American Idol Review: The Top 10!

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It's been a long and emotional road for the American Idol season 12 hopefuls.

And tonight the American Idol judges turned the voting over to America to let the public determine the fate of their chosen 20. Half of them will go home. The other half will go on to battle it out for the American Idol crown. 

Who will be the Top 10? Let's find out now...

Paul Jolley on Stage

After playing Mariah Carey's latest single "Almost Home," from the Oz soundtrack, Ryan finally makes his way back to the guys' holding room.

The first person into the Top 10 is Paul Jolley. His "victory song" is "Alone" by Heart. Apparently he didn't get the memo that Carrie Underwood wrote the master class in covering this song and no one else should try it. Especially not him. Oh well. Welcome to the Top 10, Paul.

The second person through to the Top 10 is Burnell Taylor, which comes as a shock to no one. He sings India.Arie's "Ready For Love." Burnell has to get his hands under control when he sings. They venture into Jessica Simpson territory. This isn't the song I would've chosen for a victory song, but he rocked it. I'm a Burnell fan.

Curtis Finch, Jr. is the third guy to make it. He tones down his usual churchiness just a bit to sing John Legend's "So High." He has a couple of pitch problems on some of the high notes, but manages to hit the very highest in the arrangement. There's little surprise that Curtis is in the Top 10. He's talented and will definitely stick around for a few weeks.

Spanish crooner Devin Velez is going to join the other three guys on the couches after singing "The Power of One" by Israel Houghton. Devin is an old soul and there's something likable about him even if he's not the best male vocalist in the competition. 

The final male contestant in this year's Top 10 is Lazaro Arbos. His victory song is "Bridge Over Trouble Waters." Lazaro is a nice kid. There's emotion in his voice when he sings and something genuine about his spirit. He's not as polished as the other contestants, but I find myself proud of him for overcoming so much in his life.

Now that the Top 5 guys have been named, it's the ladies' turn.

The first girl through is Janelle Arthur. Her victory song is Dierks Bentley's "Home." As the lyrics say, "it's been a long hard ride" for Janelle and the third time is the charm. After multiple auditions, she's finally sticking around.

Candice Glover, another returning Idol hopeful, is the second girl through. She sings "I'm Going Down" by Mary J. Blige, which is a song in her wheelhouse. Candice slays it. She's awesome. I hope she sticks around for a while.

The third lady to make it to the Top 10 is Angie Miller, which is the least shocking announcement of the night. She chooses "I Was Here" by Beyonce, but I really wanted her to sing her original number again. Her emotions and nerves got her a little and the beginning was actually a little rough, but she settled in nicely by the chorus and finished beautifully. So beautifully Keith Urban cried. If she doesn't make it to the Top 2, I will be shocked.

Amber Holcombe is the 9th contestant into the Top 10. She chooses the Chaka Khan/Whitney Houston song "I'm Every Woman." She definitely brought the energy to the performance. Mariah was pleased to see her make it through.

The final member of this year's Top 10 is Kree Harrison. I almost want to squeal in delight I'm so excited! She sings a relatively obscure song, "Evidence" by Susan Tedeschi. But it doesn't even matter because she's just that great. 

And that's that! The American Idol season 12 Top 10 contestants have been announced in quite the new and different format from what we're used to. It was nice not to have the big dramatic "dim the lights" moment and just jump straight to naming those who made it. While the guys are sort of all over the place, the girls are pretty much who I thought they would be. 

What do you think about the Top 10? Did your favorites make it? Who will you miss most?

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


I LOVED Nick's performance... Gave me goose bumps... He should have been in the top 10... Hope he continues making music. I will buy his CD...


I like this type of information because you always can learn some interesting new knowledge and at the same time revive the knowledge you already know. Thanks.


I guessed 9 out of the 10 (Even though I think that Lazaro is great I didn't think he would make it and thought that Elijiah Lu "the asian-Justin Bieber type" would have gotten a lot of the teeny bopper votes.

Miranda wicker

@M--I, too, noticed the poor production quality of her performance (say that 5 times fast!). It also happened to her on Tuesday night. I didn't find her performance then to be as strong as the other girls, so I was actually quite shocked to see that America voted for her. It just didn't sound fantastic. The same is true of Tenna Torres' performance from Tuesday. What I heard in my living room was nearly opposite from what the judges claimed to have heard in the arena.


I agree with the top 10 choices for American Idol in 2013. But I hope not to sound like a paranoid jerk, but I truly think that Amber, the black contestant that sung "I'm every woman", was discriminated against by the engineering staff of American Idol. I have a back ground in music, songwriting, production, and mixing myself. So I realize the importance of the engineering in terms of volume setting and effects in a production, including a live production such as that in American Idol live performances. I think that there was a clear volume distinction in the mic level in Amber’s performance vs. the other girls. Her mic was too low, simply put, and it made her performance seem weaker than it actually was. Since I did not observe this issue with any other contestants, and I think it is very safe to assume American ideal engineers are among the best in the business, with many years of high level professional experience, I can only assume that such an error was intentional. I really hate to suggest this, but when considering the racial history in this country, I can't help but think someone or some oneS in the American Idol team wanted to give the American Voters a Reason not to consider Amber in the next round. It really pisses me off I must say. If American chooses another singer, it’s their choice, and it shouldn’t be influenced by the engineering. ALL vocalists should be treated equally. Period...
I know what some of you must be thinking. There are several blacks in the top 10, how can the show be racist? Well, honestly, I hope I’m wrong, but I think that some feel “when there is too much Black, we must cut some back�.
I’m done…

Miranda wicker

@rush--thanks for the compliment! I do enjoy music and did sing once upon a time. Now I just sing lullabies and "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" to my kids all day. ;)


All of the girls that I thought would get in got in. I was kind of hoping that Nick would get in over Lazaro, but you can't get everything. I do think it's clear that the girls are head and shoulders above the guys. Angela, Candice, Kree, and even Amber will all go far in the competition. Janelle is a personal favorite too. What a great group of ladies!


Miranda, thank you for reviewing I must say, I really appreciate a reviewer that loves music; as it seems maybe you are a musician of I have noted week to week you seem to usually be on point, in terms of performance critique. I completely and totally agree with the TOP TEN...especially Kree, she has been my favorite since I heard her first note on AI 2013. The only person I would trade is Paul Jolly for Aubre Cleland, but that's just my hormones talking. With what has been a down year for AI, with a few I like in the Top Ten, there just might be an upside this year.

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