The "American Idol" 2013 top 10 became the top nine on March 14 as the results show aired on FOX and the last place finisher, gospel singer Curtis Finch Jr., was sent packing following the nationwide vote. But Finch's untimely departure from the reality singing competition wasn't the only surprise that the evening held, as longtime host Ryan Seacrest revealed that "AI" would be taking a page from "The X Factor USA" playbook and revealing the contestants' individual rankings for the first time ever.
Although guys have won every year since Jordin Sparks took the title at the close of season six, a trio of talented ladies comprised of Candice Glover, Kree Harrison and Angie Miller claimed the top three spots following the March 13 vote. The other two girls in the competition also placed well, with Amber Holcomb snagging the fifth spot and Janelle Arthur claiming sixth.
Lazaro Arbos, who turned in what was arguably one of the weakest performances of the top 10, finished a surprising fourth, while Burnell Taylor, who mentor Jimmy Iovine said was "by far the best guy" on March 13, came in seventh. Paul Jolley, who confused Iovine with his aspirations of becoming a country singer, finished eighth, leaving Devin Velez and Curtis Finch Jr. as the bottom two.
Although Finch, who received the fewest votes, sang a spirited rendition of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly," the effort wasn't enough to convince Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey to use the season's single judges' save to extend his competition life. Minaj protested the decision, but Finch's elimination stood.
Following the show, Finch took to Twitter to express gratitude to his supporters, writing "This has been an amazing journey and its certainly not over!!!!! I love you Finchies!!!!! Thanks for your love and support!! Im ready to fly."
"American Idol" 2013 resumes March 20 on FOX with the top nine performance show.