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Andrew is a staff writer at the “The Hudsucker”. He is a 28 year old lawyer living in Ottawa. Besides legal jargon, his brain capacity is taken up by reality show trivia, video game walk-throughs and room escape strategies. Andrew is also happily in a long-term, long-distance relationship. Follow him on Twitter as @sublymonal.

Idol Top 6 Results: Save On Standby

Going into Thursday, I think 90% of the Idolverse expected the judges to have to use their one and only save to maintain the status quo of the five talented ladies this season. It was clear, after Lazaro’s Top 3 placement the week before, that America just wasn’t buying into the “all-girl top five!” plot of this season, even if it did mean that we’d have a 100% chance of getting a female winner. Okay, that’s about all the numbers and math I’ve got for you to explain the strangeness of Idol this season, so let’s get right down to the results and the performances we saw.

The first thing Ryan did, as if to draw out the suspense even more, was to separate three of the contestants into the start of three pairs, with their fates to be determined later in the show. He picked on the Top 3 yet again and put Angie on the far end of the stage, Lazaro in the middle and Kree closest to him which was likely intended to convey the fact that at least one of them was in the bottom group this week, but we’d have to wait to find out who.

Before I let you in on that, here are the performances we saw:

Top 6 – A Bacarach-David Medley (“You’ll Never Get to Heaven” / “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself” / “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” / “This Girl’s in Love with You” / “One Less Bell to Answer” / “A House Is Not a Home” / “That’s What Friends Are For”) – This medley was both bitter and sweet, I’m glad no one sang “A House Is Not A Home” because it was just too predictable, especially if it had been Amber, but I was fine with a short snippet here because it is one of the songwriter duo’s great songs. The bitter part, for me, was how good Kree sounded on “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” and how much better Janelle sounded throughout the medley. It made me think Janelle just made two iffy song choices the previous night and made me hope, all the more, that it wouldn’t be her or Amber going home tonight.

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery – “See You Tonight” – When Scotty won, I had a lot of disdain for him. I knew he was going to be big on the country scene, but he did nothing on the show to prove that he could do anything more than that. Now, my feelings have kind of neutralized. I get his tongue in cheek humour and I realize how young he is, so I don’t resent him because he’s fairly charismatic and a good performer. Not too mention, this song felt a lot more “middle of the road” between pop and country and I actually found myself enjoying it. Scotty’s also one of those winners who just sounds better singing his own material, so I think that helped.

Rating: 67%

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

Season 1 winner, also known as “The Queen” (at least to me) Kelly Clarkson – “People Like Us” – This song is incredibly catchy and delivers Kelly’s typical uplifting vibe. I wasn’t a huge fan of the aesthetics of the performance though. Kelly’s bright yellow eye makeup, the glow in the dark paint splattered up and down her dress and the stage, the glow sticks brandished by the audience. It didn’t feel like something Kelly would ever do. I’m perfectly happen when she just comes out in a white dress and sings the living daylights out of a song, so I wish she would have just done that. But, as always, her voice sounded spectacular.

Rating: 84%

Then, after all those performances were out of our system, Ryan finally gave us another tidbit on the pairs. Janelle was with Angie, Amber was with Lazaro and Candice was with Kree. Admittedly, I was nervous. In my heart, I felt like that save had to be used. The judges could not go an entire season without swooping in and stopping some injustice, no matter how minor, from occurring.

I will say that I have never fully agreed with the use of the save. The first time it was used, on Matt Giraud in Season 8, was magical. The entire audience was chanting and even though everyone knew the judges wanted to keep the soulful pianist around longer than Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds, it still felt like a win for us and made me a little emotional. That being said, Matt went home two weeks later at the Top 5 after a spectacular rendition of ‘My Funny Valentine’ so it seemed like, save or not, his days were numbered.

Then, in Season 9, the judges saved Michael Lynche. Truthfully, I don’t think the save should ever have been used during that season, unless it was available during the infamous Top 16 blowout of three of the most talented musicians the show had during that season (Alex Lambert, Lilly Scott and Katelyn Epperly). Michael was talented, but it was clear that the audience was connecting with his slightly cocky personality and, as a result, he was sent packing a few weeks later at the Top 4.

In Season 10, the judges saved jazzy bass player Casey Abrams during Top 11 week. Admittedly, Casey was talented, but he was too young at the time to realize what he really should be singing and took a few foolhardy risks (i.e. singing Nirvana) that made the audience lose faith in him. If anything, the judges should have saved that power for Top 9 week, when Pia Toscano, one of the most spot-on female singers the show had seen in a long time, found herself going home.

