After two nights of performances, "American Idol" made the drastic cut of Top 20 to Top 10, with no wildcards to right any possible wrongs dealt by viewer voting. While the final group includes can-not-be-denied talent like Candice Glover and Devin Velez, there were a few choices that left many fans scratching their heads. Which one of your favorites got robbed?
The guysA lot of the Web chatter on "American Idol" articles and on fan sites had a common theme: that perhaps only three guys should have made it through with seven girls. Unfortunately for many, it seems not all of their top three managed to make it into one of the generously allowed five slots. Who should have been booted? A large number of the vocal fans thought Curtis Finch, Jr., was way overrated by the judges and voters, including Michael Slezak at TVLine, for "[showing] us not what was in his heart and soul, but rather every trick that was at the bottom of his cheap magician's hat."
For all his talk about "moments" this year on "American Idol," judge Randy Jackson didn't notice one when it actually happened. Elijah Liu's performance of Rihanna's "Stay" was simply gorgeous, with rich tone and compelling delivery that actually kept us awake, unlike many of the sleepy numbers that followed. It also must be said that after so many seasons of "Aw shucks," non-threatening, Disney-ized guys, it was refreshing to have a handsome, confident dude blatantly admit to singing for the ladies.
With the risky performance slot at the start of the show and the lukewarm critiques from the judges, the spiky-haired singer seemed destined for dismissal. As Lyndsey Parker over at Reality Rocks notes, the "American Idol" powers-that-be may have worried that "this potential heartthrob...could be a real threat to this season's beloved girls."
Many fans also lamented the loss of hat-wearing, piano-playing Nick Boddington, and Vincent Powell has no doubt learned the danger of one bad "American Idol" performance -- no matter what you've done before.
The "American Idol" judges have been pushing the "it's the girls' year" since practically the start of the season, and everyone has noticed how the bland selection of guys was designed to make the gals look so much better. Thus it came as a bit of a surprise to fans that the Top 10 slots were divided evenly between the sexes, with no wildcards to the far superior crop of gals. While Glover and Angie Miller were shoo-ins, and Kree Harrison a solid bet, this left only two slots for four deserving ladies.
Out of that four, the three-times-a-charm country singer Janelle Arthur seems to have earned the most ire from "American Idol" fans who'd hoped for another contestant in her place. Words like "boring" and "mediocre" turn up in many comments sections, with viewers fearing that the strong country music voting block will earn us another bland "AI" final.
Left in the backstage room of doom and gloom were glamorous and "marketable" contestants Breanna Steer and Aubrey Cleland. The judges appeared to give Cleland -- and her pleasing rendition of Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" -- the edge over Steer, and then lauded Amber Holcomb for her crazily run-heavy attempt at Whitney Houston as one of the best of the night. Yet each time the clip of Steer's performance of Beyonce's "Flaws and All" was replayed, it became more and more evident how beautiful and nuanced her vocals were, and how truly worthy she was of one of those final two spots.
The sing-offAt the end of the night, "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest informed us that there would be a sing-off between the gal and guy that got the number six votes. Winning this challenge means a spot on the summer tour, but apparently not in the rest of the competition.
What do you think, "American Idol" fans: Who got robbed and who got lucky? Would you have preferred a wildcard to the sing-off the show is trying this year?
More from this contributor:New 'American Idol' judge Mariah Carey reveals truth about Randy Jackson
- Arts & Entertainment
- American Idol