'American Idol' eliminates Burnell Taylor and determines season's Top 6 finalists
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/05/2013
American Idol eliminated Burnell Taylor during Thursday night's live results show broadcast on Fox, determining the twelfth season's Top 6 finalists.
Burnell, a 19-year-old from New Orleans, LA, became the fourth 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 7 finalists performing rock songs.
"I just want to make sure that people will remember me as an artist. And no matter how far you go, you still have to remain humble. Even if you don't win, you could always make something out of nothing. You just have to do what you have to do while you can," Burnell said in a video montage that played following his ouster.
Burnell'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 Burnell's fate during his survival performance of "Ready For Love," Randy revealed the panel's decision to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.
"Unfortunately Ryan, no, we're not going to use it. Sorry Burnell. Good luck brother, good luck. We love you, we love you," Randy announced.
Burnell's elimination didn't come as much of a surprise, as music producer Jimmy Iovine had predicted America would vote him into the bottom two. Burnell's solo performance of "Shot Through the Heart" on Wednesday received fairly bad reviews from the judges as he was clearly out of his element.
"I'm going to assume rock and roll is not your thing. I know it's rock and roll week, but I've never seen you, for me, look more uncomfortable in a song. I missed a little bit of the old Burnell. But this show is about seeing what you do with the songs that we give you, so I love your voice. I've always loved it, and I would say next week, if you get a song that's not something you're comfortable with, make it your own. You don't have to do it just like the original. Just make it a Burnell song because you have such originality," Keith told Burnell.
"It's weird, because I don't know. Maybe I'm just being biased, but you still were lovable to me. Even though rock is not your thing, I still wanted to hug you. But Keith is absolutely right. Definitely, you want to shine as much as you possibly can, so if you do something that's out of your comfort zone in terms of genre, still give us Burnell, because that's what people are voting for," Nicki explained.
"You've got to ride that beat harder. Everything was so behind the beat. That's a very on-the-beat kind of song. You can take some time to do that and still become Burnell, because I do think in your career, as you go on with the show, from this show, whatever, you're still going to have to sing some uptempo songs. So it was still a good learning thing for you... It won't be rock songs but still, he wasn't on the beat with this one," Randy said.
"Darling Burnell, and you know that I adore you... I was proud of you, because this was definitely not the typical song you would sing. But I'm sure you just kind of learned this song too and I liked that you -- I felt like you had fun with it. I agree with everything everyone else said and la, la, la. But I'm just saying, I felt like Burnell was like, 'Look, I'm going to do this. They told me it's rock week, whatever, here we go.' And all I can say is, I think you did a great job," Mariah noted.
Prior to Burnell's elimination, Janelle Arthur, a 23-year-old from Oliver Springs, TN, was revealed to be the other member of this week's bottom two vote-getters.
During the broadcast, Ryan revealed home viewers had cast over 25 million votes following Wednesday night's performance show.
The judges also each announced their selected Top 3 of the season. Jimmy, Mariah, Randy, Nicki, and Keith all agreed Kree and Angie would be in their Top 3 if they had to choose. Everyone but Mariah thought Amber deserved the third spot. Mariah felt the remaining place in the Top 3 belonged to Candice.
However, America slightly disagreed with the experts. America voted Kree, Angie and Lazaro into this week's Top 3.
Jimmy had predicted Lazaro would actually be the one going home tonight after he forgot his lyrics during his duet Wednesday night with Angie -- a mistake he had also made last week when he sang alongside Burnell and previously-eliminated contestant Devin Velez.