Every time there is a shift in control at American Idol, which seems to happen quite often, the rumors start to fly about the cataclysmic changes that will take place in an effort to make the show better.
When you've followed Idol for this long, you learn to take these rumors with a grain of salt. But when they dangle a carrot in front of you, like the results shows being shortened to a half-hour format, it is hard to not let those tiny seeds of hope take root.
However this season, like all seasons past, they allotted one hour to announce the finalists. (Ryan, looking especially dapper in an all-black suit, helped take the edge off of the self-admonishment I felt for allowing myself to hope.)
Regardless of the hour-long show, things moved quickly on the first results show of Season 13. After their performances on Tuesday and Wednesday night, the top fifteen contestants would be reduced to ten, five boys and five girls, based on America's votes, leaving three empty spots for the judges' wild card picks. To determine who would fill those spots, the judges would ask five of the remaining ten contestants to sing for their chance to earn their place in the top 13.
In addition to the unexpected bonuses of Ryan's accoutrement and the refreshingly fast-pace of the show, it was as if America opted to take the excitement of the reveal into their own hands with their votes, which were both shocking and in many cases demonstrated a level of critical taste not always evident. Here, for your reading pleasure, are America's top ten in order of most to least surprising:
- MK Nobilette (Yay, America)
- Alex Preston (USA, USA!!)
- Jessica Meuse (Way to look deep, Team USA)
- Emily Piriz (Meh. I'm guessing if she had showcased her Jan Brady pants before the vote, she might be singing a different tune tonight.)
- Caleb Johnson (I guess everyone needs a little rock and roll from a Jack Black lookalike)
- Dexter Roberts (America loves their country boys - even the underdog dog trainers, it seems)
- Malaya Watson (It's hard to deny a trombone player a shot at superstardom)
- Sam Wolfe (Thank you, my fellow Americans!)
- Ben Briley (Well, he certainly has the pedigree.)
- Majesty Rose (What did I tell you? She's a peach.)
Perhaps more shocking was the absence of pretty-boy Spencer Lloyd in the top ten. He didn't really deserve a spot after Wednesday's performance but the will of teenage girls is sometimes stronger than justice.
After the top ten were sent to safety, the judges needed to deliberate.
While we wait, did anyone else notice that they did away with those stools that looked like medieval torture devices in exchange for normal seats? Progress!
After some intense whispering, the judges announced that the five contestants who deserved a chance to earn a wild card were:
- CJ Harris
- Jena Irene
- Spencer Lloyd
- Bria Anai
- Kristen O'Connor
And of those five, the three wild card winners - also in order from most- to least-shocking were:
- CJ Harris (Did we really need another country boy?)
- Kristen O'Connor (I'm not seeing the same appeal of Miss O'Connor that the judges are.)
- Jena Irene (Thank goodness the judges got this one right.)
So there you have it - our top 13 finalists. Do you share my dream of a top three comprised of Jena Irene, Sam Woolf and Alex Preston? Share your thoughts in the comments below!