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Paul Jolley, Janelle Arthur and Kree Harrison Make American Idol’s Top Ten [Video]

The field is set and three country singers have found themselves in American Idol’s Top Ten.  Last night, the finalists were revealed and WBKR’s Idol expert, Steve Thompson, was tuned in to rate and handicap the field!

This morning, Steve joined us on The WBKR Waking Crew to chat about last night’s results show . . .

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From Steve Thompson:

You know, this was an odd results show.  Granted, we had to get rid of 50% of our remaining contestants.  But I really did think there was going to be a wildcard this year.  Both Nigel and Randy had mentioned the possibility, but evidently that was a shell game played for a ratings spike.  I guess the competition for which one of the sixth place girls or guys could be interesting in that the winner will at least have a paying gig throughout the tour.  I hope that means we’ll wind up with six girls and five boys.



The major contrivance of the evening was the strange ritual of Ryan walking backstage and down the steps every time to reveal the results for the ten finalists.  Was this effective for anybody out there in TV land?  (No…  Not the cable outfit– it’s the original expression that lead to the naming of said channel.)  I guess it was suspenseful for those who had a dog in the fight– but for those of us who keep the big dogs on the back porch, it seemed more yawn inducing than thrilling.

Here’s a quick rundown of the top 5 guys.

1.  Paul Jolley sang Alone by Heart and sounded better than any other song he’s sungNow he’s absolutely no threat to the greatness that is the Wilson sisters, but I was pleasantly surprised that a pop rock song made his voice that much better than his attempts at pop country. 

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2.  Burnell Taylor sang Ready for Love by India.Arie.  He has a nice tone, but I think I’d rather hear a song called Ready for Love by Bad Company.

3.  Curtis Finch, Jr. sang So High by John Legend.  This song did nothing for me.  I tend to like John Legend– but only when John Legend sings his own songs. 

4.  Devin Velez sang The Power of One by Israel Houghton.  I guess I missed this somewhere in the first audition, but Devin calls himself a Contemporary Christian singer.  Up to this point, I had expected to go from English to Spanish in every song selection.  Frankly, this was one of his better selections. 

5.  Lazaro Arbos sang Bridge Over Troubled Water again.  I still don’t think Lazaro will be able to hold it together once they get to a theme for a genre he is not familiar with.  I said somewhere that the difference between Lazaro and Charlie at this stage of the game is that Lazaro seems more cohesive.  That may be put to the test sometime in the next few weeks.

Here’s a quick rundown of the top 5 girls.

1.  Janelle Arthur sang Home by Dierks Bentley and knocked it out of the park.  Is it just because the pressure is off and now she’s in the top ten?  Hard to say…  But Janelle sounded better to me than she has sounded all year.  Very impressive.  If she can carry that over to next week, I wouldn’t be shocked if she ends up in the final three.

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2.  Candice Glover sang I’m Goin’ Down by Mary J Blige.  Yeah, she can sing and she can hit the big notes– I just wonder how she will do in future weeks when she won’t be able to draw a gospel-flavored r & b tune out of the deck. 

3.  Angie Miller sang I Was Here by Beyonce.  Well, it’s no shock that Angie also considers herself a Contemporary Christian singer.  I was underwhelmed by her song, but it’s hard to sing when you’re verklempt. 

2.  Amber Holcomb sang I’m Every Woman which is technically a Chaka Khan song, but most people know it by the Whitney version.  Is there any song that Amber can do that is not Whitney-inspired?   

1. Kree Harrison sang Evidence by Susan Tedeschi.  This was a great wrap-up to the evening.  A song with some sass and spunk instead of another dreary ballad.  Kree has been my favorite over the last few weeks– and it looks like I may have to review her for the rest of the season.

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Our first theme for the top 10…  Songs sung by the previous Idol winners in competition on the show.  That’s a broad category when you include Kelly to Phillip.  They’ve made a point that the songs were in competition and not post-Idol.  Could be interesting…

@March 7, 2013   Stephen W Thompson



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