OFFSTAGE: American Idol Judges Were the Last to Know

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OFFSTAGE: American Idol Judges Were the Last to Know

Published on March 08, 2013 by CMT News

Randy Jackson (left), Mariah Carey, Ryan Seacrest,brNicki Minaj and Keith Urban

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and
out of the spotlight.)

Surprise. Ten American Idol hopefuls are going home.

That was the theme of
Thursday night’s (March 7) finals show, and the suspense was killing me. This year, instead of the judges revealing the Top
10, the Top 10 revealed themselves to the judges.

Ryan Seacrest said they had 39 million votes this time around, and
here is who won the chance to stick around: Lazaro Arbos, Amber Holcomb, Paul Jolley, Curtis Finch Jr., Janelle Arthur, Devin
Velez, Burnell Taylor, Angie Miller and Candice Glover. Kree Harrison, a Keith
Urban
favorite all along, also made it in.

Urban told Jolley, “It’s like you’re listening, because you channeled
theatrics into passion, and that’s the thing.” I think that was a compliment. Arbos was the last of the guys to make it into
the finals. And when he did, his victory song was my favorite song of the night. Actually, maybe of the season — Simon
Garfunkel ‘s 1970 hit “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” He just nailed it.

Arthur’s victory song was Dierks
Bentley
‘s “Home.” She brought the judges to their feet, and Nicki
Minaj told her, “You’ve been my ladybug, my marshmallow, my superstar country girl, and you came alive today.”

The
best moment of the night was watching Urban cry. It was toward the end of Miller’s victory song. “I’m virtually crying down
here because I’m watching her sing, and I’m watching all your eyes well up and everything. And for me, that personifies what
I love about this show is it takes somebody who is absolutely completely ready for artistry, for everything, to find their
audience,” he said, wiping his tears away. “And all you needed, baby, was a break.”

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