them in?

      Comment by deedee – March 7, 2013 09:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Just realized that my question sounds very “conspiracy theory”. And yes, Ryan said at the end of the show that the next vote-getters in line would compete for a tour wildcard spot. Never mind. :-D

        Comment by deedee – March 7, 2013 09:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Interesting that the above popularity poll shows 3 girls at the top and 3 boys at the bottom.

    Traditional country fans boosted Janelle to the top 5 girls, but maybe Breanna will get a chance for the sing-off for the tour. that might be a minor consolation, but I believe each one is projected make over $60,000 on the tour, and will get added exposure for their marketability resume..

    Comment by Guitar Blue – March 7, 2013 08:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m reminded of Season 6, when we heard Melinda Doolittle praised as a “Master craftsmen”. Right now I feel we are blessed with 2 master craftsmen in this Competition. Can we just skip ahead a few weeks and go ahead with the throw down right Now? Kree vs. Candice. Bring it on.

    Comment by Name That Tune – March 7, 2013 08:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think that I’m kind of okay with the results, but i do not like 3/5 boys and they’d better get cut first.


    That’s just my opinion, though.

    Comment by Callum – March 7, 2013 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I would also be fine with any of my top 4 rearranged, they’re all so great.

      Comment by Callum – March 7, 2013 08:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I like your list except I would move Angie to the fifth spot and put Amber in the top five. Angie doesn’t do anything for me and I did not like her performance last night. I think her original was good but without the piano, I think she falls flat.

      Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 06:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Have to admire the class of Kree Harrison, who was holding Zoanette’s hand while awaiting her result, told all the leftover girls she loved them, and gave Ryan a nice, long appreciation hug for his supportive words backstage. Go Kree.

    Comment by karen – March 7, 2013 08:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The women were mostly poised and interacted with one another and then with Ryan as they went to the stage. Some of the men blew Ryan off, which only added to the awkwardness of the whole set up. There was one funny moment when you could see Ryan just watching Burnell leave him behind and not really wanting to leg it and catch up. I watched at the gym and thought he was getting in pretty good cardio, too.

      Had just seen enough of the season to develop a favorite on the men’s side, Nick, and be disappointed he didn’t make it through.

      Comment by donie – March 7, 2013 09:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I know I’m probably in the minority but come on people! Charlie was at least entertaining! And he did have a range. Sucks he’s gone. I’ll probably not watch any longer cuz it’s all snooze from here now.

    Comment by cimi – March 7, 2013 09:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sorry, he wasn’t emotionally ready for this show. If he had waited a few year it might have been different, but I think America did him a favor. Personally I only enjoyed his audition, but his other performances not so much.

      Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 06:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • He’s now the poster boy on Tumblr for whiny teen emos.

        Comment by Me – March 9, 2013 06:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Aha! The light dawns.
    Indeed, we actually DO have an adorable, sexy, gorgeous, talented WGWG on the show this year…

    Comment by marie – March 7, 2013 09:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That would be Kree… Just wait to hear her play one of her originals.

      Comment by karen – March 7, 2013 09:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Hahahahaha! Wonder if Kree knows she’s a guy?

        Comment by marie – March 8, 2013 04:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • She IS married to Nicki Minaj.

          Comment by Miscellaneopolan – March 8, 2013 05:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • (Spits coffee all over monitor) LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!

            Comment by marie – March 8, 2013 08:05 AM PDT  
        • WGWG = White girl with guitar

          Comment by karen – March 9, 2013 02:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • WCG = white country girl; if she wins it will still be either WGWG or WCG since as far back as most can even recall (although, depending what happens, perhaps she might be fully worthy of it at least, still wouldn’t prove that anyone can win unless they are WGWG or country girl from countryland)

            Comment by HTGRWHOM – March 9, 2013 09:59 AM PDT  
  • And now for a word on our judges: I’m with a previous writer in that the show is much more tolerable with a DVR and 3 judges. Though did ANYone notice Mariah’s new set of teeth beginning last week? How lovely. I also thought I would disdain Nicky and I do not. She’s brighter than I thought she’d be. And after YEARS of nobody saying ANYthing worthwhile or honest – I’ll take her! Thus far – idiosyncrasies aside – I’ve actually liked her. And one more thing: she’s never, not once, shown her boobage! (i.e. Mariah’s weekly Orbe Display.) She’s always covered-up on top and for that, I say, “very cool.”

