American Idol Episodes

2002, TV Show

American Idol Episode: "Finalists Chosen"

Season 10, Episode 15
Episode Synopsis: The Season 10 finalists are revealed. Also: the premiere of Jennifer Lopez's music video "On the Floor."
Original Air Date: Mar 3, 2011

American Idol Episode Recap: The Top 13 Revealed! Season 10, Episode 15

Returning American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe promised months ago that, because he was no fan of the lengthy semifinal rounds on past seasons of the show, Season 10 would cut to the chase more quickly. Thursday's episode did just that, and having such a large number of contestants cut provided perhaps the most drama-filled and least-padded Idol results show ever.

Ryan Seacrest informed us that 40 million votes were cast over the past two nights. From those votes, America selected five guys and five girls to make up the Top 10. Then, the judges would select any of the remaining 14 contestants to sing for their life and a possible wild card slot in the finals. So, who made the cut? Let's find out.

The first pair of guys: Robbie and Scotty. The judges reiterate that Robbie just had an OK night and should have chosen better. Scotty, on the other hand, knows exactly who he is and should keep doing what he's doing, according to J. Lo. And he will get that chance, as Ryan reveals that Scotty is the first one to make it into the Top 10!

Next, Clint, Jordan and Jovany take center stage. Clint has an emotional breakdown on stage, just waiting for the results. Jordan again concedes that singing Usher was a mistake and suggests that he should have sung a John Legend tune. Jovany is just humbled by the incredible journey. Unfortunately for all three of them, they aren't in the Top 10.

Ryan switches gears and invites Lauren, Alaina and Pia down to be judged. Lauren's nerves and Southern twang combine oddly and her responses to Ryan's questions make her sound high. Pia is grateful for the opportunity to sing. Both Lauren, the judges' front-runner, and Pia, the unquestionable standout of this week's performers, both take a deserved seat on the Top 10 couch.

Ta-Tynisa and Julie are up next, and both got some not-so-great feedback from the judges about their renditions of popular radio hits. Julie, in particular, said she felt like she let down a lot of people (I count myself among them), but that she hoped for a chance to sing with her guitar and prove herself. Sadly, she might not get that chance, as neither girl was voted into the Top 10 by America.

Three middle-of-the-packers — Kendra, Ashthon and Karen — are next to receive the news. Of the group, I probably most enjoyed Kendra's performance this week, but I also understood what the judges saw in Karen. Ashthon's attitude kind of rubs me the wrong way. In any case, the only girl among this group that is safely through to the finals is Karen.

Ryan calls down Casey, Tim and Jacob next. Steven Tyler said Tim should have sang some John Mayer or Jason Moran (we're pretty sure he meant Mraz, but you never can tell!) because they're "more alt." (Not sure about that description of their music either, Stevie.)  But why are we still talking about this group: Casey and Jacob, who both are judges' favorites predictably sail into the Top 10, while Tim does not.

Naima, Lauren Turner and Thia are next, and I had very little negative to say about any of their performances on Wednesday. I was shocked to learn that only one of them was safe in the finals. That person was the very emotional Thia, who seemed to be sporting a sweater from The Cosby Show.

Weird dancers Brett and Paul then went head to head, and Brett couldn't focus on any of Ryan's questions because his hands were numb and he was in a trance. In the end, Brett's hair-swaying routine lost out to the "chicken arm" shuffle of Paul. He and his smile move on to the Top 10.

After Ryan promised "unbelievable" results before the commercial break, I really began to fear that Rachel, who murdered a Fiona Apple song Wednesday, was going to be put through. I didn't love Haley's Alicia Keys' cover as much as the judges did, but of those two, America wisely gave the final girls' slot to Haley.

Stefano and James compete for the final guys' slot. Ryan informs us that the two have been roommates during their time in Hollywood. Both had strong performances on Tuesday's lackluster show, but only one can go through — and that's the hard-rocking James.

