- "Idol's" extremely anticlimactic Top 10 reveal adopted a new awkward format
- Ryan Seacrest shuttled back and forth from the stage to the Bullpen of Hope and Despair
- Devin Vele and Lazaro Arbos are among the Top 10
Ninety minutes, 10 "victory songs," and one Mariah Carey/"Oz the Great and Powerful" plug later, we have our season 12 finalists!
Ten kiddies get to continue living out their lifelong fantasies in Mimi Boob Land. No wild cards this time around -- but! The sixth-most-voted guy and the sixth-most-voted girl from this week will compete in a sing-off for a spot on the 2013 summer tour. Huh?! That's absurd; nobody cares.
Tonight's extremely anticlimactic Top 10 reveal adopted a new awkward format that involved Ryan Seacrest shuttling back and forth from the stage to the Bullpen of Hope and Despair. I love to watch Ryan challenge himself in any way possible, and trotting away from the camera while attempting to maintain eye contact with it is no exception. Seacrest wins MVP again (of men only) for the night. My guess would be that the more intimate, closed-off area -- let's just call it Despairea -- was a safeguard against another possible Charlie Askew meltdown onstage. But man, did this get repetitive. It was all very public access.
The dramatic opening of the giant doors to reveal each contestant was probably very compelling for the hundreds of people in the live audience, but what about the 12 million viewers at home? When do we get a moment? I'M LOOKING FOR MOMENTS, RYAN. Sorry, there goes my love affair with Randy again.
Anyway, the "victory songs" were good trial runs on the new Hollywood stage for the Top 10, but most of them were boring and/or shaky -- and could you really blame them? There was nothing at stake. No suspense. And most of all, some of them were on the verge of tears or, in Amber Holcomb's case, about to pass out. Lazaro Arbos didn't even know the last notes of his song! It didn't really seem like he knew any of the other notes, either. How disappointing after his competent delivery of "Feeling Good" Wednesday night!
The best vocals of the night came from Kree Harrison and Candice Glover -- Candice's cover of "I'm Going Down" was out of this world amazing, her star power increasing with every deep breath and deep squat in anticipation of more unique tweaks to the song and powerhouse moments. I almost wish she'd saved this one for a full-length performance when people are actually voting, because I don't see how her next attempt can possibly top what she did here. She worries me a little, but I love her so much I'm just going with it. TO MOMENTS, Candice. Get 'em.
Meanwhile, Angela Miller (officially "Angie" in the chyrons now) sounded surprisingly off-key and out of her element away from the piano on a misguided Beyoncé cover, and "pop country" wannabe Paul Jolley -- the first guy announced -- chose an '80s power ballad and earned a bizarre rave from Keith Urban -- "you channeled what would have been theatrics into passion." Did he?!?! I love me some "Alone" time with all my Heart, but if anything, that was an even more over-the-top theatrical performance than ever from Paul.
"My ears were kind of numb," Paul sheepishly admitted to Ryan after learning he'd been chosen. "Were you playing a joke on me?" GOOD QUESTION.
We also saw star turns from Devin Velez's mom Sandra (who has now graduated to on-stage personality), Kree's Boyfriend (!), two huge plush benches, and the near-obscene outlines of Mariah Carey's breasts. The sheer black overlay of her dress kept 'em classy!
Here they are, America: Your Top 10
Curtis Finch, Jr.
Are you happy with the finalists? Bummed about no Wild Cards? And how freaking awkward was Despairea?