    Comment by MamaLis – March 7, 2013 10:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree about Nicki however I notice last night her dress was so tight she couldn’t move. It seemed like forever getting to the seats. She needs to wear something she can move in.

      Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 06:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I think it was more the ridiculous shoes she was wearing that were making her shuffle slowly to the judges table.

        Comment by Dayrah – March 8, 2013 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am not totally against pimping (of course there will happen some natural pimping), but when they very strongly want to secure the places for certain people, everything becomes too before-hand-planned without surprises and is even somewhat unfair. And there is also the feeling of big crowd manipulation, which is rather a depressing view.

    What comes to girls, thay had kind of planned everything, except the only surprise was Amber, who kind of popped out of nowhere quite at the end of the episodes and keith’s reaction was: “Oh, why Amber do you make it so hard to everybody else!” Everything else what comes to girls, went according to their intensions, and <i do not know, if that makes good tv. I am not against Janelle, but in my mind, she did not desreve to go through.

    Before wild cards were used in order to secure, that the exciting competitors, who did not for some reason or other (Clay, Jennifer Hudson etc) get through, could be given another chance, but if you want right away 10 people, I suppose you have to secure by pimping, that the ones you think are the best will go through. But that takes away the surprise element of the show and gives kind of a feeling, that voters and choosing are not really needed.

    The division to boys and girls and the revelaing of the top 10 this way was very boring and cold compared to former heartfelt moments of the similar kind. Not sure about the winning song idea, could be good.

    All in all, I think Ai has been beautiful in that way, that it has been quite unpredictable, although I suppose thay have tried to harnass it and control it to death, but not succeeded in it in the past, but unfortunately it seems now, that they have been able to develop a system, where they can kind of decide nearly everything that happens in voting. That is an achievement, I suppose, but what is left of the freshness of the show?

    ONE NOTE: I am kind of surprised, that Curtis' manners and behavour did not drop him out of the top10 (I would have wished that, I cannot stand his arrogance)

    AND ANOTHER: I wonder if Zoanette and Charlie were also intended to go through, but simply just were so awful in singing, that they had to quit pimping them.

    Comment by Mikko Makitalo – March 7, 2013 10:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Disappointed that Janelle made it through over Breanna, and I would have liked to see Elijah go through over Curtis or Lazaro. Still not an Angie Miller fan and think she’s definitely overrated, so hoping she’ll be this year’s shock elimination.

    Comment by Trouty Mouth – March 7, 2013 10:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Angie is overrated, as is the wanker whose song she covered (Prickson)

      Comment by Me – March 9, 2013 06:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So happy Kree, Angie, Candice made it! Michael – Kree’s song was originally done by the incredible Candi Staton. Great choice!

    Comment by Singing gal – March 7, 2013 11:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Candice, like Joshua last year, doesn’t just sing. She has music in every one of her molecules. Her voice is not just amazing or great. It is on a level with Aretha and Patti LA Belle in their prime. She should, if all is right with the world, win this year. NONE of the other contestants are on her level; she’s just that good. One thing about American Idol is that every year at least one person is truly gifted, sometimes even great. It is so disgusting when someone like Paul Jolley or Janelle Arthur finishes ahead of them, but the Candices of the show are why I watch, although few have been of her caliber. She also has a great face. In her voice and her beauty she is very like Jennifer Hudson. Amber is also terrific, but the sound mix was off, so that the band was too loud. I hope the producers don’t do that to her again to ruin her performance and get her out of the way. I like Angela and Kree too, but speed-dialing Southern voters will keep them in the game for awhile. Breanna deserved Janelle’s place. Three of the five men were the right choice; I would have switched out any of the others for either of them. But as long as Candice and Amber remain, the show has me hostage.

    Comment by Lois Benton – March 7, 2013 11:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes Candice is the queen of R+B & soul on this show. B
      But the realist in me has her leaving before the finale. Much like Melinda Dolittle in Season 6. It ticked me off when Melinda finished third but now I just accept that kind of outcome from the show.If she finishes third I will be sad but I won’t be shocked. I will be overjoyed if she wins.

      Comment by Name That Tune – March 8, 2013 12:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I used to get angry when great vocalists like Melinda were booted before their time. But after season 8, when the anticlimax of Kris Allen happened (sorry Kris fans), I started expecting the baffling outcomes and injustices.

        Comment by deedee – March 8, 2013 07:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree with you but unfortunately if you are not into R&B , which I think the majority of the demographics aren’t, the best she will do is top three. She has to be careful not to over sing and pick good current songs. I would like to see the top two being her and Kree with either winning.

      Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 06:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mariah Carey is one of the greatest vocalists of all time so pay close attention to whom she gravitates to the most on an emotional level. It’s always Burnell. She can find things to appreciate in other contestants and gives them positive feedback, but her visceral response is always toward Burnell. I thought his performance was among the tops of the night. If Burnell can keep it up, he could be the last four left standing with Kree, Candice and Angela. Angela is capable of underwhelming, as what’s happened tonight. She might go the way of Colton Dixon. Kree has the advantage of being a demo singer, which will allow her to quickly tackle any song or genre they throw to the contestants. To maintain her momentum, Kree will have to keep pouring her heart out. If she can do that, she might win the whole she bang, because Candice seems slightly cold in her off-stage personality, which might not endear her as much to the viewers, where as Kree seems warm to the people she meets and most professional. The first ones to drop like a flies will be Paul and Janelle.

    Comment by karen – March 8, 2013 12:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Mariah knows exactly what she’s looking for in a vocalist. That’s why I pay attention to her facial expressions while the contestants sing. Also, the ease (or lack of) with which she gives critiques. As soon as Mariah searches for the positives and rambles on and on, you know she wasn’t feeling the performance. When there’s very little to criticize (like with Candice), Mariah’s words flow. She’s very transparent that way.

      Comment by deedee – March 8, 2013 07:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Mariah seems to be reading NIgel’s critiques for her to deliver from a teleprompter off to the side and above eye level. Watch Mariah. She doesn’t look down anymore to say what she has been told to say. Too obvious. She looks up and to the side. It’s quite bizarre.

        Comment by Blank Slate – March 9, 2013 04:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Paul Jolley has any brains he’s out shopping for a guitar right now.

    Comment by ThatBob – March 8, 2013 12:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • you know Paul wants to be Came Underwood. He sang Alone which Carrie slayed in Season 5. He’s not a guitar playing Kind of guy.He’s probably mere like Adam Lambert but without the Vocal chops.

      The good news is he wasn’t bad on that song. He just wasn’t great. The high notes got away from him and he sounded like he was straining to get there.

      Comment by Name That Tune – March 8, 2013 12:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Cattie was the winner of season 4

        Comment by Venus – March 8, 2013 02:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Paul needs to embrace his inner Clay Aiken and go that route as an artist. He’s got the voice for it. When Keith Urban isn’t buying you as a country artist, it’s a clear sign you need to veer direction a bit.

      Comment by Joe – March 8, 2013 10:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael, your B grade for Unchained Melody on Glee must be a typo. You mean A+, right?

    Comment by karen – March 8, 2013 12:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Michael, you’ve been mentioning Rihanna a lot recently & always have something bad to say about her. Why is that?

    Comment by Jabz – March 8, 2013 01:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think what he means is she might be a big pop star, but not a great singer, Auto-tune anyone.

      Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 07:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I promise rating will continue to fall, we will never know the numbers of summer tour.
    I’m waiting for any interview Lazaro, it will be epic!

    I hope Amber will be able to sing well un-tempo songs – today she had terrible performance. I want to Kree and Amber in the final, when the rest go home I’m not interested.

    Comment by Mel – March 8, 2013 02:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m raging that they would consider anything but a top 10 in other years but this year, when there are SO many good girls (and even one or two decent guys who didn’t make the cut), they go, “Nope! Only ten! Curtis all the way!”

    Comment by Ethan – March 8, 2013 02:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If there is an executive from AI reading these posts, I beg of you: Do something about Mariah Carey’s wardrobe. Come on. It’s really not nice to dress like that for a show allegedly safe for all ages. She goes waaaaay overboard and it’s not pretty. What is she thinking?

    Comment by Blank Slate – March 8, 2013 03:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If I had children still living at home, I would not allow this on TV for that reason. It’s grotesque.

      Comment by Gale – March 8, 2013 04:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Do I sound like an old wuss? I don’t mean to. But there’s stylish and then there’s just too much. It wasn’t even pretty. It was big bulbous globes popping out. Why would you want to look like that on a kid-friendly show?

    Comment by Blank Slate – March 8, 2013 04:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Any of the girls should have made it over Janelle – except Zoanette. I suspect it’ll be Adriana vs. Elijah for the final spot.

    None of the guys that made it do anything for me. Everyone’s gay and Curtis perpetually looks like he just smelled a nasty fart.