When asked if America got it right, Randy says the voters picked a great Top 10. But he also notes that there is a tremendous amount of talent left on the stage, so picking wild cards was going to be extra tough. Ultimately, they decide to give three girls (Ashthon, Kendra and Naima) and three guys (Stefano, Jovany and Robbie) a second chance.

So, we officially say goodbye to Jordan, Tim, Brett, Clint, Lauren Turner, Julie, Rachel and Ta-Tynisa. The only real head-scratchers for me: Clint and Lauren. The judges really seemed to like both, although I think Clint gives off a bad attitude. I wasn't that sad to see him go. I would have liked to see Lauren grow (or at least get a chance to sing for her life). But life goes on.

Some quick thoughts on the wild card performances:

Ashthon, "And I'm Telling You"
I'm going to do some Jennifer Hudson because I'm not going," Ashthon sassed. Ugh, I really don't care for her attitude at all. Confidence is fine and all, but something is off-putting. But she divas out through the entire performance, and while she definitely belts it out, I think it's a pretty weak cover. I guess she gets some points for being the first one to sing on the fly.

Stefano, "I Need You Now"
I liked this number way more than what he did Monday, and after that performance, I want him to stay. Jennifer said he came through at the right moment.

Kendra, "Georgia on My Mind"
She starts the song very low, and it's not until she gets into her upper register that she sounds very good at all. She ends very well, but I don't think the first half of the song did her any favors. Especially when you're singing for your life

Jovany, "Angel"
He sings the song "for the one he lost," saying that it got him through tough times before and he hopes it will again. Luckily, he backs up the sympathy card with a well-sung rendition of the song. My only gripe: I don't get much variety from him — this song, some of which he sang in Spanish, felt just as boring to me as "I'll Be" at times.

Naima, "For All We Know"
More than anyone else, she showed that she wanted it. So much so that she was in tears by the end of the song. Steven said she sang it from way down deep inside, and that she brought it.

Robbie Rosen, "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
So, so, so much better than his earlier performance this week. It was a little sleepy, but it was the right song to show off his voice at this crucial moment. Randy liked the tenderness of the performance and noted that the judges were facing a tough choice.

After a commercial break, the judges insisted they hadn't made their choice. "We know it's live TV, but we need more time," J. Lo said. Her phony line delivery was as bad as it was in Monster-in-Law. What would Ryan do to stall? Oh, he showed J. Lo's new music video that the show promoted all week long. It's cool, judges. Take all the time you need!

As the show wound down, the judges revealed that they would be choosing three of the six possible wild-card singers. Their choices: Ashthon, Stefano and Naima.  I am cool with all of those but Ashthon, because of the aforementioned attitude problems. Hopefully, she will prove me wrong.

So, to recap — your Season 10's Top 13:

Casey Abrams
Naima Adedapo
Lauren Alaina
James Durbin
Ashthon Jones
Stefano Langone
Jacob Lusk
Scotty McCreery
Paul McDonald
Thia Megia
Haley Reinhart
Karen Rodriguez
Pia Toscano

So, what do you think of the finalists? Who were you most disappointed to see go home? Most importantly, who do you think is going to win? Share all your thoughts in the comments!

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Returning American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe promised months ago that, because he was no fan of the lengthy semifinal rounds on past seasons of the show, Season 10 would cut to the chase more quickly. Thursday's episode did just that, and having such a large number of contestants cut provided perhaps the most drama-filled and least-padded Idol results show ever.

Ryan Seacrest informed us that 40 million votes were cast over the past two nights. From those votes, America selected five guys and five girls to make up the Top 10. Then, the judges would select any of the remaining 14 contestants to sing for their life and a possible wild card slot in the finals. So, who made the cut? Let's find out... read more

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Premiered: June 11, 2002, on FOX
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Premise: The smash reality series showcases wannabe pop stars competing for a record deal by crooning for a panel of judges, including, most entertainingly, the acid-tongued Simon Cowell, who departed the show in 2010 after serving for nine seasons. The judges review a performer's talent (or lack thereof), and at-home viewers then vote for their favorite potential star. The show helped launch the careers of such artists as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert.

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