"If America gets it right, there can only be one person going home tonight, and that's Lazaro," tough-talking, truth-serum-swilling "American Idol" advisor Jimmy Iovine declared on Thursday's top seven results show. His pronouncement sounded like a rerun of last week's results show, when Jimmy unabashedly rallied for Lazaro Arbos's elimination. But, just like last week (when Lazaro survived over the inarguably more talented Devin Velez), America didn't agree with Jimmy. Lazaro was safe yet again. However, unlike last week, Lazaro wasn't in the bottom three this time. HE WAS IN THE TOP THREE.
Yes, you read that right. That was not a typo. Lazaro Arbos was in this week's top three on "American Idol."
On Thursday, Jimmy and the four judges were asked to list their own personal top three contestant picks for this week, and all of them named Kree Harrison, Angie Miller, and Amber Holcomb--with the exception of Mariah Carey, who chose Kree, Amber, and Candice Glover. But none of them picked Lazaro. The judges' shell-shocked facial expressions were priceless, when Ryan Seacrest announced that Lazaro was in this week's top three with Angie and Kree (while Candice and Amber sat on the sidelines with the others--including my favorite performer this week, Janelle Arthur, who ludicrously ended up in the bottom two). I only wish some Fox camera-operator had cut to a quick closeup of Jimmy's surely GIFable reaction, too.
You know, it just goes to show that the "Idol" honchos should have never, ever underestimated the power of the teen-girl voting block. As I've theorized before, producers may have manipulated the show in order to get a female winner this year, by not putting a cute, guitar-playing boy (i.e., the type of contestant who always wins) in this year's top 20. But they seemed to overlook the fact that--while he doesn't play a guitar--Lazaro is pretty cute. And apparently, many of "Idol's" core viewers would rather vote for a cute but subpar singer with short-term lyrical memory loss, who happens to resemble a young Ricky Ricardo (and has a sympathetic backstory), than vote for any other more deserving contestant.
Either that, or my only other explanation is viewers didn't realize they were supposed to vote for the contestant they wanted to save, and they instead accidentally voted for the one they wanted to see go home. Yeah, maybe that was it...
In the end, though, it was not really surprising that Burnell Taylor received the fewest votes. While he was my favorite guy in this season's top 10, and I adored his unique style and tone, he had a rough time this week trying to sing rock 'n' roll, and when he had a chance to redeem himself later during a duet number, he was unfortunately upstaged by his powerhouse singing partner, Candice. So I had a hunch that it was his time to go. But still--Lazaro should have gone instead.
It seemed like Lazaro's castmates felt the same. As Burnell sang for the Judges' Save, Candice was openly sobbing; when the judges announced that they had decided not to save Burnell, Janelle appeared downright outraged. But those girls should have been happy to learn that the Judges' Save will still be up for grabs next week--because at this rate, one of them may need it, when Lazaro continues to get more votes.
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