    Bring back Season 7 (minus Kristy Lee), Season 10 (without Jacob Lusk) and Season 11 (except Colton Dixon).

    Comment by darcy the slutty twin – March 8, 2013 04:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Maybe she made a deal with her plastic surgeon to advertize his work.

      Comment by Gale – March 8, 2013 08:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Excellent thought! Except I would run the other way if the doctor allowed her to go that far. Unhealthy, unnatural.

        Comment by Blank Slate – March 8, 2013 01:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No real surprises but I would of traded Curtis for Nick and Janelle for Breanna, hopefully
    they will be the one in the sing off. I liked that they did a song after being picked but I did not care for them waiting in the back room. I guess it did make it easier for the ones who did not make it, but it dragged the show down.

    Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 05:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So no one has mentioned this but it was very apparent that Kree seemed to lip sync her performance. The song was so perfect that it sounded prerecorded. What was that about? Was she sick?

    Comment by Petey – March 8, 2013 05:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I watched the performance several times. That’s her singing live. Not sure what you’re seeing. I of course may be missing the sarcasm tag, and if so, my bad.

      Comment by CJSchu – March 8, 2013 06:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • WTH are you talking about?

      Comment by Dayrah – March 8, 2013 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like the top 10 but I do feel like I could exchange one guy and girl with two contestants who were sent home. Someone always gets robbed but that doesn’t mean you have to stop supporting them.

    Candice is a front runner for me. I do think she should relax her resting face/demeanor…brighten up a bit. Maybe once reality sits in and she stops thinking about the competition …. and focuses on emanating her god given talent only. She is finally where she should be.

    Of the 10, I agree 6 are easily marketable and very talented! It should be a good season. I think Angie is a bit over hyped (not that she isn’t talented)… but we shall see…

    Keith is a dose of fresh air (but I will miss Steven T).

    Comment by Chris – March 8, 2013 05:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Regarding Candice’s face: I think she has been truly traumatized by being sent home in the past. To me, it’s like she doesn’t really believe she’s on the show and making it this far – and that’s what I see on her face. That being said, she is probably the sweetest most genuine person on the show. Just watch some of her YouTube footage, and that will give you an idea of how humble she really is. She appears to me to be the one that is most supportive of all the contestants.

      Comment by Yvonne – March 8, 2013 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I don’t have “personal” doubt or concern over Candice’s personality. I’ve followed her for a long time and I know she’s a genuine person and very, very talented. However, there are overly very critical folks (and youngsters) out there who won’t give insight to anything other than the way she holds herself on TV – no matter who we think or know her to be. That’s why I said “brighten” because when she smiles – it says it all.

        Comment by Chris – March 9, 2013 06:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can the stylists start working with these people today? What the heck was Janelle wearing last night? Talk about a fashion emergency. Home spun & cowboy boots…..not a good look. The rest of the girls aren’t a tragedy but could all use some help. The guys. What a mess. Did the producers tell them to wear the most awful things they could put together so that their transformation would be notable? A fashion transformation might be the most interesting thing about the guys this year anyway. With the exception of Burnell, I really don’t care if I ever hear any of them sing again. Kree, Candice, Angie & Amber will make it worthwhile to watch this year. The rest could get taken out in another sudden death round and I’d be ok with that.

    Comment by AlyB – March 8, 2013 06:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL…AlyB, u may have a point about the transformations being the most interesting thing regarding the guys. And yes, every girl needs help too.
      ITA with all you said on all the other stuff too…exactly how I feel about who I care about listening to the rest of the season…those 4 girls (I keep forgetting who the 5th girl is, that tells me something…and I like country, so that’s not it…just don’t find her that memorable…agree with Michael..she’s the Kristy Lee Cook of S.12) and Burnell. (now that Nick is gone.)

      Paul Jolley…he does have power in his voice, and I do hear Gary LeVox, like him or not (I like Rascal Flatts)…but even if he learns how to finesse it and ease up on the theatrics…there is something uncomfortable and uncool about his persona. Sorry Paul…but it’s about that too. Anyway…I’m not interested in him, just sayin’. I also agree with what others have said before of that Johnny guy (the other “good looking white guy”), he deserved more to go through…but it’s real sad to say and probably true, if Idol didn’t put him through to keep the cute guy quota down.

      Comment by Amy – March 8, 2013 07:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This thing is still grinding on?

    Comment by JW – March 8, 2013 07:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Am I the only one who had to go watch Carrie Underwood’s performance of Alone on youtube to cleanse my ear’s from Paul’s terrible attempt at it?

