The auditions are finished, Hollywood Week is over, the sudden-death rounds are done and "American Idol" finally set its top 10 on Thursday night (March 7).
For the guys, Lazaro Arbos, Paul Jolley, Burnell Taylor, Curtis Finch Jr. and Devin Velez made the cut. On the ladies' side, Kree Harrison, Candice Glover, Janelle Arthur, Angie Miller and Amber Holcomb earned the five available slots.
Perhaps the evening's biggest surprise was that the pool of finalists was kept to just 10. With the talent assembled in the semifinals — and given the show's history of playing with the numbers — speculation was that a few Wild Cards would be let through during the episode. But producers promised 10 and they delivered 10, leaving several worthy contestants out in the cold.
Among the singers left behind were Zoanette Johnson and Charlie Askew, both of whom made strong impressions — for one reason or another — during their abbreviated "Idol" runs. But they, along with the rest of the singers who didn't make the cut, technically have one more shot to make the "Idol" summer tour: Ryan Seacrest announced at the close of the show that the closest runner-up male and female will compete in a sing-off next week for a chance to make the tour, with America deciding the winner. So, technically, there is still a chance Zoanette could be visiting your town (if she doesn't link up with the touring production of "The Lion King" first).
The reveals themselves made for some awkward television. The contestants were seated in a holding room backstage, and when their name was called, they walked down a hallway, up a set of stairs and onto the "Idol" stage, where they surprised the studio audience and the judges. The delayed gratification sucked all the excitement out of the announcements, and the contestants were asked to sing victory songs, which were mostly padding for an already drawn-out episode.
Jolley was the first singer through to the top 10, followed by Taylor, Finch, Velez and Arbos.
Arthur was first through for the girls, followed by Glover, Miller, Holcomb and Harrison.
A reported 39 million votes were cast this week for the finalists, Seacrest announced, a tally he said was 10 million higher than at this point last year in the competition.
Of course, that could have something to do with the SuperVote function introduced this season, which allows fans to cast 50 online votes at once for their favorite contestants.
What did you think of the "Idol" results? Let us know in the comments!
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