The Top 10 "American Idol" finalists were finally named Thursday night, and America got it right.
Despite all the talk of relevancy and marketability, viewers voted for the best singers. After Wednesday night's downer, the results night had a largely positive feel, with the finalists singing victory songs and leaving strong impressions.
Here are your "American Idol" Season 12 Top 10 (who I correctly predicted here and here):
1. Paul Jolley
Paul has been constantly criticized for his theatricality all season long, but this is a show. He's the closest thing to a WGWG (white guy with guitar) this season, so he was a shoo-in.
2. Burnell Taylor
I'm a shameless Burnell supporter. He's got a great story and sound. I actually though his performance to Indie.Arie's "Ready For Love" was his weakest of the season, but it was still great. I hope America will "get him," because he's a dark horse in my book.
3. Curtis Finch Jr.
Curtis toned down the theatricality Thursday, and I actually liked his performance to John Legend's "So High." Less will be more for Curtis going forward, and a little humility will go a long way.
4. Devin Velez
Devin has been consistently great all season long. It was a nice departure for him to sing an upbeat song ("The Power of One") and not in Spanish. He's so good he doesn't need a gimmick. My only advice to him is to keep it young or he might get the "old fashioned" tag.
5. Lazaro Arbos
Lazaro was one of the better boys on Wednesday night, so I didn't have any problems with him advancing. But hopefully American will vote on his singing and not out of sympathy. He's probably the weakest singer out of this group, but when he's on, his tone is beautiful.
6. Janelle Arthur
There's no way blonde, country singer Janelle wasn't going to make the top 10. Nicki Minaj was right, Janelle really came alive tonight. Her victory song to Dierks Bentley's "Home" was the perfect song choice to solidify her Southern voting base.
7. Angie Miller
Angie undoubtedly deserves a spot in the top 10, but she can't rest on her laurels. She really needs to mix things up, because she's falling into Pia Toscano territory for me -- great singer but predictable performer. I think she can be a top 3 contender, but can't bore viewers with ballads.
8. Candice Glover
The show has been pimping Janelle, Angie and Candice all season, and of the three, I think Candice has continually upped her game. She's got power, personality and one helluva voice. She sang Mary J. Blige's "I'm Going Down" but I think her star is rising.
9. Amber Holcomb
Amber has one of my favorite voices, and I'm glad to see America recognize her immense talent. I hope she brings even more excitement to her performances, and she mixes her song choices up (as much as I love Whitney Houston).
10. Kree Harrison
I've praised Kree's maturity and professionalism all season, and it was great to see her let loose tonight. I think she's the one to beat, and we'll see how right (or wrong) I am over the next three months.
I think this is one of the strongest "Idol" Top 10's ever. Do you agree? Leave a comment and vote in our polls below.
-- Lawrence Yee
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