Results from the second and third major votes of Season 13 of "American Idol" played out on live television Thursday evening as show host Ryan Seacrest revealed the Top 10 finalists -- in no particular order, of course -- as voted on by the viewers. But those weren't the only contestants moving on. Five more got to sing for their lives in a Wild Card Round. Three of them were chosen by the judges to become finalists. And so was formed the Top 13...
Thursday night on "American Idol" was the formal end to Rush Week, where the remaining 31 contestants in the singing competition, after working with "Idol" alums Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry during the Randy Jackson Workshop experience, were pared down to a Top 10 boys group and a Top 10 girls group. The girls sang on on a special "Idol" episode on Tuesday. The boys sang on Wednesday. And America voted. As Michael Slezak noted at TVLine (via Yahoo TV) Feb. 20, the pace was hectic and brutal, bleeding over into the announcing of the ten finalists that got through by popular vote. In fact, Slezak said, "Ryan Seacrest was so quick in announcing the five guys and five ladies put through by viewer votes, that I actually worried for a minute that Fox was going to pull a switcheroo and try to trick us into watching Rake from 8:15-9:00."
Very, very accurate, that description...
Ryan Seacrest hit the stage Thursday evening and got straight to work filling up the 13 silver seats arranged in an arc on the stage. Stressing that the results reveal was not an indicator of who got the most votes ("in no particular order"), the seats were filled.
The Season 13 Top 10:
M K Nobilette
With the naming of the Top 10 finalists (as voted by the viewers), the Wild Card Round began. As Judge Jennifer Lopez explained, they -- the "American Idol" judges would choose five from the ten remaining contestants. Those five would sing for a shot at making the three remaining spots in the Top 13. Judge Harry Connick Jr. stressed the importance of their performances.
C. J. Harris led the way. All performances would be pulled from their the contestants' Hollywood Week performances. With C. J. Harris, that song was Sam Cooke's classic "Bring It On Home To Me." Judge Harry said he didn't know if the band screwed up or C. J. screwed -- or both. Judge Keith Urban said the performance faded in and out for him and he lost connection.
Next up, Jena Irene. Although she probably gave the best overall performance among the Top 10 girls on Tuesday, she apparently didn't connect with those casting votes. Still, she set up behind a keyboard and showed remarkable control and range (again) with "Mirrors." The judges admired her presence, with Judge Keith giving her kudos on not letting the audience distract her.
The third Wild Card pick was Spencer Lloyd. Smooth-voiced, Lloyd has come off as a one-dimensional heartthrob -- and he doesn't disappoint, singing a song about a beautiful person.
Fourth: Bria Anai excitedly hit the stage when she heard her name called, telling Seacrest that her heart was pumping out of her chest. She said, "If you can feel me, feel me now." And then she delivered a powerful and passionate rendition of James Brown's "It's A Man's Man's Man's World." Judge Harry found it too passionate and believed it overshot the mark. (Yes, he was booed.)
The last of the five Wild Cards was Kristen O'Connor, who performed Katy Perry's "Unconditionally." It sounded a bit low in register, which Judge Keith caught and advised her to be wary of her own adrenaline, which could work against her and lift her key -- because he noticed her struggling to keep her voice in the same key she started in.
The naming of the Wild Cards left five that did not get a chance to sing, leaving the competition just short of the Finals. Those five were: Brianna Oakley, Marrialle Sellars (females), Emmanuel Zidor, George Lovett, Malcolm Allen (males).
So, it was up to the judges. Three chairs to fill. Five hopefuls still on stage.
Seat 11: Jena Irene.
Seat 12: Kristen O'Connor.
Seat 13: C. J. Harris.
And so… twenty became 13. Six girls. Five boys. All shooting to become the next recording superstar, the next American Idol.
The Top 13 will compete next week as "American Idol" enters its Finals stage. "American Idol" airs on Fox Television weekly on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. (EST)