Thursday night started with what has become one of the best parts of American Idol, Jimmy Iovine's recaps of the contestants' performances from the previous night. His opinions so often mirror those found in this coverage that it is easy to suspect he might just have these pages bookmarked for quick reference before the cameras start rolling. It's okay Jimmy, everyone needs a muse.
Speaking of muses, whoever inspired the American Idol producers to be more forthcoming with the granularities of voting results should be rewarded. Even if it does eventually erode the shocking upsets Idol is so famous for, it is going to make predictions that much easier! Listening to Ryan Seacrest award Janelle Arthur, Tennessee and Candice Glover, South Carolina almost made it as exciting as a presidential election, except Idol doesn't have an interactive map of the country that breaks down how the states voted. Word is that FOX inexplicably banned those maps from their studios about four months ago.
In addition to learning intricacies such as who won which state, Idol is now revealing the ranking of all the contestants, save for the top three who are simply ranked as the top 3. On Thursday night, the top 3 contestants richly deserved the honor and not surprisingly, all of them were female: Glover, Kree Harrison, and Angela Miller collectively earned the distinctive title. Anyone else notice that Glover won South Carolina, Harrison won Texas and even got a key to her hometown from the mayor (now what will they give her if she makes it to hometown visits, the mayor's house) but no mention of Miller's home state of Massachusetts? That makes us even more blue.
With the top three out of the way, it was time to entertain the crowds with some Bon Jovi and Phil Phillips. Phillips performed his new song, "Gone, Gone, Gone," which is also going to be the farewell song of the season and was awarded with a plaque because his single, "Home," went quadruple platinum!
Unfortunately, not everything was sunshine and lollipops on this episode of Idol. Between Seacrest almost falling down the stairs, Miller losing Florida to Lazaro Arbos, and this writer's prediction being disproven when Arbos was awarded not just safety but fourth place, there were some dark moments to be had. But thankfully, when Charlie Askew was announced as the runner-up to the top five males (essentially earning sixth place based on America's votes last week) he seemed to have dispelled his own darkness, at least on the exterior. Askew was pitted against the sixth-place girl, Aubrey Cleland in a sing off to earn their place on the American Idol tour.
It would appear, based on their performances, that Askew will be joining the top ten. His original song and unpredictability will go farther than Cleland's beauty and boring song choice.
Finally, it was time to announce the bottom two: Devin Velez and Curtis Finch Jr.. Nicki Minaj was outraged about Finch being in the bottom and stated that if he went home, she was going home. Seacrest called her bluff and announced that Finch indeed got the lowest number of votes. Upon hearing the news Minaj stood from the judges table but promptly sat back down - no doubt Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe was giving her the death stare from the sidelines.
Finch then sang in an attempt to earn the judges' one save of the season. Once again, he chose to sing, "I Believe I Can Fly," but unless he meant home, poor Finch was mistaken. The decision to save Finch would need to be a unanimous amongst the judges, so as angry as Minaj might have been that Finch wasn't saved, essentially it was her own fault. After stating that she would leave if Finch was eliminated did she truly think that Mariah Carey would ever, in a million years, pass up that possibility, no matter how remote?
The rest of results were as follows:
Top 3: Kree Harrison, Angela Miller, and Candice Glover
4th: Lazaro Arbos
5th: Amber Holcomb
6th: Janelle Arthur
7th: Burnell Taylor
8th: Paul Jolley
9th: Devin Velez
Eliminated: Curtis Finch, Jr.
Tune in next Wednesday to see if the girls continue to make a mockery of the boys.