'American Idol' axes Paul Jolley and determines season's Top 8 finalists
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/22/2013
American Idol axed Paul Jolley during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 8 finalists.
Paul, a 22-year-old from Palmersville, TN, became the second finalist sent home from American Idol's twelfth season after he received the fewest home viewer votes following Wednesday night's performance show, which featured the Top 9 finalists performing songs by The Beatles.
"There's a lot of country songs out there that are saying, 'Small town person is going to make it in a big town.' And at a young age, I realized this is what I want to do with my life and nothing's going to stop me. My grandpa just recently passed away. I want to be half the man he was. This experience has been unbelievable because we're all so lucky to be where we are today," Paul said in a video montage that played following his ouster.
Paul's elimination became official after Idol judge Randy Jackson announced the show's judges were not going to prevent his departure by using "The Judges' Save," which Randy and fellow judges Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and Keith Urban can use once during the finals to prevent the elimination of a finalist who receives the lowest number of votes from the fans during a weekly performance round. The decision would have to be unanimous amongst the judges to utilize the special save.
After discussing Paul's fate during his survival performance of "Alone," Randy revealed the panel's decision to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
"Unfortunately, Ryan, it's not unanimous, no. Thank you Paul. Good luck baby, good luck," Randy said.
Paul's elimination didn't come as much of a surprise, as music producer Jimmy Iovine had predicted he'd land in the bottom three and the judging panel had given him poor reviews following his performance of "All the Lonely People" on Wednesday's performance show.
"I like that jacket and I like that shirt and I like them skinny jeans -- I did not like your performance Joll," Nicki said. "You know why? Very, very safe, very bland and forgettable."
"I think by the time you hit your sweet notes at the end, that's when you always come excited. I think Jimmy was giving you really good advice, but I don't know. My thing for me is that I felt like you were disconnected from the song, like you never quite got into it. I mean, vocally you were there, but, honestly," Randy explained.
"I would say you have to be able to give as much emotion when you're singing softly as when you're at the top of your range or your mid-range. So because the lyrics are so amazing on this song, it's something where you need to like pretend that you wrote it and it's coming from you and just give that to us. And that's what we really need from you," Mariah suggested, adding he should be a pop star and create uptempo tracks.
"I just never understood the country thing with you, because I think you're voice is so amazing, take advantage of it. Get on some hard-driving track and do something big. You never know darling."
"I wasn't a big fan of the falsetto note at the end, but what I did like about the song is that there were parts of the song -- in the middle particularly -- where you've got this kind of pop/rock edge to your voice. I don't hear the country thing either. I think there's a more pop/rock edge to it in a really cool way," Keith told him.
Prior to Paul's elimination, Amber Holcomb, an 18-year-old from Houston, TX, and Devin Velez, an 18-year-old from Chicago, IL, were revealed to be the other two members of this week's bottom three vote-getters.
Lazaro Arbos surprisingly escaped the bottom three and was deemed safe in the competition although Jimmy had insisted he gave the worst performance of all on Wednesday night with his rendition of "In My Life" by The Beatles.