‘American Idol’ Elimination Sees an Early Favorite Go Down

Curtis Finch, Jr. performs on "American Idol" (FOX)

There’s usually nothing to be proud of when you’re the first finalist voted off “American Idol,” but Curtis Finch, Jr., can leave the show with the confidence that he’s actually got a pretty great voice, that he makes Nicki Minaj believe in God, and that he has a job on tour come fall.

And so in an hour of “Idol” that was remarkably compact for all that took place, we said goodbye to the last of this season’s worship leaders.

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But what does it mean? Sure, he had a pretty bad night last night, even though he is probably still one of the stronger male singers in the Top 10. But Curtis came in last place in official Twitter followers. Now that “Idol” offers a SuperVote for app users, who are more likely than not to also be on Twitter, it seems that the Internet has spoken. Those who follow, super-vote. Those who still don’t understand Twitter (likely Mariah Carey is among that group) most likely still use a landline. And “Idol” has finally found a way to silence the geriatric landline crowd—and the male contestants they consistently vote for.

We also learned about the new results system tonight: the Top 3 was revealed, although not in any particular order; places four through eight were also revealed, with specifics; and we found out about certain contestants’ popularity in certain states. For example, Devin Velez swept Puerto Rico, and Janelle Arthur dominated Tennessee. Also: Kree Harrison got a key to Woodville, Texas, some eight weeks before the Top 3’s hometown visits.

But first – Jimmy Iovine led the recap of last night’s show, where we got the hard truth about everyone, even Angie Miller, who is “not as great” as the judges say she is. Also—in case you hadn’t noticed this already—it was clear in this segment that only Nicki says anything really interesting. They just kept using her stuff, relying on Mariah only for her “Hashtag: Pow,” which will go down in history as the worst moment in “Idol” history.

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There was a group sing (though no Ford video?) of a song from the new animated movie “The Croods” in which Angie got extra solo time, but since they know she’ll win (she owns more than a quarter of all Twitter followers of the “Idol” Top 10), why not start treating her like a star now.

Then, somehow, Charlie Askew managed to get another week to embarrass himself on national television. He and Aubrey Cleland both sang once more for a wildcard spot on the “Idol” tour—although not on the show. Charlie, at the piano, sang an original song called “Sky Blue Diamond” that had some “Come Sail Away” qualities that are always welcome on my TV. But Aubrey did “Here on My Own” pretty commandingly. And in a damn hot dress. I don’t know about this. Aubrey’s more deserving of the job, but Charlie? He’s be scary and great in a live tour situation. They’re neck and neck on Twitter. It’s a toss-up.

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Without the Jersey cred Elise Testone brought last year, I was feeling slighted by the new season’s southern-centric crop of contestants, but thankfully, Bon Jovi stopped by to remedy that and promote his tour. Then Phillip Phillips stopped by to promote the song that isn’t “Home” but you sure could have fooled me, that will be played over everyone’s goodbye video and by May of this year will ultimately be burned in our brains forever, “Gone Gone Gone.” Randy Jackson then gave him a plaque because “Home” went quadruple platinum and it’s all “Idol” has had to be proud of in the last five years, unless you count the slew of Christian rock stars it’s been churning out lately.

Finally: results.

1, 2, 3: Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Angie Miller.

4: Lazaro Arbos

5: Amber Holcomb

6: Janelle Arthur

7: Burnell Taylor, who couldn’t have looked more excited to do so dismally

8: Paul Jolley

The bottom two were between Devin Velez and Curtis Finch, Jr. Nicki basically said Devin deserved to come in last, which, yes, that’s true–and that she’d fight for Curtis in the judges’ save talks. Curtis reprised “I Believe I Can Fly” with the intensity that was missing last night, but Nicki’s sway was not enough. Or maybe it would have been, if she’d had another minute to convince the others, which she said was the problem with the whole save-talks process. Not enough time. On a show that has 60 minutes for the sole purpose of eliminating one single contestant.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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