Thursday, March 14, 2013

American Idol Top 10 Results

The first Results Show of the Finals was a bit different from past seasons, as American Idol borrowed a page from The X-Factor and revealed the vote placement for all the contestants. We are likely to see that continue for most of the season. The one difference from X-Factor is that we will not know where the Top Three specifically placed, but just that they were in the Top 3. So, that was good news for three ladies to start off this season. Things really may be changing in that gender regard. The Top Three were composed of Kree Harrison, Angie Miller, and Candice Glover. We learned some specific results from states as well, such as Candice taking her home state of South Carolina. That may not be a huge surprise, but if Idol were a Presidential primary, taking the Palmetto State would be considered a huge deal.

Before I get to the results, let me just briefly cover a sing-off for the 11th person who will be going on the Idols Live tour. Apparently, fans are voting, only online, and results will be announced next Wednesday. We are told that those invited to sing for this opportunity were the male and female contestant who had received the sixth amount of votes in each of their nights last week.

1. Charlie Askew- "Sky Blue Diamond"

So, as I suspected, 17 year old Charlie's "emotional breakdown" managed to get him quite a few votes last week after all. Thankfully, they were not enough to keep him in the competition though.

Taking a risk, Charlie sang an original song, while also accompanying himself on piano. I guess it is good that the show gave him a opportunity to come back, looking better, and seeming somewhat more comfortable and connected with his musical material. Considering his age, he maybe showed that he could find some sort of independent career in music one day down the road, after a bit more experience and maturity come along.

Vocally, I still thought it sounded kind of bad in parts, and that Charlie still looks pretty nervous and awkward. The judges did not get the chance to make any comments. This will all be up to America. I wonder how many people, who have no intention of going to shows on the tour, are going to bother to try to vote for a first-time Idol idea like this. Maybe they will plan to watch concert clips on YouTube.

2. Aubrey Cleland- "Out Here On My Own"

Based on the merits, I would have hoped Vincent Powell and Adriana Latonio had gotten this opportunity to sing on the big Idol stage, but I suppose Aubrey deserved the chance a bit more than Charlie did.

Her rendition of this ballad was quite nice, and while not amazingly good by any means, was probably one of her better vocal performances on the show. I really do not know what else I can say.

Sing-Off Determination: Aubrey Cleland over Charlie Askew

Should Aubrey pack her bags though for the summer? Probably not. I really hope I am wrong, but I bet Charlie will take the online vote and win a spot on the tour. People will be voting for him simply because they find him intriguing or feel bad for him, irregardless of how good or bad he may have sounded at any given time.

Furthermore, while a girl may win the season, based on the totality of all her performances, a one time, one on one voting competition between a male and a female on Idol, (or really any singing show), is likely to favor a guy. People probably want to see and maybe meet Charlie on tour rather than Aubrey. Girls (and their moms) likely want a chance to hug Charlie and perhaps pet his turtle (that sounds all kinds of wrong), rather than look at Aubrey and be envious.

Having Charlie, as a minor, with all his potential issues on tour could wind up being a headache for the entire crew down the road. Whatever happens, good-luck to both singers, and may they both have a personally and professionally rewarding experience after this year's Idol Season Finale.

So, the results of the actual race for the Idol crown:

Who should have been eliminated: Lazaro Arbos (he came in 4th out of 10)
Who I predicted would be eliminated: Curtis Finch Jr.
Who was eliminated: Curtis Finch Jr.

So, I was not at all surprised to see Devin Velez and Curtis as the Bottom Two. I was somewhat surprised that Janelle Arthur got as many votes as she did, and received more than her fellow Tennessee country hopeful Paul Jolley, who finished 8th.

To my disappointment, the save is still going to be with us this season, and the panel of four judges (which has at least two who hate each other and do not communicate) needing to be unanimous.

Before we knew that Curtis would sing for his life on the show, Nicki Minaj stated that if he was sent home, she would also go home. It would have been smart of Mariah Carey to have immediately attempted to get that in writing, and then she could have made sure than any vote to save him would not be unanimous.

Singing for the save, Curtis did a reprise of "I Believe I Can Fly" (not to be confused with "I Believe" which he did last night.)

It was basically the same for me as it was when he sang it as part of the Top 10 Guys. Maybe he even sounded a little better this time, but overall, I am sick of this song, and while Curtis is talented in a gospel sort of way, I just do not think he is any sort of amazing show-stopper, and would not produce the kind of moments that Jacob Lusk or especially Joshua Ledet have in the past two seasons.

Based on what I wrote on here last night, I would not have been shocked if the judges did use the save this early in order to create buzz for the flailing in the ratings show and to keep this Top 10 group together as long as possible. Nonetheless, while Nicki wanted to save Curtis, the results were not unanimous and he will be headed home.

That will be welcome news to many Idol fans, who seem to despise Curtis. While I have been critical of him musically, I think some of the personal shade being thrown his way is a bit much. I can see why people may have issues with him, considering him arrogant and whatnot, he is probably not as bad of a person as some suspect. Emotions just get really high for those who get so invested in these shows. He did really seem genuinely enthusiastic and happy when good things happened for his fellow contestants and they seemed to like him too.

Generally speaking, I do not like the save and wish that decisions of the American people would have to stand for better or worse (as they do in real elections.) Curtis did not deserve to get the least amount of votes last night, but somewhere down the road, someone will be more deserving of a save, and the judges will use it then.

Curtis Finch Jr. is a talented singer, but a limited one. It seems like we saw the tricks he had and there was not going to be much growth, so it is best for us all, that his time on Idol ends now. If Joshua Ledet did not receive a record deal, there is no chance that the folks at Jimmy Iovine's Interscope will be signing Curtis, but he probably will be able to make a living doing something in the gospel industry.