‘American Idol’ Results: Who Won’t Be The Next Phillip Phillips?

Gospel singer Curtis Finch Jr. flies home, joined by Devin Velez in the bottom two.

Curtis Finch Jr. was voted off “American Idol” on Thursday night (March 14), and Nicki Minaj nearly left with him.

Finch, the competition’s oldest singer, found himself in the bottom two along with Devin Velez. And when the reported 26 million votes were tallied, the gospel singer from St. Louis, who said he dreamed of being a modern-day Luther Vandross, found himself holding on to the short end of the stick.

When it was revealed Finch was in the bottom two, Minaj plotted her exit. “Curtis, I mean, if you go home, I go home,” she told him. And when host Ryan Seacrest read the results, Minaj dramatically got up from her chair on the stage and started to walk away.

It was up to Finch to sing for the judges’ save, but his version of R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” was not persuasive enough to get the judges to vote unanimously to save him. Minaj slumped in her chair and looked visibly disengaged from the process. “I think we really needed an extra minute to discuss it,” she said. “I know it’s a live show, but … ”

Ironically, Minaj was late to Wednesday’s taping and missed Finch’s performance, so she wasn’t able to give his performance the compliments that might have helped him get over with voters.

Earlier in the show when recapping the contestants, “Idol” mentor Jimmy Iovine smelled trouble for Finch Jr. “You can’t just do the entire show in slow, urban gospel form,” he said while critiquing Finch’s performance of Fantasia’s “I Believe,” “or he’s not gonna get even past the top eight.”

All in all, it was a whole new “Idol” results show. In past years, “Idol” has been notoriously reluctant to reveal details of the voting, but on Thursday, producers were in a sharing mood: We learned Janelle Arthur earned 30 percent of the vote in Tennessee (she’s one of three contestants in this year’s competition from the Volunteer State), Devin Velez had more than 25 percent of the vote in Puerto Rico, and more. They also shared, for the first time, the ranking of the votes: The top three vote getters were Kree Harrison, Candice Glover and Angie Miller, though how the contestants ranked within that top three was not revealed. From there, Lazaro Arbos came in fourth, and was followed, in order, by Amber Holcomb, Janelle Arthur, Burnell Taylor, Paul Jolley, Devin Velez and Curtis Finch Jr.

In what has been spoken largely of as a girl’s year on “Idol,” five of the top six vote-getters were girls, and guys made up the bottom four.

The show also saw Aubrey Cleland and Charlie Askew, the closest runners-up to the top 10, performing to earn a slot on this year’s “Idol” summer tour. Cleland sang “Out Here on My Own,” from “Fame,” while Askew sang an original, “Sky Blue Diamond.” The viewer-chosen winner will be revealed on next Wednesday’s “Idol” performance episode.

Bon Jovi also appeared on Thursday’s show and performed their new single “Because We Can,” and last year’s “Idol” winner Phillip Phillips returned to perform his new single “Gone, Gone, Gone.”

What did you think of Thursday’s “Idol” results? Let us know in the comments!