Losing 50% of them is really going to hurt as we're starting to get some favourites now. Here's my list, the ones I'd like to see go through, not necessarily those who I predict will go through. Those in bold are what I would say are pretty sure shots.
Angela | Aubrey | Breanna | Kree | Amber
Two of mine will probably lose out to Janelle and Candice, though.
Elijah | Charlie | Burnell | Paul | Deven
I also expect to lose three of these to Lazaro, Curtis and Nick.
The first through is Paul Jolley. Now he was one of mine but I had doubts as the judges hadn't been that supportive. Looks like each will get to do a victory song. Nice idea. He does Heart's Alone. He and it are a bit sugary and I get Keith's comments earlier about a degree of disconnection that he will need to fix. Nice fellow, though. Good start.
Second through is Burnell. One of the expected ones. He sings I Am Ready For Love really very well and that was quite a 'moment' to use the Idol jargon. So far so good. This guy will take some beating if he can keep that up.
With shorter judges' comments, this will be a pretty fast-paced show. The problem could be the emotions getting the better of some, perhaps, who must surely be absolutely over the moon to get this deal.
Ryan's hosting so well tonight. Third through is Curtis Finch Jnr. Another fine song - not one I recognise but it's probably called So High and it's got God in it. I am going to get a bit tired of this stuff but he can sing and, guess what, Randy is delighted. Another nice chap who can be relied upon to perform well, though.
That was the first not on my list so I'm going to lose someone. Charlie, I guess for Lazaro.
Number four is Deven. After his excellent performance last night that's well-deserved. He's quite original, with a jazz feel this time. Not my kind of music either. We Can Change The World Together is a pretty boring track, not that that matters a great deal on this occasion. He isn't as good tonight as the other three, Burnell still being the stand-out and most likely end challenge to the girls. Nice guy #4 as well! I wonder if he'll get the big votes, though, as the show progresses.
The next announcement is going to be the really tough one. From all that we've seen I have to think that Lazaro will have had a whole pile of votes, with the guys as well as girls supporting him, and that he's the one. That's a great shame for people like Elijah who was modern and a potential pop star, Nick, who has sung beautifully but just lacked that sparkle and good old Charlie who will certainly be remembered. I still hope Charlie makes it as that would really add something different to the shows ahead but I don't hold out much hope. It has to be Lazaro.
Cortez is a good-looking guy and not a bad contestant at all. For him it'll be a near miss and he may still make it into the limelight after an impressive run so far. Vincent Powell is the other I've rejected. He looks a bit odd and tries too hard. This is not for him this year.
OK. Time for the last spot. It's Lazaro. You've got to feel sorry for the others. Lazaro gets a massive cheer when he appears. On the way he asks the guys running the backing track to cover him on the last note. This guy is a professional and maybe not as dumb as he seems! His song is the really difficult Bridge Over Troubled Water. It's difficult reviewing this as the track is so good and really difficult for anyone to match. He is one good-looking guy and immensely likeable. He'll steal all of Paul's votes on that front. His pronunciation of words and actual tuning isn't that appealing but he has established himself by sheer personality as the one to beat.
Now the girls.
First is a surprise. Janelle. I like her a lot but I really did think she'd lost it after a distinctly dodgy performance and being well out of tune. That's the strength of the Idol Country vote. As if to justify their faith she sings a very comfortable and reassuring The Place We All Call Home. In fact she did that really well and, as Nicky said, she came alive tonight and looked so much happier. So I'm going to lose one but she'll be a good replacement. I'm also going to lose another as Candice is bound to make it. I just hope it's not Aubrey as I'm quite attached to her already.
I have a feeling it's going to be Angela, Candice, Kree and Amber joining her.
Candice is number two. She could have worn some better trousers, Those red things look dreadful. She's the first to look really emotional but she holds it all together for I'm Going Down and does yet another first class job. She's good. If the public start to like her a bit more then she's in for the long haul. Randy reminds us that this is a singing competition. No-one actually asks why Lazaro is through then but a few think it.
As if we didn't know, Angela Miller is the next through. She's my tip for the title. No-one is surprised that she's there. She's got rid of the curls but kept the forehead sweep. I can't wait to see what the makeover team do with her. I Was Here is a powerful number and I felt she lost her way a bit but she was pretty emotional. Keith sums up the situation perfectly. This is the break she needed.
Number four is Amber. This might well surprise a few and it does. She looks cute and is at least wearing something that suits her. Hers is the first fast number as she tries I'm Every Woman. She's eminently watchable and enjoys what she does but it's a bit of a mess. She'll ahve to work hard to keep up with the rest.
Oh dear, looks like I've lost both Aubrey and Breanna as surely Kree will get place number five. Remember she was the bookies favourite a couple of weeks ago! Anything else would, indeed, be a shock. Having said that, though, is she someone who attracts votes? Possibly the best natural singer of all and a judges' favourite too but her personality hasn't shone through yet.
Yes. It is Kree. No shock. And she hits the stage running with possibly more confidence than anyone tonight. I'd forgotten that she'd appeal too to the Country vote and whatever she's singing is like a thank you song for all who did pick up the phone for her. She is exceptionally good and another totally reliable performer.
Again, some sad goodbyes to those who didn't make it. Particularly this one.
And that, folks, is your American Idol Top Ten.