“American Idol” Recap: 25 Necessary Observations About the First Top 10 Elimination

We’re in Top 10 season! Hooray! And that means it’s already time for the first elimination show, which is an excruciating 60-minute death march. Here are the 25 things I took from it. They’re also the 25 things you should be thinking, verbatim. 

1. Phillip Phillips’ cameo in the opening lineup was admittedly hilarious. The guy is effing endearing, even if he is still wearing Kohl’s t-shirts from 1991 and expecting my mother not to donate them to AmVets. He’s a cool guy. More on this scintillating discovery below.

2. Jimmy Iovine on Janelle Arthur: “This girl’s not going anywhere!” But she just said she’s “gone!” Sad.

3. Jimmy Iovine on Angie Miller: “Doing ’I Surrender’… was really good. It wasn’t as good as some of the judges thought it was, in my opinion.” OK. Now I love Jimmy Iovine. Because that was the staidest song choice ever, and Angie’s performance was downright nondescript compared to Kelly Clarkson’s.

4. But… what was Jimmy Iovine smoking when he declared Burnell the best male performer of the night? I barely remember that performance. 

5. Devin Velez, it’s time to date me! The time is now! Find me. Let’s get lost in one of Curtis’ blazers together.


6. When did Ryan Seacrest become a crazed statistician? “This just in! Janelle was #1 in Tennessee! Devin was #1 in Puerto Rico! Candice Glover was #1 on a dumb island. Paul Jolley was #1 in the gay nude rodeos of Tucson!”

7. Uh, The Croods? Our top ten just sang a song from The Croods? If I knew what The Croods is, I’d probably be infuriated. Also, now I don’t need to hear the word “shine” for the next 20 years. Sorry, Geoffrey Rush.

8. Aw, that was quaint when Kree Harrison received a key to her Texan hometown. Too bad she didn’t appear to know who the hell the emissary was.

9. Jon Bon Jovi? Can still get it at 51. Sexually and vocally. He and Valerie Bertinelli should have a pretty-over-50 fight to the death. 

10. Oh no. Not the return of Charlie Askew and his off-key wail. Though I do hope he lands the starring role in a CW series called The Adventures Of Young Paula Poundstone.

11. Aubrey Cleland. I guess you are still a Rihanna-haired person. Fun! No, boring. Nevermind.

12. A one-off Phillip Phillips performance is actually pretty refreshing. As a contestant on Idol, he was so similar from week to week that it became a chore to absorb his cheeky growls again and again. Pleased to be delighted by him.

13. Not to be an ass, but a “quadruple platinum” record isn’t as awesome when it’s just a single, not an album. Phorgive me, Philly Phillz.

14. I personally love the idea of consistent #1-10 rankings since it’ll encourage voters to save their favorites if they survive a bad week. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of fluctuating rankings in the coming weeks, if Idol always tells us the full tally. I sense a bump up for Devin and a bump down for Janelle next.

15. Lazaro, that Kermit-green shirt is cutting off your circulation. Try nudity!

16. To be honest, I’m shocked that Candice, Kree, and Angie comprised the top three. But then again, Lazaro clocked in at #4. There’s the classic Idol idiocy I was looking for.

17. Amber should’ve been top three, but for now, I’ll settle with a fifth-place vote. Let;s think about superstardom and super-grins and hyper-coolness, Idol voters. Those are all things Amber peddles. Respect. 

18. Janelle Arthur came in sixth, which is well ahead of Paul Jolley. If my theory is correct, this means Paul is toast. And not from one of his many tanning adventures. 

19. Burnell’s victory dance after he came in seventh? Super precious. We needed that from him. More groovin’, less Ruben.

20. Paul Jolley gleefully morphed back into Anthony Perkins when he was announced as safe in eighth place. That’s what I like to see.

21. I’d believe it if you told me Keith Urban was made entirely of Wheat Thins. (I used this joke in Weeklings! too. Deal with my limited artistry!)

22. I hope Devin celebrated his ninth-place survival by adjusting the strange bulge in his pants. For some reason it was on my mind constantly. I was worried!

23. I felt bad for Curtis Finch Jr. being declared last place! Until I saw that damn necklace. Now I feel nothing and love it. 

24. Curtis’ final vocal? Pretty good, all things considered! And with the full televangelist flair he’s been teasing for weeks now. I am not sorry in the least to see him go, but he fought like a pro. And handled loss just as well. Admirable. Unlike that necklace.

25. Nicki Minaj, stop pretending Curtis was worthy of anything higher than, say, seventh. Your indignation is fun, but please start acting like Mariah and only rise from your seat when waving like Kate Middleton at no one in particular.

Fin. What’d you think of Curtis’ elimination? And who’s next?