Another one bites the dust. Burnell Taylor became the fourth consecutive man to be shown the door on “American Idol” on Thursday, but the story of the night was the lone guy left standing.
Despite mentor Jimmy Iovine’s best efforts, Lazaro Arbos just won’t go away. Forgetting his lyrics during his Wednesday group number for the second week in a row didn’t faze the voters. Not only was he safe, but he was among the top three vote-getters, apparently the beneficiary of a legion of teenage girls who must watch the show on mute, or folks who interpreted the judges’ expression of non-hatred as an endorsement.
Sadly, the camera didn’t pan to Jimmy when Lazaro’s surprised but smiling face appeared on the screen. It’s another week of the “Idol” mentor gritting his teeth and working with a guy who he’s clearly wishing left the show during Hollywood week. Since trashing Lazaro every week hasn’t worked, look for Jimmy to cut off his microphone or install a hidden trapdoor that knocks the hopeful off the stage next week.
Once Lazaro’s good fortune was revealed, the suspense of the night was mostly over. Since each of the judges had already had their picks for the top three contestants revealed, we all know where everyone stood in their eyes. And with the two lowest vote-getters -- Janelle Arthur and Burnell -- appearing on none of those lists, there was no chance that the judges were going to use their save. If there was any doubt, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey both gave eulogies for the two before the results were even announced.
There was a brief moment -- when Janelle and Burnell were holding hands onstage -- when Ryan Seacrest looked at the envelope and then at Janelle, and it seemed for a nanosecond that finally, for the first time all year, the guys would get a reprieve from the chopping block.
No dice. Janelle survived, hopefully to have a serious talk with Lazaro, and urge him to make no more jokes about country girls having no teeth. Burnell went home, despite a rousing send-off sung to the remaining “Idol” finalists that left Candice Glover, for one, in tears.
Then again, Candice had other reasons to cry. She’s been one of the front-runners all year, and yet the only judge to put her in their individual top three was Mariah Carey. The others all picked Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller. Jimmy had the same list, though he did give Candice a shout-out as well. (Where did all the love go?)
She wasn’t in the voters’ top three either, as Kree and Angie joined Lazaro in that group instead. That left Candice looking stone-faced as Carrie Underwood returned to the “Idol” stage to perform, less interested in the “see what ‘Idol’ can do for you!” story line than she was at hearing her own fate.
Fortunately for Candice, she was the next singer declared safe. That just brought on a new kind of pain, however, as she had to trudge painfully across the stage to the chairs of safety thanks to her broken toe.
Amber had to wait a moment longer. Had the singer who Nicki had just called “a young Whitney Houston” been the low vote-getter, things would have gotten interesting, but when she also saw her face on the big-screen the drama was over.
Lazaro haters, meanwhile, will now have to tune in next week to see what new obstacles Jimmy can place in front of him.
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