    Comment by Loni – March 8, 2013 07:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Carrie’s was terrific.

      I went straight to Heart, myself. No one tops Ann Wilson (and, at over 60, she has kept her voice and still sounds like dynamite; we see Heart’s tour every year).

      Comment by marie – March 8, 2013 08:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Carrie’s everything was terrific.
        That said ..yes, Ann Wilson continues to be one of THE great female rock voices of all time…and Heart legendary…remains one of my all-time favorite bands. Of all the bands and singers I’ve seen…I’ve never seen them but would still love to; they do sound the same, all these decades later!

        Comment by Amy – March 8, 2013 08:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sure they’re gone through a lot of cuts- but these Top Ten tour spots seem a bit undeserved and premature. And now I’ve realized why. In previous seasons, (like Season 7)- contestants survived FIVE different public votes to get on tour (3 semis, 2 Finals). From FIVE down to ONE. These cats simply have not proven themselves as who the public wants as much as other contestants have. Throw in the lack of feel good Wild Cards (last season’s show was brilliant TV) and Im left underwhelmed.

    Comment by Marta – March 8, 2013 07:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good point. They messed with a winning formula.

      Comment by Gale – March 8, 2013 08:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That is a good point, I hadn’t consciously thought of or compared to how it had worked in the past (frankly…I can’t keep track Idol keeps tweeking it’s formula so much every year–WC/No WC; Group Rounds/No GR (S7); now this year’s shorter semi’s straight to top 10.) But I did unconsciously notice because last night I was like, “Wow…we already have the tour group?!”…it did seem early. It did take away not only excitement of getting there, and drama to the show but also yes…getting a deserving tour group. Though, of what they had to choose from for this year’s tour, at least 6 of those would have likely made it anyway.

        Comment by Amy – March 8, 2013 08:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good point.We have nothing profoundly invested in these 10, No audience participation yet. Why would we want to know so early these are the Tour Kids so early in the year?

      Comment by Blank Slate – March 8, 2013 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Candice and kree are on a whole other level … Should have been 7 girls …. breanna and Aubrey … Angela and Janelle are pretty bland for me …

    Comment by Tommyo2000 – March 8, 2013 07:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m pretty much satisfied with the Top 10 (not 12 as you put at the beginning of your review, Mr. Slezak). I’d be happier without Curtis, and I thought I’d prefer Breanna to Janelle, but Janelle sounded really good last night. I guess she didn’t have to be nervous for that performance. My main hope is that the judges keep being as good as they have been so far. In the last couple seasons they were quite insightful and helpful until they got to these “finals” rounds, and then they seemed to completely fade into cliches.

    Comment by C – March 8, 2013 07:50 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • My bad! I misread Season 12 to mean 12 finalists. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

      Comment by C – March 8, 2013 07:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dang…just relistened to Nick again from Wed. It wasn’t perfect…but really good and interesting things he does musically. I agreed with Randy…Hollywood was still his strongest performance, but Wed. night was getting back to that. Vs. more karaoke Paul…I would have loved to have Nick there instead…not just because he’s more my personal taste, but musically would have been far more interesting. He has a really pretty tone, even if every single note is not always perfect…but beautiful quality to his voice. His style, on Idol may have been a bit too subtle to translate on the BIG NOTE, BIG PERSONALITY show. Darn…wish he’d come back…he had more to show us.

    Comment by Amy – March 8, 2013 07:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree; Nick would have been a whole lot more interesting than Jolley. Oh, well.

      Comment by marie – March 8, 2013 08:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Nick had “The Grouve Sauce” Syndrome: getting cut in the semi-finals LOL

        Comment by JR – March 8, 2013 08:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Angie gonna get Pia Toscano’d right out of the competition because of irrational critiques.Don’t blame her hair or whatever other superficial idea you have as to why she won’t win.She’s 18 and probly acting like she thinks she has to,to garner votes.

    Comment by Shaun – March 8, 2013 08:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope this season a girl wins the competition. That way, people would stop talking about the WGWG syndrome and about the fact that girls haven’t won AI for 5 seasons. It would also take away some of the manipulation for the next season, I think.

    I like this Top 10, but if we compare it with season 11, it’s kinda lackluster. I like Angie (even though her victory performance was a mess), Candice, Kree, Amber and Devin. That’s my Top 5 at the moment.

