St. Louis native's big voice not enough to sway voters… "If you're going home, I'm going home," an upset Nicki Minaj said
Despite the undeniable singing talent of Curtis Finch Jr., questions persisted about the St. Louis native's ability to connect with a large portion of the "American Idol" voting public. Big-voiced gospel each week on a show known for its pop leanings? Jimmy Iovine in particular expressed concerns that such a thing could get old, and fast.
Turns out it may have tired quicker than expected. Finch was announced as the lowest vote-getter Thursday night, prompting him to sing for the judges' save, a safety net that can be used but once a season.
But no safety net was deployed. Even after a powerful vocal on "I Believe I Can Fly," the judges could not make their vote unanimous, and Finch was sent home following one of the better 'sing for your life' moments the show has seen.
The elimination came as a surprise to some, including Nicki Minaj, who all but threatened to leave if Finch was sent packing. "If you're going home, I'm going home," she said, and nearly made good on her statement, getting up from the judges table at one point.
For the first time, "Idol" opted to reveal some of the voting results in order of amount of votes received. Though the exact order was not revealed, the top three was a combination of Angie Miller, Candice Glover and Kree Harrison.
From fourth to 10th, the order was revealed. Lazaro Arbos was the highest-finishing guy in fourth, with Amber Holcomb fifth and Janelle Arthur, Burnell Taylor, Paul Jolley, Devin Velez and Finch rounding out the top 10.
The show also revealed some statistics breaking down the vote in different states. For instance, Arthur won 30 percent of the vote in her native Tennessee, while Glover earned 42 percent in South Carolina.
The episode saw the return of a few former "Idol" contestants. First, the previously announced sing-off between the sixth-place vote-getters from last week took place, with Charlie Askew going against Aubrey Cleland. Askew, who was back to his usual self after a fairly strange performance and look last week, did an original, "Sky Blue Diamond," taking a turn behind a piano and showcasing his wide range, while Cleland took on "Out Here on My Own," fitting snug within her comfort zone of ballads. Though Askew's was the more memorable of the two, the choice for who gets onto the "Idol" tour this summer is up to the voting public.
Phillip Phillips also returned to the "Idol" stage, performing his new single "Gone Gone Gone," unsurprisingly this season's "Idol" farewell song and very much the definition of 'Dave Matthews Band lite.' And Bon Jovi did "Because We Can," the catchy first single off new album "What About Now," which dropped this week.
The 10 finalists joined together early in the show to perform a group number called "Shine Your Way," from the upcoming Dreamworks film, "The Croods."
- Reality Check