Writing about American Idol is a labor of love but even the most passionate of relationships can be smothered and after five and a half hours of Idol in one week, let's just say it's getting harder to breathe. In fact, realizing that Thursday's episode was 90-minutes long was like a wet blanket being thrown over the 12-season-long smoldering American Idol embers.
When Ryan Seacrest announced that every contestant to make it through would then sing a victory song, the deprivation of oxygen was becoming unbearable. When he then asked for feedback from the American Idol judges on the victory song and advice for the contestant, a final gasp was stolen before the entire world went dark.
Aren't you glad that even asphyxiation is no match for this writer's melodrama?
So let's get down to business before you black out on me. The first person safe is Paul Jolley. Ummm, what? Maybe there really was a market for a male version of Taylor Swift. Jolley's victory song was "Alone," by Heart. After hearing him sing, the fact that he made it through felt even more perplexing, although Keith Urban assured us that it was even better than Wednesday night's performance.
Burnell Taylor being announced as the next boy to make the Top 10 was less surprising. Burnell sang, "Ready For Love," by India.Arie. Burnell was as fantastic as he usually is, even in a paisley shirt.
Next to make the cut was, Curtis Finch, Jr. The fact that Curtis looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid, should make him more endearing but somehow finding Curtis likable is a struggle. Perhaps the sins of his behavior during the group rounds in Hollywood are still too fresh in our minds and choosing, "So High," by John Legend as a victory song on the heels of having sung, "I Believe I Can Fly," the night before feels indulgent. Yeah, yeah, we get it Curtis: You're soaring.
With only two spaces left, Devin Velez, couldn't have been happier to hear his name called. Before walking out on the stage to perform his victory song, Israel Houghton's "Power of One," Ryan stopped Devin at the doors to the stage to carefully explain that Devin was about to have a moment. If you have to be told you're having a moment, is it really a moment? Devin's mother joined him on stage to congratulate him and then to flirt with Ryan; clearly she was the one having the moment tonight.
The final space for the boys went to Lazaro Arbos! Seeing him in the Top 10 wasn't a huge upset, but him making it there over Elijah Liu was. So much for Elijah's marketability and teenage appeal. Before taking the stage to perform, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," by Simon & Garfunkel, Lazaro was all business as he gave instructions to the band about his last note, which turned out to be fine. Maybe they should have touched base on a few dozen other notes in the performance.
With the final male spot going to Lazaro, that meant that Charlie Askew, Elijah Liu, Nick Boddington, Vincent Powell, and Cortez Shaw were going home. Predicting four of the Top 5 boys wasn't too shabby a result for this writer.
Time to move on to the girls. Much like with the boys, the first one to make it through was a shock. The third time really was a charm for Janelle Arthur. Hmm, maybe she should have tried on two more outfits after thinking the wrinkled teal and purple dress with cowboy boots was the way to go. Janelle performed, "Home," by Dierks Bentley and Nicki Minaj expressed her excitement over Janelle, her "marshmallow ladybug," making it to the Top 10.
Next to make it to the Top 10 was Candice Glover! Happy, happy, joy, joy! Seeing Candice take the stage was a thrill, hearing her perform "I'm Going Down," by Mary J. Blige was even more exhilarating. One only needed to watch Keith writhing in his seat and singing along to understand just how great it was. The American Idol judges were rightfully on their feet for Candice, the queen of Season 12.
Following Candice's performance isn't easy, good thing it was Angie Miller, one of the few who can actually hold her own against Candice. Angie, a New England girl, making it into the Top 10 is fantastic, – almost as good as knowing that she now has the opportunity to work with an Idol-appointed hair stylist. Keith was in tear's after Angie's performance of Beyonce's, "I Was Here," adding that all she needed was a break and she got one with this show. Good for Angie.
The next person to join the Top 10 was Amber Holcomb, who looked like she might faint as Ryan led her to her reveal. Amber pulled it together in time to perform a shaky, off-key performance of, "I'm Every Woman." Just as Amber struggled with her victory song, Mariah Carey struggled with her feedback. "I can't even know what to say. Honestly, I feel like you have everything that was everything." Well, we'll never get that 30-seconds of our lives back.
And last but not least, the final girl and the final addition to this season's Top 10 goes to Kree Harrison! Honestly, if we could just watch Kree and Candice perform on a loop for eternity it might be worth having to listen to Mariah this season. The crowd, including Kree's boyfriend seemed delighted as she performed "Evidence," by Susan Tedeschi. Unfortunately, Kree didn't get any feedback from the judges because the show officially ran over it's already overblown 90-minutes during her song.
Kree's ascension to Season 12's Top 10, meant that Zoanette Johnson, Tenna Torres, Aubrey Cleland, Breanna Steer, and Adriana Latonio failed to make their dreams come true this time. It also means that another 4 out of 5 was achieved in the predictions by Yours Truly. But who's counting?
And so America, meet your Top 10 American Idols!
- Amber Holcomb
- Kree Harrison
- Angie Miller
- Candice Glover
- Janelle Arthur
- Lazaro Arbos
- Curtis Finch, Jr.
- Paul Jolley
- Devin Velez
- Burnell Taylor
What do you think of the line-up? Share your thoughts in the comment section but first follow me on Twitter @jodibwrites!