    Comment by JR – March 8, 2013 08:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nigel complained that Season 9 was dull because everyone just stood in one spot and sang, usally with a guitar. For season 10 they went out of their way to find a number of unusual and dynamic performers. Now we are back to everyone just standing there and singing every week. Maybe some will walk back and forth across the stage sometimes.

    Comment by teatime – March 8, 2013 08:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree but I am giving them a little bit of lead way due to the fact it was instant 10 to who is on tour. I notice last night many of the performers moved around, probably felt free not to be judged. I think you are going to always have a couple that will just stand there, but they probably won’t last long in the competition. Now I want them to choose uptempo songs and stay away from
      the snoozers.

      Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m all for a female win (in fact, all my faves in previous seasons have always been females like Haley Reinhart and Jessica Sanchez), but I noticed the judges have been throwing Paul Jolley under the bus and I find it a bit unfair. Yes he’s the ‘good looking all-American guy’ in the group and we don’t want him to win, but that doesn’t mean he has to be singled out.

    The whole tiebreaker thing has made viewers second guess his talent, not to mention the judges weren’t as enthusiastic about him making the Top 10 as they were with the others. He has one of the best male vocals this season along with Devin. It’s beyond me that he’s not more appreciated. I get a feeling the judges will continue to find faults in his performances no matter how he does.

    Let me say I didn’t notice him at all til the Sudden Death round – but that night I thought he delivered and saw the potential to grow on the show (at least for a while).

    Comment by jazzontherocks – March 8, 2013 09:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I have not been impressed with his singing. I still don’t know who he is as an artist. I feel he is throwing things out and see which one sticks. I do not get the feeling they are throwing him under the bus, not yet at least.

      Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 12:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ve been watching Idol since Season 1 and I’ve never been more excited about a contestant than Kree Harrison. She is such the real deal. I love her so much. Fan for life.

    Comment by karen – March 8, 2013 09:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Just from an oddsmaking standpoint, and not judging talent (which is mostly related to genre/style preferences anyway) ———-I think that just between Candice, Amber or Janelle on the ladies side ————-that either Amber or Janelle will outlast Candice. ………..
    Vote-splitting .is common in the early stages of top 10, and some will be splitting between her for a song delivery they liked, and one or two guys for instance. Traditional Country fans will stick with Janelle straight-up, and I think Ambers fans will build and more likely put all their votes in Ambers basket. …………… Candice may be the first or 2nd girl gone.

    Comment by Guitar Blue – March 8, 2013 09:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Traditional country fans will recognize the superiority of Kree Harrison in every respect. She can sing circles around Janelle. If you check out Kree’s Reverbnation page, she is fully steeped in traditional country. That’s her wheelhouse.

      Comment by karen – March 8, 2013 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There is no way Janelle gets the country vote over Kree. Kree wipes the floor with most of the other contestants, let alone Janelle, who has one of the weaker voices in the group.

      If Candice leaves at any point before top 5, they’d BETTER resurrect the “judges’ save”, which I loathe. That woman’s voice needs to be heard for as long as possible.

      Comment by deedee – March 8, 2013 10:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I predict Candice will be a pre top five “shocking boot.” The judges save will be used if it happens. Amber and Kree also have amazing voices, as good as Candice’s in the opinion of many. They also have charisma, sweetness, youthfulness, and star quality.

      Comment by Lemon – March 8, 2013 11:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree about Amber and Kree, although I’d argue that Candice is more “fully cooked” than Amber at this point. They are my personal top 3, and I would be ok with any one of them winning.

        Comment by deedee – March 8, 2013 12:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Amber is only 18. She will get better and better.

          Comment by lemon – March 8, 2013 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I also believe Kree will either finish 1st or 2nd, outlasting Janelle easily. My comment was about Janelle vs Candice vs Amber. I think that either Janelle or Amber will outlast Candice in the competition. I would not bet on Candice making the top 2. Time will tell, but I already have a bet on it. .

          Comment by Guitar Blue – March 8, 2013 05:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Prediction of sequence of eliminations:

    Paul, Amber, Janelle, Lazaro, Curtis, Devin, Angie, Burnell, Candice, Kree for the win.

    Comment by karen – March 8, 2013 09:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Lazaro, Burnell, Paul, Amber, Curtis, Janelle, Angie, Devin, Candice, Kree for the win.

      Comment by Gale – March 8, 2013 12:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Upset with the producers that the show went into overtime, which impacted Kree the worst. Many people are reporting their DVRs cut off her song in mid-performance, plus she didn’t even get a chance to interact with the judges like all the other 9 contestants. Unfair. I hope they fix this problem in subsequent episodes so that the pimped spot is never again jeopardized or compromised!!!!

