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'American Idol' recap: Curtis Finch Jr. flies home

March 15, 2013|By Amy Reiter
  • Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban on "American Idol."
Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban on "American… (Copyright / FOX )

"American Idol" is handling its revelations differently this year – telling us a little more about the standings than simply which two singers are the bottom vote-getters and which, ultimately, came in dead last.

Call me a stick-in-the-mud, unable to adapt to change, but knowing the top three PLUS the specific rankings for Nos. 4-7 is more than I'd like to know every step of the way. It's all so "X Factor"-ish: No mystery. No suspense. Relatively little drama.

But no one asked me.

PHOTOS: 'American Idol': Where are they now?

At least Ryan Seacrest hasn't abandoned his "Dim the lights; let's get started" line. Whether or not lights will actually be dimmed, I'd kind of hate to see that go.

So, in addition to performances by Bon Jovi and Phillip Phillips (aww -- miss him!), a movie-promo song sung by the top 10, and Jimmy Iovine's rushed confirmation of our own opinions, we learned, one by one, that, after the votes were tallied, the following contestants had made it into our "top three":

Candice Glover
Kree Harrison (who had the keys to her hometown, Woodville, Texas, hand-delivered to her by the mayor in an unexpectedly emotional moment) Angie Miller

A deserving trio for sure, and though we may tire of seeing them clustered at the top week after week, at least we weren't told which of them came in first, second and third.

Actually, I'll admit, there were some surprises in the rest of the rankings:

4. Lazaro Arbos (apparently capturing the cute-white-guy/sympathy vote)
5. Amber Holcomb (at least she got something from performing last, in the show's "pimp spot")
6. Janelle Arthur (best surprised face)
7. Burnell Taylor (funniest walk across the stage/requisite shot of biggest fan Mariah Carey looking pleased)
8. Paul Jolley (apparently capturing Arbos's cute-white-guy/sympathy vote leftovers)

That left a somewhat unexpected bottom two, Devin Velez and Curtis Finch Jr., each more appealing performers than Arbos and Jolley, in my opinion.

Nicki Minaj doomed Finch by saying that if he left, she'd leave. The voters may well have punished them both for that. But the judges didn't give them the chance.

PHOTOS: 'American Idol': Where are they now?

Finch gave his all to his save-me song, reprising his churchy take on R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." A "Save" chant took hold of the crowd. Still, the judges did not unanimously vote to save him.

Minaj -- who'd gotten up from the table in a huff as soon as it had been announced Finch had come in last, only to sulkily sit back down -- griped that the judges needed more time to consider. Still not quite getting the concept of "live show," that Nicki.

But while the show saw Curtis Finch Jr. depart, it also welcomed back Top 10 runners-up Charlie Askew and Aubrey Cleland, to compete for a spare spot on the "Idol" tour. Askew played piano and sang an original song, "Sky Blue Diamond," more earnestly than he'd sung in Las Vegas, and probably pleased his "awkward turtle" fan base. Cleland went the more traditional route, singing Irene Cara's "Out Here on My Own." I suspect Askew will probably take it, but we'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, what do you think -- were the voters wrong to send Curtis Finch Jr. packing?

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