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

Then, last season, the judges came to the rescue in the most dramatic and phony fashion during the Top 7, when Jessica Sanchez predictably found herself in danger after a polarizing performance of Jazmine Sullivan’s “Stuttering”. Truth be told, Jessica had an incredible voice and stage presence for her age, but she was also surrounded by six other amazing singers and, at that point in the competition, it would have been upsetting to see any of them go home. Sure enough, a week later when Colton Dixon was set home, there was public backlash, claiming the lack of a save was part of what led to his fate.

Needless to say, I was wary about the save going into tonight, but staring at the three pairs on stage, I really hoped we weren’t in for a shocker. The first part of results gave me some relief: Kree and Candice were the Top 2, as they should be, and Angie and Janelle were also safe. I was hoping Janelle would be in the Bottom 2 to remind her, once again, that she can’t deliver mediocre performances and expect to survive. Which left us with Amber and Lazaro as the Bottom 2. I was bracing myself for Amber to have to sing another ballad as the judges waved her down and told her they were saving her, but America proved me wrong. They finally got the hint and sent Lazaro packing. He redid his best performance, Feeling Good, but it was a foregone conclusion after all the negative feedback he had been getting that the judges would, for the first time in five seasons, refrain from using their save power. This still leaves me with the question: what will they do with the extra week they have scheduled for the competition? The rumour is that we’ll be getting two weeks of the five ladies, so I hope you’re as keen as I am on seeing more of them before we cut one.

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

Now, it’s time to rank our remaining five ladies based on their chances to win this competition. I will not be predicting song choices because Nigel and the contestants dropped so major hints this week and basically reveal what they’d be singing. If you want to know the spoilers, check out the AI12 Wikipedia Article. Warning: there have been some major shakeups this week:

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

5. Janelle Arthur (-1) – As I’ve been saying all week, her Bottom 2 appearance at the Top 7 and her complete reluctance to improve afterwards shows that maybe she’s lost the will to fight in the face of such strong adversity. The next few weeks will put her in direct comparison with these ladies, one of which is also a country singer and has shown that she has the upper here, so she either has to step up or ship out.

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

4. Amber Holcomb (+1) – Amber got high praise from the judges the other night after what were arguably, not terribly great performances. It’s clear that the judges want her around, but also that she may be in danger. Either way, the rumour is that she has the final performing spot this week, so that might give her just a bit more time in this competition.

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

3. Angie Miller (-2) – Angie, Angie, Angie. I’ve had to take her down not one, but two spots after half of her set list failed to impress the judges. Vocally, she’s still spectacular and her return to the piano and singing songs that she clearly loves shows promise, but I think if she doesn’t still to what she’s good at and make sure it’s as breathtaking as Candice’s final number, she might find herself cut just shy of that finale next month.

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

2. Candice Glover (+1) – You might think that after “Love Song” and “Don’t Make Me Over” this is still too low for Candice, but I’m still not sure Candice has what it takes to win. She’s been fluctuating on the placement board, so maybe she needs to perform at the calibre she did on Wednesday to take it all, but I don’t know if that’s possible. Either way, she is an incredibly smart singer with a voice that could slay dragons, so I definitely want to see her in the Top 3 and possibly even the finale if we’re hoping for some end of season fireworks.

Credit: Fox/19 Entertainment

1. Kree Harrison (+1) – So let me get this straight. We’ve announced the Top 3 twice and the Top 2 on Thursday and all three times Kree has been in it? Without ever delivering a performance like “Love Song”? This girl has a strong fanbase and rightfully so. Even though she isn’t delivering the kind of bombastic vocals Candice did, she’s super consistent. All her performances have ranged from good to great and that kind of thing could carry her all the way. She just needs to deliver a good one-two punch to give her the momentum that will lock her a spot in the finale and maybe even under that confetti. I will say that I totally called this during Hollywood Week when we got our first glimpse of this girl ;)

That’s all I’ve got for you, fellow Idol Addicts! Tonight, the Top 5 ladies perform songs “From The Year You Were Born” and it’s “Diva’s Night” for round two. Should be great now that we’re down to five solid talents so tune in and then expect my recap late tonight or early tomorrow!

P.s. If you like tea, I wrote a blog on my personal blog about it so take a gander!

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