    Comment by karen – March 8, 2013 10:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah, but Kree ran over to hug and celebrate with all her fellow Top 10ers just as soon she got done singing. Looked like she didn’t care enough to bother with the judges’ comments. Had she stood there like everybody else did, they would have given feedback.

      Comment by deedee – March 8, 2013 10:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Whether or not you like her or her “style” (her style is amazing singing), I don’t think anyone could make a real case that Candice isn’t the best singer this season. Maybe she was the best last season, too, even with Joshua, but the producers cut her before the masses could know and started marching on Washington about it. But, Michael, I have to comment on your opinions about Curtis and Aubrey. Let me say, I hate oversinging. I don’t like lots of runs. I hate, with a passion, the song, “I Believe I Can Fly.” BUT I loved Curtis and what he did, and he, quite oddly to me, made me like the song well enough. He’s more than a fine technical singer with an impressive voice (which is more than most of the Top 10 men are). Not as much as Candice, of course, but he’s got a little music in his DNA too. I suspect that Curtis, if he lasts long enough, is the sleeper this season. He may win you over yet. I like Aubrey well enough, but her performance was a little boring and her voice didn’t seem as rich or as beautiful as, say, Breanna’s.

    Comment by Lois Benton – March 8, 2013 11:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m surprised that Curtis was chosen by the voters. Everyone on TVline seems to hate him (myself included). I always thought of Vincent as a likable version of Curtis.

    Comment by Dayrah – March 8, 2013 11:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Curtis can sing, very well, and he puts more feeling into his performance than he does runs, which is saying a lot. But I agree with what Dave Holmes of Vulture wrote on Lazaro getting picked: “I want justice for Vincent Powell.”

      Comment by Lois Benton – March 8, 2013 11:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Vincent is very talented and I want him back. He didn’t get enough air time, I barely saw him during Vegas week and I don’t think he would have picked that song himself and I don’t think he was excited about singing it. every time someone sing that song they go home. bring Vincent back:

        Comment by mary – March 10, 2013 02:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m curious as to what you think, but it appears to me that all five male finalists are GAY??

    Comment by Mylio – March 8, 2013 11:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • DOES IT MATTER????

      Comment by Mary – March 8, 2013 12:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No.

        Comment by Lois Benton – March 8, 2013 01:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • YES it does to me! I want to be able to fantasize while watching. I also love eye-candy. I want a Phillip Phillips in there, a Michael Johns, Matt Giraud, Paul McDonald, David Cook. Hello, Paul Jolley was flaming like no other on Tuesday. Such a huge turn off. And Curtis… I wanna slap him when he does his “I smell some fart” singing face. Why didn’t Elijah Liu make it? He seemed to be my only hope!

        Comment by darcy the slutty twin – March 8, 2013 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I’m with Lois below…letting people define themselves.
          But I do get dtst’s need for eye-candy too…haha…I’m missing some P2 about now. :)
          But Elijah?? girl…u desperate…or 12? (Just sayin’…don’t slap me.) I wasn’t sorry to see that go…though…he may return next week for tour…..Uncle Nigel’s gotta sell tix to the tweens and keep tour numbers up.

          Comment by Amy – March 8, 2013 04:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • hey…at least we got Keith!

            Comment by Amy – March 8, 2013 04:29 PM PDT  
          • Very desperate, girl! Only Keith Urban going naked will save the season for me!

            Comment by darcy the slutty twin – March 9, 2013 07:08 AM PDT  
        • Okay, well, that’s why, in Season 9, when my conservative and/or Southern friends said to me, “Isn’t Adam Lambert Gay? Fox showed some photos of him,” I replied, “Well, he’s an ACTOR and a PERFORMER. That’s what these people DO. He hasn’t said he’s gay. I don’t think he’s gay. Isn’t he cute?”

          Comment by Lois Benton – March 8, 2013 04:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • In response to Mary’s “DOES IT MATTER????” …
        Does anything we’re talking about on here really matter? How is this any different than talking about what the contestants were wearing or how the voting system works or Mariah’s boobs?

        Comment by Dayrah – March 9, 2013 07:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Gay people can seem straight. Straight people can “seem” gay. Shy, quiet men, who are straight, are often cruelly teased by their adolescent peers for being gay. Some people tell you. Some people wear it with pride, like Jadell. I find to best to not concern myself with other people’s sexuality and just let people define themselves.

