The first top 10 contestant of "American Idol" Season 12 was voted off by America this Thursday, and as I predicted, that contestant was Curtis Finch Jr. His death-spot position on Wednesday, singing first; his hokey song choice, the Fantasia Season 3 coronation song "I Believe"; and the news about his criminal record, which broke in The National Enquirer the day he performed, clearly all hurt him in the end. Nicki Minaj quite vocally opposed this result, and said, "Curtis, if you go home, I'll go home!"--a declaration I am sure many of her haters hoped was a promise, not a threat. I personally hope Nicki didn't mean that, but I do think America got this vote right. America got a lot right this week, actually, but I'll get to all that in a minute.
So anyway, apparently Curtis will not be "The New Luther Vandross," as he'd hoped. He won't even be The New Ruben Studdard (who was compared to Luther back in Season 2). His attempt to sing for the Judges' Save with "I Believe I Can Fly" did nothing to help his chances, despite Nicki's passionate support and her claims that she didn't get enough time to make her pro-Curtis case. But hey, at least Curtis will be going on this summer's Idols Live concert tour.
And do you know who else will be on that tour? Charlie Askew or Aubrey Cleland!
Yes, during Thursday's "Idol" results show, there was a singoff between the male contestant (Charlie) and female contestant (Aubrey) who narrowly missed making last week's top 10, and the winner of that singoff, as voted by America and to be announced next week, will score a spot as a bonus 11th contestant on "Idol's" summer concert tour. I was delighted to see my boy Charlie back, looking much happier than he had that sad night when he nearly broke down by Ryan Seacrest's side. And while I would have preferred for the girl to be Breanna Steer, I wasn't surprised or really displeased to see Aubrey return to the "Idol" stage.
Charlie, whose doomy, gloomy Genesis cover last week had been polarizing and had garnered overly harsh critiques from the judges, totally triumphed with a poignant piano performance of an original song he wrote about his ex-girlfriend (the somebody he used to know), "Blue Sky Diamond"; it was beautiful, and really, if Charlie had performed this song last week, there's no doubt in my mind that the judges would have declared him The New Angie Miller and he would have sailed straight through to the top 10.
Aubrey performed the Fame ballad "Out Here On My Own," and while her version was pleasant, it was forgettable compared to Charlie's emotional and original performance, and I can't imagine she'll beat Charlie in the votes. She better not, anyway. See you on the tour, Charlie!
As for the rest of the results…taking a cue from one of "The X Factor's" many terrible ideas last year, "Idol" decided to reveal the vote order this season. Well, not the ENTIRE order, but most of it. We didn't know who specifically placed first, second, and third in the votes this week, but Ryan did reveal that the top three comprised Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, and Angie Miller. Lazaro Arbos was fourth, Amber Holcomb was fifth, Janelle Arthur placed sixth, Burnell Taylor was seventh (I really wish he'd been higher on the leaderboard), and Paul Jolley came in eighth. That left Devin in the bottom with Curtis, despite Ryan's announcement that Devin had dominated the Puerto Rican vote this week. People of Puerto Rico: If you want Devin to stick around much longer, start SuperVoting.
So, will Candice, Kree, and Angie stick around and dominate the vote all season (as "The X Factor's" Tate Stevens and Carly Rose Sonenclar did last year), thus leading to a finale reveal as anti-climactic as "The X Factor" Season 2's? Maybe. But you know what? I don't care. Because those girls DESERVE to stay in the top three. And I can't wait to see them on the tour, too.
So overall, this was a great results show--deserving contestants made the top three, Charlie Askew re-reared his little red head, and Phillip Phillips even returned to the show to sing his fantastically catchy second single, "Gone, Gone, Gone" (which is also this year's goodbye song). Will this year's standout girls continue to dominate the votes? Will Charlie dominate the votes in this week's singoff? I sure hope so, because Season 12 is looking up!
Until next Wednesday, Parker out.
- Billboard's "Idol" Hot 100 list
- "Idol" introduces "SuperVoting" this season
- PHOTOS: "Idol" Season 12's contestants