The first results show of the main competition was actually surprisingly interesting. The format has been tweaked significantly, meaning that there’s more actual content in the result reveals. It just felt like more was going on throughout the whole show. Plus, Nikki Minaj actually bothered to show up on time.
In the recap of Wednesday night’s performances, mentor Jimmy Iovine agreed that the girls on the whole way outsang the boys. No question there. He did have some very different takes on a few of the performances, though. Jimmy really liked Janelle Wednesday, and I thought she was pretty dreadful vocally. He thought that Angie was overpraised by the judges, but still good. He thinks that Paul needs to drop the pop-country thing, because he’s not believable as country in any way. Jimmy also loved Amber, saying that she has charisma/star power to spare. I just don’t get that. I realize I’m the outlier here, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about Amber. She is a decent singer but has very little personality to me. Still, I’m willing to be sold.
Ryan explained that the results are going to be done with “a little more detail” this year, with the Top 3 all being identified -- but not the exact order -- and Ryan also gave us some minor geographic breakdowns. So, for instance, Devin was No. 1 in Puerto Rico. That’s not at all surprising. Basically all the contestants he talked to were No. 1 in their home states.
He first called up Devin, Janelle, and Candice, and revealed that Candice was in the Top 3. She was the best of Wednesday night to me, so no complaints there.
After commercials we had our first group song, which was basically a commercial for that terrible-looking new “Croods” movie. So I guess we won’t be getting Ford commercials now? I’m conflicted about that. We also learned that Curtis and Amber are dreadful lip synchers. Do not go on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” you two. You WILL be told to sashay away.
Then weirdly, the mayor of the town where Kree grew up came out to give her the key to the city of Woodville, Texas. What the what is this? Interestingly, Kree was also named to the Top 3, which thrills me. I think she’s great but I worried that she might have gotten lost last night considering that several other girls had much more attention-grabbing songs.
Following that odd segue, Bon Jovi came out. We’ve hit that point where Jon Bon Jovi has started to look old, and that makes me feel terribly sad. The band still sounds good, even though the vibe was dramatically different from what we’ve come to expect from it. Much more laid back. And what is going on with Richie Sambora’s hair?
And then…god, and then. Remember last week, Ryan threatened us with the fact that the runner-up guy and runner-up girl who just missed out on the Top 10 would be competing for a final slot on the “Idol” tour this summer? Well the first person competing was fucking Charlie Askew, who I had just started to believe that we’d never see again after he was blessedly eliminated last week. Here’s the thing, though: he sang an original song called “Sky Blue Diamond,” which he performed while playing the piano -- and I actually didn’t hate it. The pitch was a bit quavery in parts, but the melody was quite pretty. Most important, Charlie wasn’t doing his drama-queen theatric bullshit that drove me absolutely nuts the last few weeks he was on the show. All in all, I thought it was interesting, and stunningly mature given his usual penchant for juvenile attention-baiting.
The girl competing against Charlie was Aubrey Cleland, who did “On My Own.” It was beautifully sung, but that’s an awfully sleepy song to pick for a win/lose voting situation. I suspect that Charlie will win that one. I guess that’s fitting, since he made much more of an impact on the competition than Aubrey ever did.
Then last year’s winner, Phillip Phillips, came out to sing his new single, “Gone, Gone, Gone.” It’s a jangly country-tinged rock song. Not nearly as catchy as “Home” -- a huge hit that Phillip did NOT want to release -- but it’s a totally solid song, and I think “Idol” might have its first legitimately successful winner in years. He’s gone quadruple platinum with “Home.” Thanks, Olympics!
Angie and Lazaro were called up next. Both sang Kelly Clarkson last night, and it was Angie who also made the Top 3 with Kree and Candice. I find it so interesting that Amber did not make it, given that she got the Pimp Slot and a heavy, heavy push from the judges.
So after we found out the Top 3, we got the rest of the results in actual order. The show may have a real problem on its hands in a few weeks, because Lazaro -- who is easily the weakest singer in this competition -- came in fourth place. FOURTH. He should have been fighting for survival, and he was in FOURTH PLACE. Wow. In fifth was Amber, which is still lower than I think many people expected her to be. Coming in sixth was Janelle, which was bullshit. Janelle is also dramatically weaker than just about anyone who placed below her, and should have been toward the bottom of those rankings.
I was surprised, but pleased, to see Burnell come in 7th. I think he’s got a great voice, but I worry that he’s not grabbing votes. I’ll be curious to see what he does next week in terms of song selection. Paul came in 8th, and I have to assume that is largely due to the country vote, and partially because he’s really cute.
That left elimination coming down to Devin and Curtis.Both very good singers. Devin had a really sleepy performance on Wednesday, and Curtis had a potent cocktail of disaster. Death Slot + boring r’n’b song + lousy personality + mediocre performance = a swift ticket home. And it was indeed Curtis who found himself singing for The Save, which I’m sure infuriated him, because Curtis clearly thinks he should be WINNING this thing, not going home first.
You know who else thinks Curtis is great? Nikki Minaj, who literally got up and threatened to walk off stage if he was eliminated. As Curtis sang “I Believe I Can Fly” they camera panned to the judges’ table multiple times as they deliberated. Nikki was FURIOUS and clearly over the whole situation as Keith Urban tried to convince her of something. I assume it’s the fact that using The Save on the person coming in 10th would be spectacularly stupid. Curtis never had a shot to win this thing if he was that low in the rankings already.
Truly, it was nowhere near Curtis’s best performance. I do think he peaked too soon in Hollywood/Sudden Death, and he hasn’t been as good since. The judges had to be unanimous in their vote, and they were not. Nikki was clearly really angry that she didn’t get her way here, saying that she didn’t feel like the judges had the time to properly consider the situation. Again, Nikki: using the Save on the person coming in 10th is an awful idea. America obviously is not interested in Curtis in that way. Nobody is saying isn’t he talented, but he was not going to win this competition.