      Comment by Lois Benton – March 8, 2013 01:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Amen to that last line. Amen. Amen.

        Comment by Amy – March 8, 2013 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Okay, I’ve heard this a lot and still don’t understand it. To me, the only male contestant who acts in such a way as to make me think he’s probably gay is Paul. I don’t get that vibe from any of the other contestants, or at least not so strongly that we can pin them down without more. So Burnell and Devin sang songs by female artists and Lazaro wears brightly-colored shirts. C’mon! That’s not enough. They’re straight until proven otherwise by a critical mass of people speculating about their sexuality on the internet.

      Comment by Miscellaneopolan – March 9, 2013 08:45 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was only feeling a gay vibe from Paul, to be honest. It never even crossed my mind with Curtis or Burnell. Or Lazaro. Devin could be debatable, I haven’t seen that much of him besides the singing, but I would guess straight with him.

      Comment by Dayrah – March 9, 2013 07:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The show was long, awkward, and boring. The top 10 will sing next week. Instead of hearing them, why couldn’t we have had ‘farewell’ songs from the people who didn’t make it?

    Comment by Jay – March 8, 2013 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I would have preferred that, actually. Not a fan of the “victory song” because nothing’s at stake for them. We all want more singing, so why not give some sympathy airtime for the talented people who didn’t make it.
      Still baffled by last night’s format. I’m beginning to believe that it really was all orchestrated to prevent another meltdown from Charlie.

      Comment by deedee – March 8, 2013 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It was soooo awkward. However I kinda liked it. It was entertaining watching Ryan run around and the contestants not knowing who to give their mic to and watching Lazaro try to communicate with whoever he was talking to about his song ending. I smiled quite a bit during this episode. However I didn’t watch it live so I was able to skip a lot of things. Like Curtis’s song. And Janelles. And I always skip the judges being introduced. What a waste of time that always is!

      Comment by Dayrah – March 9, 2013 07:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • due to work, i couldn’t watch. i am shocked…SHOCKED… that Nick didn’t make it.
    and Finch did. gross.

    Comment by flutiefan – March 8, 2013 01:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This will be the most boring season of Idol ever. I was excited about the judges but, with boring contestants doing the same tired songs oversung the same way, it looks like my dvr will go through alot of fast forwarding.

    I hear all this talk about a girl winning this year. Does it really matter? No contestant has any originality or excitement in them.

    I just hope one contestant will grow on me so I have a rooting interest. As it stands now they all seem the same to me.

    Comment by Joe Strummer – March 8, 2013 01:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hey Slezak, can you write a column using English instead names that rhyme with blah, blah. Dude, WTH are you talking about?

    Comment by Rick – March 8, 2013 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He wishes Breanna and Aubrey got wild card spots and he wishes that Elijah was voted in instead of Curtis. SIMPLE

      Comment by Dayrah – March 9, 2013 08:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It beat the heck out of the green mile death train or the elevator of doom or whatever other vehicles delivered the news to at least have them come out and sing after being named.
    I’d have liked to have seen Breanna, Vincent and Nick in the top ten. I could do without Janell, Lazaro and Paul. But it’s an interesting group, and I do feel the females were mostly the right choices even if I don’t love all of them.

    I get a strong feeling I’ll soon be over Angie. She’s starting to sound the same every week and it’s all too whitebready, with the big Osmond Smile and the humorless, edge free inspirational songs.

    Loved Kree’s choice last night to do a little bluesy Susan Tedeschi. Excited to hear more of that.

    Comment by syb – March 8, 2013 02:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Curtis Finch looks like the grandpa to these kids. And his worship leader affects and movements seem calculated down to the breath he takes. Go home, Finch. Fly away.

    Comment by Blank Slate – March 8, 2013 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Probable top 3 will likely include Kree, Angela and possibly one guy……………….


    My previous prediction was that Candice will be out / eliminated before either/or Amber or Janelle. That’s either/or —- just between those 3, at whatever point in the countdown, ………………………….. Not arguing talent, but just looking at the spectrum of the competition………………………………….More girls vote than guys, and girls tend to vote for guys ………….. There’s not going to be enough voters love to go around to sustain all 5 girls into the top 5.

    I just think the nature of the vote-splitting , now openly encouraged by the “50 votes any way you want to assign them” promo………………. is going to force one of the favorite girls out before their time.

    Comment by Guitar Blue – March 8, 2013 06:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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