Burnell Taylor is sent home. (FOX )
Country star and Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood and Casey James, who came in third in Season 9, returned to perform on "American Idol" Thursday night, and one of this year's contenders, Burnell Taylor, was sent packing.
Not Lazaro Arbos -- not even close. Even though Arbos was clearly (just ask Jimmy Iovine) the weakest link among the top seven -- repeatedly forgetting words, singing muddily, dressing cheesily and often not handling himself well (tears, anger) -- the voters placed him in this week's top three, along with Kree Harrison and Angie Miller. Why, "Idol" voters, why?
Also, voters, when will it end? Will you vote Arbos all the way to the top? Because if this mediocre guy beats out the far more talented women currently in the running and emerges as this season's "American Idol" winner, I may have to pull a Nicki Minaj and threaten to walk away from the show once and for all -- and then not go anywhere. Don't make me do it, "Idol" voters. Don't make me do it.
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To be fair, Arbos put forth a performance this week that was better than his other recent showings -- provided you don't count those forgotten lyrics during his duet with Miller. And Taylor's rock-week song choice, "You Give Love a Bad Name," the only tune on the approved list he knew, really was all wrong for him.
So although it's unfortunate to see Taylor head home a week earlier than he ought to have (and to have seen Janelle Arthur briefly keep him company in the bottom two), it's not a tragedy.
Unless you're Candice Glover, his best fellow-contestant pal. Glover's face was dripping with tears, but she was trying to hold it together as Taylor strolled back to his fellow contestants while singing his save-me song, India.Arie's "Ready for Love." He sang several lines to Glover, but at the very end turned to Amber Holcomb, on whom we learned this week he has a crush.
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By the time Taylor was told the judges would not be using their one save of the season on him, as if that was ever in doubt, Glover was sobbing. She'd had a tough night overall -- and I'm not even talking about her broken toe.
Not only did the voters deprive her of her best friend, they failed to include her in their top three, and Iovine acknowledged her only as an honorable mention ("but I love Candice") after listing his own three faves: Holcomb, Miller and Harrison.
Iovine was not alone. The "Idol" honchos apparently insisted that all the judges list their top three contenders, and then (without warning) filled us in, flashing their picks on the big screen backing the stage.
Keith Urban: Kree Harrison, Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb
Nicki Minaj: Angie Miller, Amber Holcomb and Kree Harrison
Randy Jackson: Amber Holcomb, Kree Harrison and Angie Miller
Mariah Carey: Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb and Candice Glover
"It broke my heart to not pick every single one of you," Carey, the only one to deviate from the trend, reassured all the contestants.
And it breaks my heart that "Idol" has dropped all pretense of building and maintaining suspense by revealing so much so soon.
Do you like the way the show is disclosing so much about contestant rankings this year? And are you sad to see Taylor go?
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